Recommend
7 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

Isla Dorada» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Everything that sucks about... Isla Dorada rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Christian Heckmann
Germany
Mainz
Rheinland Pfalz
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Everything that sucks about...



Isla Dorada



To read up on the concept of and motivation behind this review series, check up on the first review I posted under the „Everything that sucks about...“-banner.


What is it about?

„Isla Dorada“ is an adventure boardgame about an expedition in the 1930s, looking for treasure and trying to avoid cursed places. It plays three to six players, takes one to two hours and incorporates mechanics like auctions, hand management and point-to-point-movement.


Everything that sucks about it:

- There's luck in „Isla Dorada“. A lot of luck. Not only luck of the draw concerning the adventure cards you use to bid for travel routes (although being stuck with a starting hand of six camels while there's not a single camel-route around isn't very fun), but also concerning the locations of your personal treasure and curse cards. Last night, I managed to secure a pretty solid second place and for the first half of the game I didn't play a single adventure card, because everything just worked so well on it's own.

- Also a game where you can get by by... well, not really playing it is rather problematic but also a bit boring. It's not that this happens on a regular basis in „Isla Dorada“ but it happens.

- I'm not entirely convinced that the „Ticket To Ride“-esque card-distribution-mechanic works that well here, because here you have a lot of different adventure cards with vastly differing levels of power and usefulness. This turns the card-distribution-round into one where almost everybody is too afraid to pick one of the open cards because he's afraid to reveal a way better card for the guy who gets to pick next in line. Drawing blindly from the deck is very commonplace.

- The player aids are great, because they show and explain every single adventure card. You know what would be even better? Also having the quantity of every adventure card printed on them.

- I believe, the destiny cards aren't completely balanced. There are a few that seem to be much more worthwhile and easier to fulfill than others.

- The game not only features but also kind of enforces a layer of take-that-cardplay. If one of those adventures cards that attacks other players show up, they will be used at a moment's notice, hence another player might be able to hurt you with it. This leads to situations where players clobber each other because the game kind of dictates it and without any real strategic reason. This leads to a kind of misinformed form of kingmaking. Because of the half-open, half-hidden way of scoring, if you seem to be doing well, you'll be everyone's sworn enemy for the rest of the game and you will enjoy the effects of every single last of those take-that-cards, no matter how badly you're doing on your destiny card or how weak your position in the game is altogether.

- While certainly having a chaotic beer and pretzels charm to it, I'd advise against the consumation of too much beer during this game, because there really is no time to take a bathroom break without delaying the game.

- The game runs a bit long for what it is. Cutting corners might throw off the balance even more, but as it is, the game tends to usually overstay it's welcome by twenty minutes to half an hour.

- Also why no volcano? WHY NO VOLCANO, DAMMIT!?!


Things that especially suck not:

- Juju. Yes, I've denounced the take-that-system of the game at great length, but the Juju-card is just so much fun.

- Bigfoot and Leviathan. Simple cardboard-markers would have sufficed, but those two things are awesome.


What I think:

„Isla Dorada“ is one of those games I'll almost never ask to play but somehow are always up for, if someone else suggests it. Of course I have no illusions ever winning it, because a) I'm prone to bad luck and b) it's common courtesy in our gaming group to especially smack me down at any given opportunity. And „Isla Dorada“ provides plenty opportunities for this. It's a fun game if you can get into it and don't expect something deeply strategic. There's chaos abound and lots of room for negotiations, betrayals and just general backstabbing, but it's base frame is robust enough to guarantee a good game-flow, although as said, the game could be a bit shorter and shouldn't be taken too seriously. Not much to love here and not much to strategize about, but I'll usually be up for it, despite everything that sucks about it.


If you liked what you read, check out and subscribe to my „Everything that sucks“-geeklist to be notified about new reviews.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Billy McBoatface
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
KGS is the #1 web site for playing go over the internet. Visit now!
badge
Yes, I really am that awesome.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Harblnger wrote:
Things that especially suck not:

- Bigfoot and Leviathan. Simple cardboard-markers would have sufficed, but those two things are awesome.

Things that suck about things that especially suck not:

- Bigfoot and Leviathan are the coolest looking part of the game, but have almost no effect on it. In my gaming group we usually don't even bother to draw those cards, because they are so irrelevant.

This thought inspired me, and I've thought up a variant for superpowered monsters. I'll try it next time we play the game and post it if it goes well.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian Heckmann
Germany
Mainz
Rheinland Pfalz
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


I don't know, they are clearly among the most situational cards, but I used both of them to great effect last night (although the usefulness of the Bigfoot was immediately canceled out by another player blindly drawing a second Bigfoot-card). If you're at that very spot and just don't want to go that specific way, then they may come in handy. But yeah, afterwards both of them just sat there and didn't do anything for the rest of the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David C
United States
Aurora
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
I find that half of enjoying Faidutti is if other people suggest it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Duke
United States
Wynne
Arkansas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think you should translate your posts into French.

They lose something in the original.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jonathan Grant
United States
Fairview
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
One of my favorite games--love it.

I'll give you that it does run a little long and there are probably too many power cards but it is one-half of my go-to combo to introduce non-gamers (that I think would enjoy modern gaming) to the hobby (the other being Ticket to Ride: Europe).

Ticket to Ride gets them interested and trains (...see what I did there? Huh? Huh? ninja) them on the basic mechanics. Isla Dorada breaks it out of that strict structure and brings a lot of the game above the table to the player interaction. In a group that enjoys eachother's company and can wheel and deal and rag a bit on eachother I have just never seen it fail.

And honestly, I don't notice it being that lucky.

Though considering how hard this game crashed and burned for FFG, I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority for how much I like it
3 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 Lucky Texan
United States
Arlington
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It does feel like there's 1 or 2 more 'layers' to the game than necessary - how about, instead of paying gold to use Drako or Zeppelin, you have to discard 1 or 3 additional cards from your hand? voila!, no stupid gold to deal with. (same with the optional extra draw card, make it a swap?)

There's already some destiny cards that are fulfilled by not visiting certain villages, why even have curse cards? they could be combined into one type of card - voila!, one less deck of card.


I use the blocker character(s) to limit access to my curse village.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.