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Abstract pick up and deliver with tile placement. For having a strong spacial element, I wasn't expecting much. But it was more fun than I thought, and happy to have played it a few times.
Very brain burning but not in a fun way. The main scoring mechanism is frustrating since you have to constantly re-calculate acceptable temple positions. Bonus card iconography is confusing. There is not enough variety in actions for an hour-long game. Components are of nice quality but functionality suffers - the boats, for example, cover up the available routes.
A tile laying, pick up and deliver game This game can be very "puzzly" and some people struggle in their first playthrough just simply trying to orient their maps correctly. Once you "get it" the game is actually quite elegant.
GAMEPLAY Akrotiri is a pick-up-and-deliver game that features tile laying and two types of secret goal cards. Players lay down tiles that create new parts of islands, trade routes, and icons indicating certain landmarks. Then, they take a number of actions depending on how many temples they’ve excavated. Actions include movement, portage, getting a new tile, picking up resources, delivering resources, buying new map cards, or excavating temples. This last action is the meat of the game as the first player to excavate all their temples triggers the end of the game. Players then tally up points for their completed map cards and secret goal cards. THOUGHTS This is a decently meaty two-player game that is done and dusted in about 45-60 minutes. There are several considerations when planning your turn: where to place the tile so that routes, island shapes, and icons best match your interests; which action is going to be most beneficial for excavating or getting resources and selling them to the market; and how to beat your opponent to the best spots while meeting the criteria of your map and goal cards. The theme is fairly non-existent but, yet, a big selling point for me is the beauty of the game and its table presence. Akrotiri doesn’t blow my mind but I enjoy it and am happy to play it once or twice a year. PROS -The tiles are beautiful to look at and fit together to make all sorts of amazing island shapes. -Tiles, cards, ships, and cubes are all solid and good quality. -The map mechanic where you’re trying to lay tile icons in such a way as to fulfill the criteria of the map card is novel and interesting. -After you get past how map cards work, the rules are fairly straightforward making this an easy game to teach and play. -Satisfying pick-up-and-deliver gameplay. NEUTRAL -Akrotiri ends up being a sprawling game and requires a good deal of table space. CONS -The main board and player boards are just a thin bit of cardstock. Wish these were the same type of cardboard as the tiles. -Strategy feels the same from game to game: Always get the best paying map cards possible and try to excavate temples with them.
The map-building aspect of Akrotiri is both beautiful and fulfilling. The tiles look great as they slowly encompass the table, and the temples and boats are nice additions. Managing to satisfy your temple cards, while also ensuring an accessible route to it is neither complex or simple, but remains satisfying. Correctly choosing to pursue medium or hard temple cards is critical to controlling the pace of play, but the goal cards can be leveraged to unsuspectingly snatch victory from your opponent. The goal-drafting variant is a necessity to reduce what can otherwise be an unwarranted swing of luck near the end game. Akrotiri is easy on the eyes and the mind, making it a great cool down game.
(3/17) 8. A really interesting 2 player game with a lot of interesting aspects/mechanics. Tile laying, victory conditions based on spatial relativity (I think that describes it?), available action points which increase as those conditions get met... just a very unique, interesting game. Enjoyed it much more than I expected. (10/17) Drop to 7. Just don't play 2 players too often, but have my own copy coming, so that might help!