Isle of Skye Board Game
|Price:||$29.99 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- For 2-5 Players
- 45 minute playing time
- Great strategy game
- High replay value
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
Isle of Skye, one of the most beautiful places in the world: Soft sand beaches, gently sloping hills, impressive mountains: the landscape of Isle of Skye is breathtaking and fascinates everyone. In this tile-laying game 2 to 5 players are the chieftains of 5 famous clans. The players try to build their little kingdoms to score as many points as possible. But in each game only 4 of the 16 scoring cards will be scored. Each game is different and leads to different tactics and strategies. To have enough money is useful in all games: In each turn the players can buy a tile from another player. The seller determines the price, but to do it wisely is the most interesting part of this game: A high price will lead to wealth, if someone buys this tile, but if there's no buyer, the seller will lose the money spend on this tile. And in the end the player with the best kingdom will become the sovereign of the island, not the richest player! Isle of Skye is a gateway game for the whole family. With a playing time around 45 minutes, a huge variability and easy rules it's a perfect game for all players. The awesome illustrations by Klemens Franz brings all the atmosphere of the Scottish island on your table.
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|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||7.5 x 10.8 x 2.7 in||1 x 1 x 1 in||12.4 x 3.15 x 12.4 in||9.37 x 11.65 x 3.12 in||12.38 x 2.62 x 12.38 in||2 x 10 x 10 in|
|Item Weight||2.6 lbs||2.63 lbs||3.88 lbs||2 lbs||10.36 lbs||2.55 lbs|
Top Customer Reviews
Like Carcasonne, players build up a territory in front of themselves using square shaped tiles that can connect with each other based on how the edges match. Unlike Carcasonne, each player has their own land area that they make use of, so you only have yourself to blame if a tile isn't placed optimally. Also unlike Carcasonne, only the edge type (grass, mountains, water) matters when matching tile edges; roads, while useful if they are continued, do not have to line up.
Like Castles of Mad King Ludwig, there is a bidding phase when the tiles are selected. Each player selects three tiles, places them in front of them selves, and then assigns values to the tiles. Unlike Castles, all players are assigning values at the same time and each player must pick one of their three tiles to discard. After everyone has selected their tiles to keep (each of which must have at least one coin of worth) players can then take turns buying the tiles of the other players, at the prices chosen by them. If your tile is bought, you keep your coins, and gain the coins of the player that made the purchase. If a tile is not bought by another player, the coins assigned as the tile price gets put into the bank.
At this stage of the game, the players will then lay out the tiles that they bought (or were left in front of you after purchases were made) into their play area, making sure that all of the edges line up properly (water to water, mountain to mountain and grass field to grass field). Again, roads will not matter.
Points are then scored based on scoring tiles which were chosen for use at the start of the game. For example, whoever has the most lighthouses might score 5 points, while whoever has the second most might score 2 points. Which scoring tiles are used, during which rounds, is based on how many players are in the game and is indicated on the central game board. After the final round, extra points are scored based on various scoring icons located on the individual tiles, with a doubling modifier for those scoring icons that are located within a completed area (a completely enclosed grouping of mountains for example, that is three or more tiles large).
Overall, this is a wonderful new game, blending two of my favorite games into a nicely balanced, quickly paced with minimal "down time" (all players act at mostly the same time) game. If you are a fan of either Castles of Mad King Ludwig or Carcasonne, I would be completely surprised if you didn't absolutely love this game.
The mechanics are simple enough -- get income based on your existing tiles, draw three tiles, secretly choose one to discard and set prices for the other two, reveal everyone's choices simultaneously, potentially buy a tile from someone else, pay and claim any tiles you opponents did not buy from you, place your tiles, and finally score according to the objectives for that round. Do this 6 times and the game is over. It might sound exceedingly simple, but this game throws tough decisions your way at every turn. The pricing mechanic creates a layer of depth, anticipation, calculation, and tension that really elevates the gameplay. The system of randomly selecting scoring objectives from a large set does a great job of keeping the game fresh after multiple plays. The fact that different scoring objectives are predictably scored each round results in players constantly looking ahead to balance short-term and long-term objectives. Putting all of these elements into one package results in a beautifully rounded and extremely engaging game that makes a strong claim for the tile-laying crown.
Here are some suggestions for those looking to compare Isle of Skye and Carcassonne. If you enjoy Carcassonne, do yourself a favor and get this game because it's an absolute blast. If you're deciding between this and Carcassonne, do yourself a favor and get both games because they're both a blast. If you really have to choose just one, I'd still recommend starting with Carcassonne just because of the slightly simpler gameplay.
+ Great replayability thanks to randomized objectives
+ Pricing mechanic adds a welcome layer of depth and tension
+ The catch-up mechanic keeps everyone in the hunt, without feeling broken
+ Great mix of short-term and long-term goals
+ Throws tough decisions your way at every turn
+ Easy to teach and relatively quick to play
+ Lovely game components
- Decisions can be overwhelming for players prone to AP (analysis paralysis)
- It can be a little hard to see tile features across the table
- Luck is a factor, like in all games involving random draws
Each game, four scoring conditions (from 16) are drawn which determine how points will be scored in each round. Each scoring condition will score three times over the course of the game's five rounds, so players will have an opportunity to fine-tune their holdings to take advantage of what comes up.
Each round follows a simple flow. First, players get money--for their castle, for any whiskey barrels supplying the castle, and for their position on the score track. Then they draw three tiles and secretly (behind their included player screens) set the price of two of them, while marking the third for discard. After players secretly set their prices, they lift their screens, and each player may purchase one tile from someone else. Whatever tiles remain unpurchased in front of them they must buy for the prices they set, then players add whatever tiles they acquired to their clan lands and score points. (Some tiles also have additional scoring opportunities for the end of the game.)
Isle of Skye is a simple game in that the rules are easy to learn and teach, but the gameplay is exciting as players try to put together the best land they can. There is the excitement of secretly setting prices and then the joy of revelation when everyone lifts their screens and you realize you should have set your prices higher or lower. There is an interesting puzzle of trying to get the most points out of what you've got as you try to get tiles to score for multiple conditions.
Isle of Skye plays easily within an hour (even with teaching) and works at all player counts, 2-5. I highly recommend this one.