Isla Dorada

(Written Review by Jimmy Hudson, No Video)

I am excited to do a video review on this game and will be working to get one up soon. For now take a read through and browse the pictures below.

Ages:10 & Up
Players: 3 – 6
Play Time: 90 minutes
Designer: Pier Giorgio Paglia
Andrea Angiolino
Bruno Faidutti
Alan R. Moon
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games

From the Box:

Guide your expedition through hazardous terrain and hostile territory, exploring the wonders of Isla Dorada while you compete to find the most treasure among your fellow explorers. Designed by the creative team of Bruno Faidutti, Alan R Moon, Andrea Angiolino, and Piergiorgio Paglia, Isla Dorada is a board game of strategic bidding and exploration for 3-6 players.

In Isla Dorada, players join together to form an expedition, navigating through a mysterious and treasure-ridden island. However, since each player is competing to be the one explorer to find the most treasure, they each have their own treasure maps and their own secret motivations. To move the expedition, players bid cards that allow them to move the expedition through certain terrain. Whoever wins the bid gets to move the expedition and potentially find their hidden treasure.

Thoughts on the game

I am a sucker for the treasure island, robinson crusoe theme. I don’t know why but I love being on an island looking for treasure. So when I saw this game I had to pick it up. Although I picked it up it sat on my shelf for a while. I forced it to the table and dug into the rules. I only took one read through to get the basic understanding and I was able to teach it pretty quickly. There were only a few rules we didn’t understand. The rules were written to teach you a round of the game. And it was easy to understand the cards played because the game came with some great player aids.

In Islas Dorada you move throughout the island together but each person has their own secret goals. At the beginning of each round you bid, based on the cards you have in your hand, on which way the team goes. Each round you draw new cards and try to get the team to go you towards certain locations and steer away from locations. Really simple concept.

Pros

The components to this game are awesome. Really good artwork and some cool miniatures. I love the cards, tokens, and game board. I can’t think of any place that they cut corners.

They included player aid cards that tell you what each card in the game can do. Without those cards I think we would have been passing the instruction booklet around the table the whole night.

The game includes included enough “special” cards to keep it interesting but not so many that it negated the “bidding” process of moving the team around the board.

Some special thought was put into the game board. They wrote the names of the locations both right side up and upside down so that wherever you are seated in location to the board you’ll be able to read the names of the locations. I thought that was nice.

In the game you are given 10 pieces of gold and you won’t be able to earn extra gold. So you can either hoard it until the end to gain points or use it throughout the game to purchase extra adventure cards. I loved this feature and it became a big deal during our game.

Cons

I can’t really think of anything major wrong with the game play or components. I really like this game.

Final thoughts

At first I thought the game was going to be too simple. I actually thought the game was going to be boring and quick. I was wrong. It played great and we had a number of memorable moments. The end of the game was fantastic as everyone revealed their secret “destiny” cards and the winner was revealed. There was a tie for second and first only won by a single point. We all really felt like we were in it until the end. I loved that.

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