Top positive review
A combination of Scrabble and Uno. Quite fun.
February 11, 2016
I aquired a copy of this game recently and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.
Quick break down for you, this game is like a combination of Scrabble and Uno with a bit of chaining strategy built in. You place colored tiles of various symbols down on a gridded board that looks similar in a way to a scrabble board. Tiles can only be placed in a space if they are the same color or symbol to all of the tiles in spaces orthogonal to it. Also, beyond the first tile, you always must place a tile next to at least one other tile. Each player has a pool of tiles they're trying to get rid of to win. So there's no points like scrabble, just place all of your tiles to win. Each player is given a pool of tiles evenly divided among them, and a rack that can hold 5 tiles that only they can see which they play from. The rack gets filled at the end of a turn. You may place one tile down on your turn.
Since you only place one tile a turn by default, it doesn't sound too interesting. Whoever goes first would win right? Well, there's this added mechanic in the form of sunstones and halfstones. Basically, whenever you place a tile down adjacent to more than one tile (like a yellow tile next to two other yellow tiles, or a blue turtle next to a red turtle, blue dolphin, and a blue bird), you get a reward. If, when you place a tile, it's adjacent to two other tiles, you get a halfstone. If you place a tile next to 3 other tiles, you get a sunstone. If you place a tile in the middle of 4 other tiles, you get 2 sunstones (a move called a Latice). You can trade these stones in to make additional moves during your turn. 1 Sunstone or 2 Halfstones will allow you to place one additional tile. There are also sun spaces on the board. Placing any tile on the sun spaces gives you a sunstone as a reward.
One final mechanic of the game is the wind tile. Wind tiles don't get placed directly on the board, but they allow you to move a single tile already on the board before placing a new one. This lets you set up spaces to get more stones and make more legal moves available. You can even move a tile already on a sun space and place a new tile on that same sunspace getting a sunstone (and probably a halfstone and/or more sunstones for placing near multiple tiles). Chaining these stones is the key to winning, as you want to try to get close to depleting your entire 5 tile rack each turn.
It's pretty fast to both play and learn, and I've enjoyed playing it. The one complaint I would say is if you're color-blind it might be slightly more challenging. Each color has a pattern under it that's unique per color, but you might have to look at it more closely if your color-blindness is severe enough (though still possible, and at least they added that feature in).
Overall I've really enjoyed this game and I'm glad I bought it.