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Islebound» Forums » Reviews

Subject: First Impressions rss

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B Bell
United States
Allentown
PA - Pennsylvania
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On Tuesday I had a chance to play Islebound for the first time. I was aware of this game, remember it being on Kickstarter, and jumped at the chance to give it a play. I have played a number of other Red Raven games in the past and was excited to give this one a chance.

I was not disappointed.

Islebound is more or less an exploration game of sorts. You start with a ship, the only one you will have, and a small crew. From your starting port you are essentially released upon the game, what you do for the rest of it is up to you. On your turn you can move up to your speed value (may not be the technical game term), this can be increased with additional crew members. You are required to move and once you do so you have several action options. Pay to visit the town, and take your reward (resources, pirate crew members, regular members, etc). Take control of a town, through diplomacy or combat. Hunt for treasure and take some money from a special bank (formed by the money payed for visiting ports). It's up to you and what you can afford. Taking control of towns is great, but costs a lot of diplomacy or fight but pays you back in coins and allows you to use that port for free.

There is a lot you can do, but it never feels overwhelming. Once you understand the game it plays very smoothly and most importantly I never felt bored. Turns went quick enough that you always feel like you are doing something. This is incredibly important to me because I really dislike games that drag in between turns. Also the game was easy enough to understand that non one was asking an abundance of questions after the first or second round, which is also a plus.

The one downside for me was the island tiles themselves. While beautiful they were pretty badly warped and it detracted from the overall aesthetic value of the production. This seems to be an issue with this game from reading other posts and it really does detract from the overall presentation.

So, in short, I loved it. The port take over mechanic reminded me somewhat of Empires of the Void (which I loved and look forward to the second edition) and the character design looked a lot like Above and Below. This was a top notch game for me, just a shame that some minor production issues mar the overall presentation.
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Josh McDowell
United States
West Lafayette
Indiana
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I did notice the copy at Gen Con had warped boards.

My friend's Kickstarter copy warped as well, but after a few plays they've flattened back out. I don't know if it's just giving it time to acclimate to the humidity, or something else, but now they're fine.
 
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Brad

Indiana
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I noticed that my play tiles didn't rest flat on the table as well. I'm hoping that I can teach them to be flat through keeping them at the bottom of the box under the other components.
 
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Francesco Neri
Italy
Livorno
Italy
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it's a common problem of china production, i think.
usually they not have a ventilated and dehumidified room to leave the material out of printer... they are so unprofessional...
 
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Stuart Webb
United Kingdom
Farnham
Surrey
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I played this for the first time the other night too and also really enjoyed it. I felt the rule book could have been a lot better but as with all Ref Raven Games the production and art were pretty top notch.
 
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