Board games that tell stories

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GDJ #3 - Island tiles

Let me invite you all for one more journey. Let's talk about Explore action in Robinson Crusoe! It is essential in all novels about castaways. They always end up on the beach, on the distant shore of the unknown land and they have to discover the land. They explore.

When you explore, you draw the top Island tile from the stack, reveal it, and put it on the map of the Island. How these tiles differ?

They represent different areas. You may reach Mountains, find River, get to the Hills or Plains. Each tile has a Terrain type, and that unlocks your chance to build tools (I will discuss it tomorrow).

The tiles also have other features. You may find tracks of the beast. If so, you will take a beast card from the deck and add it to the Hunting action space. You have tracks of the wild animals so Hunt action becomes available.

The tiles have sources. It may be a nest of birds (food source), a fishing area (food source), or a dense forest (wood source). Depending on where you stay, where is your camp located, you will have access to different sources, which is crucial to surviving on the Island.

You may also find Discoveries. If so, you will draw a Discovery token and they represent so many different things. It might be a goat you will take to the camp. It might be an old gun lost by some pirate. It might be herbs that you will use for a cure. It might be worms that you can eat and feel like Pumba. It might... There are like 20 or more different findings in the game! Always a surprise!

On some tiles, there is also a Totem icon. If you find a tile with that icon, you check the scenario sheet and see what happened. In each scenario, Totem means something else, dedicated to this particular story. It might be a village of cannibals. It might be a cursed swamp. It might be the lair of King Kong! These icons build the story and theme of each mission!

Overall, as you see, the explore action is essential for the theme of the game. You landed on the island. You are on the beach, you have a wall of trees in front of you. You make the first step, you enter the woods, and see what happens. Tracks of wild animals? Unexpected discovery? River?

Trust me. Everything can happen!
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