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Subject: Taluva: A quick overview rss

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Giles Pritchard
Australia
Shepparton
Victoria
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Game name: Taluva

Author/s: Marcel-André Casasola Merkle

Players: 2-4

Playing time: 30-45 min

Key elements:

Basic maths, problem solving, spatial skills (2D and 3D), logic skills.

Key Ratings:
= Low
= High

Depth
Strategy
Luck
Player Interaction

This is a very deep, quite quick, brain-burning abstract style game that plays very well for 2, 3 and 4.

Short Description:

In Taluva players play landscape tiles, and build buildings. The landscape tiles may be played to extend the map on the table, or they may be placed to build up the map on the table – thus tiles are either placed adjacent to other tiles, or over earlier tiles creating a layered terrain. Players also place buildings of three types, huts, towers and temples.

In Taluva players win through two possible avenues and lose through one (there aren’t too many games which you can automatically lose in – and this adds a bit of excitement). The game ends when either the players run out of tiles to play, or after one player has built all of two types of their three types of buildings (in the latter case they automatically win the game). This game is so unbelievably simple – the small card sized player aids completely sum up the game – with few questions thereafter, but it is a difficult game to master and play well.

Players on their turn must play a tile and must build a building. A tile may be played to add to the terrain – in which case it is played so it adjoins the rest of the terrain, or it may be placed on top of existing terrain tiles –so building up a 3D board onto which players build and expand their settlements. A player may also build one of their three types of buildings, huts, towers and temples. Each has simple placement rules that are succinctly summed up on the player aid card.

One aspect of Taluva that I really enjoy is the way on which there always seems to be a myriad of choices available. There is a real tension here, which is derived from a ‘fork in the road’ type of feeling the game provides between which decision of all those possible combinations of actions (tile placement AND building placement) will best suit you, or which one will best peg back another player/s – a key aspect to this game.

This game is a triumph of simplicity and design – although I am not a fan of abstract games this one has struck a real chord with me due to the myriad of tactical approaches a player may approach the game with, as well as due to the gorgeous production values of the game itself – which really is a work of art. Taluva is certainly one of my favourite games – and promises to keep its place as a challenging puzzler for some time to come!

By: Giles Pritchard

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Surya is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
New Zealand
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Agreed

I really like the subtlety of the strategies. The way you place the new landscape tiles, the ways you expand your settlements, every detail counts!
 
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Giles Pritchard
Australia
Shepparton
Victoria
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Thanks Surya! I agree - it's the various detailed interactions between all the subtle elements that makes this game a real winner!

Cheers.

Giles.
 
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