Days of Wonder Yamatai Board Game
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- An hourlong strategy game for two to four adventurers
- Each turn features a different set of fleet tiles to guide player actions
- Uniquely talented specialists offer varied advantages
- Detailed graphics are easy to understand and recall
- Features gorgeous art and quality components
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
In yamataï, two to four players compete to earn prestige points using a variety strategies. Clear the islands of the archipelago, recruit powerful specialists to assist you, and construct buildings across the Island landscape. The most ambitious and skilled among you will even construct high temples in your quest to earn Queen himiko's favor. In the end however, you will not be remembered as the greatest Builder of yamataï for just one act, but for the many accomplishments that exemplify your loyalty to the Kingdom. .
Top customer reviews
There are different Gods available to help make you more efficient at building these structures and enhancing the resources you have at your disposal. There are roles you select each turn that determine what resources you have, and what special power you have for the round. Then, there are areas on the board you want to try to build on to gain maximum points and rewards. All these elements will be familiar to people who have played games like Puerto Rico, Abyss, Lords of Waterdeep, even Ticket to Ride. But, the uniqueness of the game comes from how the players interact with the board and resources to affect upcoming turns. When Player A removes cultures tokens to gain a God, Player B can now build buildings on the islands that have just opened up. When Player B, places boats to build a building, Player C can use those same boats to build another building. This may create frustration, as long term planning can be limited since the board will change considerably before your turn.
The game succeeds in creating a tense back and forth experience where every turn feels like you are gaining points and progressing toward a goal. You'll be amazed how everything seems to flow together seamlessly, and every aspect of the game needs to be paid attention to. The winner will be the one who succeeds in finding a combination of unique powers from Gods, buildings with high scoring points, and locations on the map that help them become the most efficient point machine of the group.
I really enjoyed this game and would enjoy playing it more with people who wanted a more strategic game that lasted around 2+ hours. This would not be a game, I'd play with someone who was looking to try board games out for the first time.
The design itself it pretty clever and fun. You send out one of 5 available fleets that provide you with a resource and an ability you can use anytime during your turn. The better the resource/ability combo, the more likely you will go last during the next turn, and vice versa. Resource ships are placed to extend chain-formations among 30+ islands on the board. If you placed a ship next to an empty island, you can construct a building if the colors of the adjacent ships match the requirements. To win, you total your points from buildings, specialist recruits, and money after someone places their last building, or one resource runs out.
While I enjoyed the gameplay, I think the color palette of the board is oversaturated with little contrast, and not very aesthetically pleasant, even toward the end of the game with all of the ships and buildings on display. I've never had that criticism for any other Days of Wonder game, so it's possible that many others might find all that deep turquoise and green quite beautiful.
So you play the role of an adviser to Queen Himiko, and your goal in the game is to build up the Archipelago of Yamatai. You do this by placing ships of various resources/colors,claiming culture tokens, hiring advisers, and erecting buildings. The game plays pretty quick at about an hour long. I found it easy to pick up, with enough options to keep the game interesting each time. I've played this with my wife, and her sisters, and they all picked it up very quick. I was very impressed with the component quality as per usual with Days of Wonder games. The only downside I can see so far is that the game can feel at times a little like Five Tribes. But I didn't encounter the "Analysis paralysis" issue to the same extent that Five Tribes can struggle with. Its definitely lighter than Five Tribes, which I'm totally okay with. Given the majority of people I play with anymore dont like complicated. (Sad face)
Overall Days of Wonder and Bruno Cathala have once again created another hit. I love this game, definitely a new favorite with my family.