Spirit Island is a cooperative deck-building game for 1-4 players. Each player picks a Spirit of nature, defending their Island from invading colonists. The colonists have little regard for the well-being of the land or its inhabitants, the Dahan. Spirits act simultaneously each turn, employing powers to push the invaders back, bolster the island, and aid the Dahan. The Spirits start out small and limited, and learn to grow its power to handle the rapidly expanding invaders. The Colonist’s actions; which is automated by the game; drive them to spread across the Island to establish settlements. Doing so, spreads blight in their path. To Win, the Spirits and the Dahan must destroy the invading colonists and scare away survivors. The Game will end in defeat, however, if the island is overrun by Blight, if any Spirit is destroyed completely or fail to drive the invaders off before they become entrenched.
Once you know the game, Spirit Island can take about 90-120 minutes to play. This can be shorter with 1-2 players, or longer with a game of four.
This game can also be found not just as a board game, but on Steam as well.
Sequence of Play and Tips
As stated above, Players are taking the same turn and can decide the order in which certain abilities happen in. The better to collaborate and defeat the invaders. The invaders follow a strict pattern based on certain cards. Use this to your advantage when planning your turns.
If it’s your first time playing I recommend, for a two player game, to use Vital Strength of the Earth for one player and either Shadows Flicker like Flame or Lightning’s Swift Strike. If it’s three players ,you will want to use all three. The key when picking your Spirits after is to cover each other’s weakness. Also have the rule book handy for the first few games.
The pieces of Spirit Island are not cheaply made. All Board Pieces are nice and thick, they do not bend easily. The Invader’s, Blight and the Colonist Houses are made of plastic. The Dahan huts and the pieces to mark Presence are made of a nice wood. The Presence are colored for the four players. Everything in the box has nice little compartments for when not in use.
Introducing The Spirits
Picking Spirits in the game can sometimes be a hard choice because of the various playstyles. Some are aggressive while others are more defensive.
Shadows Flicker Like Flame
Shadows is good at picking off lone explorers and towns. Can increase the range on his abilities making certain cards, stronger. May rely on other allies for the more populated invaders.
Lightning’s Swift Strike
Lightning is great at destroying towns that the invaders build. The Thundering Destruction ability is a burst affair. A turn or two to position and build energy, but then big power turn. This Spirit is less good at containing invaders.
River Surges in Sunlight
River is capable of direct offense. Prefers to flood out Invaders and their towns.
Vital Strength of the Earth
Vital is strong but slow. It could cost the player more to gain new cards for the deck, than reclaiming power cards. Also very strong protection from the invader’s.
A Spread of Rampant Green
Fairly good at dealing with the towns, but not good with the invader’s themselves. This Spirit is able to get more presence onto the board than any other Spirit.
Thunderspeaker works through the Dahan. It’s presense moves with the Natives, and many of her abilities work through the people. When playing her, it is best to take Dahan-centric powers.
Ocean’s Hungry Grasp
Extremely good at assaulting the coasts where invader’s tend to be strong. Ocean’s presence can also shift constantly. This Spirit is best in the hands of a skillful player.
Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares
Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares is more a backup strategist. If you are constantly losing games as a team, Fear may be the way to go. Bringer turns damage into fear, which could get another form of win besides taking out the invader’s. Bringer’s only offense is the Dahan fighting back, so this Spirit is also best paired with other spirits.
There are quite a few Expansions for Spirit Island. The Biggest expansion by far is Jagged Earth, which is one of three that increase the number of players up to six. Jagged Earth alone introduces ten new spirits while others include one or two spirits. In total there are four Adversary cards that were added. Many expansions also included scenarios.
Spirit Island is a great game to play solo, or with friends. If you want a co-op game or even just a conquering solo game, Spirit Island is a great game to pick up. I thoroughly enjoy the combat, combining skills to take out the invader’s. Definitely make sure you have about two hours set aside to play as the game can get dragged out.
When you are familiar with the game, I also recommend trying out A Spread of Rampant Green, for constant revival’s and putting pressure on the invader’s. I also recommend Ocean’s Hungry Grasp. Ocean is fun to play with swallowing invader’s into the Ocean.
Mom of three, enjoy videogames, board games and phone games. I typically am playing Simulation games or FPS games.