Dragon Island

Dragon Island cover art

Dragon Island is an open-world fantasy exploration game. You and up to 3 other players take on the role of wizards cast away onto a seemingly deserted Island. Players compete throughout their journey to gain as much treasure as possible, and become everlastingly rich and famous. Discover exotic terrains, build special structures, manage your magical energy and tame dragons! once the entire Island has been discovered, your quest is over, and whoever as accumulated the most treasure wins Dragon Island!.

How to Win: All assets (dragons, treasure, etc) except gold are converted to points at the end of the game. The most points is the winner.

My Review: This is definitely one of my favorite games. This was not as much on my wish list as my wife's list but we purchased it and oh my how quickly the roles reversed! There is so much you can do on a turn and a heck of a lot of strategy. You have multiple tiles in your stash at all times (except once the bag is empty) and each tile is two-sided, giving you lots of options as to what to play. As the island grows, it becomes complicated deciding where to place your tile in order to try and build up to one of your treasures. 

The game takes a bit to get a handle on as there is a lot of steps to a turn. Furthermore, many of these steps are ignored early in the game since they do not yet apply. Be sure to keep the reference cards handy and I would advise checking with them each turn, at least for the first few games. If you don't, you may miss something that could cost you the game.

There are tons of different strategies that would probably produce a win. Whether you choose to focus on treasures, buildings, dragons, or just spending gold to try to block your opponents, this game has a path to victory that will meet your needs. 

The game is interdependent only in that you are placing tiles on the same island, but you never really know what your opponent is trying to do so sabotage may backfire. 

All in all, this is a very solid game and near the top of my list to bring to the table!

Overall Ratings:

Instructions: 10/10 This book is beautiful, well-thought out and easy to follow. Some may not like the side of the book as it is very wide with multiple columns, but the reference cards will reduce your need to have the book handy after the first read through so I do not find this to be an issue myself.

Ease of Play: 8/10 All the steps are a little cumbersome at first, but by the end of the first game, my wife and I were not really using the reference cards any longer. While it may seem daunting, once you catch on, many of the steps are actually very instinctual. You may not want to bring this out to a new gamer, but with a little experience, I think you will love it!.

Components: 10/10 All components are thick and solid. This is a very well built game. It should not show any wear and tear for a long, long time!

Replay Value: 10/10 Because the number of tiles is dependent on the number of players, and each tile is the same shape and two-sided, I believe you can get a ton of replays out of this game before it even starts to get stale. I really feel like this is a game that will see our table a lot of the years!

Overall Rating: 9.50