So sit back, grab your favorite beverage and dust that crown off because we're going to take a look at Isle of Skye!
In Isle of Skye players are competing to make the best kingdom for their people. In the process, they will be earning gold that they can use to buy/sell tiles for their kingdoms.
To start, everyone pics a color and takes the appropriate colored selling shield, score marker, castle tile and set the board up for the amount of players that are going to be in the game.
As you're playing there are a few different steps that will happen on each turn. It can seem a bit overwhelming at first but don't worry, they're very easy steps and go by quickly. They are also printed on the back of your selling shield as a sort of cheat sheet;
Income: This is the first stage of every turn. You count the coins on your castle tile(5) and any barrels that are on roads connected to the castle road(1) and get that much gold.
Draw Tiles: Starting with the first player everyone draws three tiles from the bag. These will be the tiles that you can price to sell. If it's a tile you would like to keep then you can price it higher so other players don't want it. Be careful though, any tiles that don't sell you get to keep but lose the money that you placed on them.
Choose a tile to get rid of: Once all players have drawn their tiles it is now time to choose one of those tiles that will be discarded and put back in the bag. You do this by selecting one of the three tiles you have just drawn and place your axe marker behind it.
The Reveal: Now everyone moves their selling shields and players get to see what tiles have been drawn and what their prices are. Players also discard the tile that they had their axe pointing to simultaneously. Now is also the time to purchase tiles from other players. You are able to purchase no more than one tile from each other player in the game BUT you are not required to buy at all if you would rather pass or don't have enough money.
Place Tiles: Everyone now gets to place their newly acquired tiles on their kingdom!
Score Points: Lastly, you check for any points that may have been scored and award them to the appropriate player. Pass the first player marker, move the turn track marker and start again.
On to my opinion:
Game Art: The art in this one is beautiful. As the turns are happening I find myself getting lost in the art on the tiles and wondering how it would be to live in such a kingdom. Or maybe one of those little people on a tile is headed off to work. These things cross my mind and it's because of the immersive art on each tile.
Gameplay: The gameplay can sound like quite a bit to handle but I promise you it is definitely not. Our daughter played with us so we could get a four player game of this going and each round went by as quickly as the last. It's definitely a game that I feel like anyone can play and feel comfortable while playing.
Game Quality: The game quality is that of what you would expect from a company such as Mayfair. It's got nice thick tokens and boards, wooden bits, a great box that isn't oversized and a wonderful rulebook.
So the big question... Should you buy this game? BUY THIS GAME!!! Well first and foremost I have to say that at it's core this is one of those games that is just pure fun. You get to sell pieces to other players as well as build on a modular map. No two players will likely build the same thing.
On top of all of that this is a GREAT family style game. It can be played causally OR aggressively depending on the mood of the players.
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As always, thank you for reading and don't forget to stop and smell the meeples! :)