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Subject: Required: An Exploration Game With Lovely Art rss

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Ian M
United Kingdom
Northampton
Northamptonshire
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Hi all!

My family group is looking for a game to fill a gap in our collection, so any recommendations are welcome.

We want a game where you can explore, either through cards or tiles, with each revealed location being unique in description, appearance and application - and, preferably, nicely illustrated.

We're easy in terms of theme and mechanics. It could be terrain exploration (jungle, island, etc) or a building or town, it could be fantasy or real world, it could be resource gathering or area control, anything really. We just want that feeling of flipping a card or tile and not knowing what location is going to crop up.

The closest game to this we own is Tikal, where the tiles could reveal temples, treasure sites, volcanos or empty jungle clearings, but it's still not quite right; we want unique locations like in Forbidden Island, with each location adding something new to the game.

We've been looking at Robinson Crusoe (waiting for the new edition) and a couple of Ryan Laukat games. We've played Betrayal At House On The Hill, and that definitely has the unique tile aspect going on, but it doesn't have the 'prettiness' factor.

So... does a game like this exist?

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Eric Chiriboga
United States
Oviedo
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Escape: Zombie City and Escape: The Curse of the Temple both fit this. If you like the art is up to you (I'm neutral to it), but the gameplay is very exploration heavy.

If weight won't deter you, I believe Eclipse fits the bill, as do many other dungeon crawls and space conquest games.
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Bryan Cole
United Kingdom
Cottenham
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I think Scythe might fit the bill. The map is fixed but you can explore through encounter cards on designated spaces. The artwork is stellar. Easily the most beautiful game in my collection. There's loads of reviews on bgg so you can judge yourself. The game won't come back into stock until the second print run hits the shelves later this year. Well worth the wait though.

Other than this, Mage Knight comes to mind as having a stack of map files with great variety of locations on the tiles. The card artwork is also great. However MK is somewhat complex and a very long game to play.
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Kevin D.
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Xia: Legends of a Drift System might fit.
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Mark Smith

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Lost Valley and Entdecker: Exploring New Horizons are great exploring games but not that pretty compared to others here and tricky to track down.

+1 for Xia: Legends of a Drift System

Personal favourite is Mage Knight Board Game but Only played solo so time play may increase a lot for each player.
Have you considered hidden tile dungeon crawlers?
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Adrian Iordache
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Bucharest
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Goldland ?
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Ian M
United Kingdom
Northampton
Northamptonshire
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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!

Xia looks lovely, but it's unfortunately out of my price range (currently at about £80 on Amazon! I'm still hoping the new Robinson Crusoe will be under £50...). I've looked at Mage Knight before without being convinced, but will have to try again as it's always highly recommended.

Lagoon: Land Of Druids looks most interesting, I'll have to check that out. Thank you, Null Field.
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Pauly Paul
Canada
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Meriades wrote:
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!

Xia looks lovely, but it's unfortunately out of my price range (currently at about £80 on Amazon!


Are there any UK online board game stores? I can only speak for Canada but I wouldn't buy my games through Amazon.ca. I like Amazon for some stuff but for board games they suck! The prices are either fair, but still more than I would get from Board Game Bliss, or completely ridiculous in a "I don't know what they are smoking" sort of way.

I'm not saying that Xia would still be in your price range, only wondering if it's the same in the UK and getting any board game might be better elsewhere.
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Jeff
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Ontario
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How about Tobago if you can find it? It would be a good family weight game.
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Gretchen Fontenay
United States
Apison
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It's farming, not exploration but Fields of Green?
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Derek Bradley
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No question. Archipelago
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dave
United States
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Pandakai wrote:
No question. Archipelago


I was just going to suggest this. It's really an awesome game.
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Arthur Cormode
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Pandakai wrote:
No question. Archipelago


Indeed. Brilliant game.
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MURRUMBEENA
Victoria
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All reality is a game. Physics at its most fundamental, the very fabric of our universe, results directly from the interaction of certain fairly simple rules, and chance... (Iain Banks)
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Meriades wrote:
Hi all!

My family group is looking for a game to fill a gap in our collection, so any recommendations are welcome.

We want a game where you can explore, either through cards or tiles, with each revealed location being unique in description, appearance and application - and, preferably, nicely illustrated.

...

You don't have your collection listed, so there is one "obvious" game that maybe you own -
Carcassonne (or any of the variants) - exploring vs building. Good family game, especially if the group has casual players.

Quadropolis, Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King or Castles of Mad King Ludwig - not sure whether you prefer everyone working on the same "map"?
Quad is another lightish family game, easy to introduce to occasional players while still interesting for hobbyists. It is bright and cheerful.
Isle of Skye is excellent, a little more complex and has highly variable score conditions. A good game for regular gamers who want a light option.
MKL looks fantastic and has a nice sense of accomplishment for each player.

Otherwise, for shared maps:
Archipelago +1. The full game is ~4hours, some people don't "get" the semi co-op aspect, but it is a great game.
Amerigo - Feld. Euro with a map, maybe a little fiddly and fidgety. Up to 2 hours with slow players, might be a pain to teach... but a great game when people have got their heads around it.
Last, two "explore the world and fight the folks you meet" games: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game and Clash of Cultures.

Edit: Double +1 for Lost Valley: The Yukon Goldrush 1896. An absolute favourite - no fighting, but brimming with conflict.
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Steve
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Thormodr wrote:
Pandakai wrote:
No question. Archipelago


Indeed. Brilliant game.

Also a game that people either love or hate.
 
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Ian M
United Kingdom
Northampton
Northamptonshire
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venrondua wrote:

Are there any UK online board game stores? I can only speak for Canada but I wouldn't buy my games through Amazon.ca. I like Amazon for some stuff but for board games they suck! The prices are either fair, but still more than I would get from Board Game Bliss, or completely ridiculous in a "I don't know what they are smoking" sort of way.

I'm not saying that Xia would still be in your price range, only wondering if it's the same in the UK and getting any board game might be better elsewhere.


Unfortunately prices are often standard across the board over here.

I have a number of UK sites bookmarked - 365games, boardgameguru, meeplescorner - and use boardgameprices.uk for price comparisons, but it's very rare there's more than a couple of pounds difference either way. Having said that, I've just checked Xia specifically and it's now down to £75 at Amazon, and £5 cheaper at a couple of other places! The more expensive games can be a bit swingy, but under £50 it doesn't change much - and £50 for a single game is very much my limit.

One thing I hate: a couple of sites (most notably 365games) advertise games at lower prices but don't have those games in stock (and you can't order them). Then, when there IS stock, the game miraculously goes up in price. Funny that...
 
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Ian M
United Kingdom
Northampton
Northamptonshire
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We have Tobago! A very good game, and we like the deduction aspect of solving the clues to find the treasure, but because the map is already known it doesn't scratch the exact itch.

I hadn't heard of Fields Of Green, but having skimmed through some of the images here it's now definitely on the list for further investigation! It's just the kind of game we like. Thanks, Gretchen!

EDIT: But not available til next year! cry

Archipelago, yes. We do like the look of this one, lovely art and definitely fits the exploration criteria. I'll check out a few videos to see how it would play, but it's a contender. Thank you!
 
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Garrett X
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Actually Xia is 65.95 at Chaos Cards, shipping is free. Still over your max price though...

CC is my go-to game shop. The prices are already decent and they will price match if you find it lower online, the customer service is fast and friendly, and they despatch quickly. I usually get my games in 2 days. They also honour prices when items come back in stock, and many times lower them! thumbsup

On topic, exploration games are among my favourites and I haven't yet found one that has multiple unique tiles, but I recommend in order of relevance -
Skulldug! (explore a cave system hunting for treasure and each tile you reveal has either fortunes or hazards which you try to avoid and make it back to the cave entrance with 3 treasures)
Dead Men Tell No Tales (navigate your way through a burning pirate ship avoiding powder keg blasts and undead pirates)


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Ian M
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Northampton
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Ozludo wrote:


You don't have your collection listed, so there is one "obvious" game that maybe you own -
Carcassonne (or any of the variants) - exploring vs building. Good family game, especially if the group has casual players.

Quadropolis, Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King or Castles of Mad King Ludwig - not sure whether you prefer everyone working on the same "map"?
Quad is another lightish family game, easy to introduce to occasional players while still interesting for hobbyists. It is bright and cheerful.
Isle of Skye is excellent, a little more complex and has highly variable score conditions. A good game for regular gamers who want a light option.
MKL looks fantastic and has a nice sense of accomplishment for each player.

Otherwise, for shared maps:
Archipelago +1. The full game is ~4hours, some people don't "get" the semi co-op aspect, but it is a great game.
Amerigo - Feld. Euro with a map, maybe a little fiddly and fidgety. Up to 2 hours with slow players, might be a pain to teach... but a great game when people have got their heads around it.
Last, two "explore the world and fight the folks you meet" games: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game and Clash of Cultures.

Edit: Double +1 for Lost Valley: The Yukon Goldrush 1896. An absolute favourite - no fighting, but brimming with conflict.


Thanks for the detailed reply!

I must get around to logging and rating our games here, but we're close to the 100 mark so it's a big job. We do own Carcassonne and have looked at Isle Of Skye. The latter has more of that uniqueness we're looking for, but it's still doesn't hit it exactly. I guess I'm trying to imagine a Carcassonne-type game where every facedown tile/card you flip over is like one of the unique locations from Forbidden Island, with its own particular qualities, rather than simply being some variation of terrain/feature that you then place as a tile-laying game.

I hadn't considered Castles Of Mad King Ludwig, but thinking about it, that's actually quite close in terms of unique tiles - it just doesn't have that 'flip over to see what's next' factor. This is our problem, a lot of these games have something that we're after, but not all together in one package!
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Ian M
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Northampton
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EmpressGeek wrote:
Actually Xia is 65.95 at Chaos Cards, shipping is free. Still over your max price though...

CC is my go-to game shop. The prices are already decent and they will price match if you find it lower online, the customer service is fast and friendly, and they despatch quickly. I usually get my games in 2 days. They also honour prices when items come back in stock, and many times lower them! thumbsup

On topic, exploration games are among my favourites and I haven't yet found one that has multiple unique tiles, but I recommend in order of relevance -
Skulldug! (explore a cave system hunting for treasure and each tile you reveal has either fortunes or hazards which you try to avoid and make it back to the cave entrance with 3 treasures)
Dead Men Tell No Tales (navigate your way through a burning pirate ship avoiding powder keg blasts and undead pirates)




I don't have Chaos Cards in my bookmarks for some reason, but that sounds excellent. Thank you, I'll add them immediately.

As for the games you mentioned... boom!

I hadn't even heard of Skulldug!, but on first glance that looks terrific - exploration tiles and unique treasure tiles? Could be golden. Not sure about availability though.

Dead Men Tell No Tales looks gorgeous. I seem to remember a Rahdo Runs Through on this about a year ago, but I'm not sure if that was a finished version or prototype. I'll go check out some videos.

Thank you!
 
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Garrett X
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You're welcome

Skulldug was a Kickstarter game so the OLGS that buy KS stuff would be the ones selling it. Rules and a free 2 player print and play only version are in the files section. I realise it's for your family but that will give you an idea of what the tiles and cards look like. I got the very last copy off Infinity Games for 15 quid but it sells at 'normal' board game prices around 30 or so. Ebay/Amazon available as well.

Yup, Rahdo runs through DMTNT and it's now in UK stores, but if you are feeling particularly crafty you can buy the files off Wargame Vault for USD$5 and make it yourself
http://www.wargamevault.com/product/140164/Dead-Men-Tell-No-...

To be honest my top exploration game BY FAR is Santa Cruz which I got for a tenner from Spiele Offensive on stock clearance but it is rare and difficult to find so I didn't recommend it. Only published in Germany, but it is language independent and rules are in the files section. Keep an eye out and snag a copy if you can!

EDIT - somebody is selling a copy of Santa Cruz in the marketplace. Rahdo runs through that as well so if you like what you see, jump on it. Can't recommend it highly enough.
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Ian M
United Kingdom
Northampton
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EmpressGeek wrote:
You're welcome

Skulldug was a Kickstarter game so the OLGS that buy KS stuff would be the ones selling it. Rules and a free 2 player print and play only version are in the files section. I realise it's for your family but that will give you an idea of what the tiles and cards look like. I got the very last copy off Infinity Games for 15 quid but it sells at 'normal' board game prices around 30 or so. Ebay/Amazon available as well.

Yup, Rahdo runs through DMTNT and it's now in UK stores, but if you are feeling particularly crafty you can buy the files off Wargame Vault for USD$5 and make it yourself
http://www.wargamevault.com/product/140164/Dead-Men-Tell-No-...

To be honest my top exploration game BY FAR is Santa Cruz which I got for a tenner from Spiele Offensive on stock clearance but it is rare and difficult to find so I didn't recommend it. Only published in Germany, but it is language independent and rules are in the files section. Keep an eye out and snag a copy if you can!

EDIT - somebody is selling a copy of Santa Cruz in the marketplace. Rahdo runs through that as well so if you like what you see, jump on it. Can't recommend it highly enough.


Santa Cruz is already on my Rare Wish List, along with San Marco, Merkator, Finca, Bruges, Crusoe and Troyes! Now the recommendation makes me want it even more... ninja

I probably latched on to Santa Cruz because of Rahdo, but don't remember the video so maybe it was a good wee while ago. I'll go remind myself - and then spend a moment or three on Wargame Vault. Those DMTNT pirate cards are beautiful. And I do need another pirate game, as Jamaica, as lovely as it is to look it, seems to fall a little flat for us and hardly ever hits the table.

Thanks!
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Garrett X
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Finca is great! I tracked down a new copy on sale (the Giochi Uniti Italian version) from uplay.it and it has more than paid for itself. It is due to be reprinted by Crash of Games - http://icv2.com/articles/news/view/34568/crash-games-revives... so you have a shot at it fairly soon.
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Zee Deveel
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Not out yet but maybe The 7th Continent, or possibly SeaFall.
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