Yamatai

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Rating Summary (24 Total)

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Beautiful board and art. Good game play.

10/25/2019

GAMEPLAY In Yamatai, players are island-hopping developers (I guess?) who are trying to make Queen Himiko smile by the amount of VP they collect. Whatever! On a turn, a player chooses a tile that determines what boats they get, what rule breaker they get, and what place they’ll be in the turn order next round. Then, they can use a market action to buy or sell a boat, place boats and either take culture tokens or build buildings, and finally spend culture tokens to buy specialists. VP are collected from buildings, money, specialists, and by networking bonuses. The game ends when supplies run out for one of four things: boats, buildings, building tiles, or specialists. THOUGHTS This is a Days of Wonder game so you know the production is through the roof: thick cardboard, lovely artwork, and big chunky pieces. In terms of game play, I should say that I’m basing this off of the two-player game. I was worried that the phases of a turn would lead to a lot of downtime but it’s not bad at all. The other concern that is a big to-do with this game, apparently, is AP. Compared to Cathala’s Five Tribes, I don’t see nearly as much AP in Yamatai. However, the critique that an action taken on your move simply helps your opponent by either clearing the culture tokens or by adding a building’s necessary ships around the islands is real and can cause a lot of frustration. Personally, in a two-player game where I got to take two turns a round, and sometimes two turns in a row, I didn’t mind the occasional instance where I set my opponent up for a decent move because I knew somewhere down the line, I could pounce on a similar bit of good luck. However, one play made me realize that I would never want to play this with more than two. While the buildings are boring—just simple recipe-fulfillment cards—the specialists pick up the slack in giving you some great abilities that could combo nicely. But all this is to say that I wouldn’t say no to another two-player game of Yamatai but I can’t see myself ever suggesting it again. Pretty to look at, and despite some interesting or frustrating player interaction, the bling of the components alone is not enough to draw me back in. It also outstays its welcome a bit too long but that might change after more plays. POSITIVES -Amazing production quality. Not one part of the game feels cheap or under-produced. Artwork is also stunning but I understand that it is not colorblind-friendly, unfortunately. -Specialists have the potential to make for some interesting combos. -I thought the procedural part of the game would make for lots of downtime but it ended up being negligible. Pleasant surprise. -Variable paths to victory. NEUTRALS -Probably not good at three or more players but I haven’t tried it. I could see there being too much chaotic player interaction in between one turn and the next. Sitting after a poor player would allow a strong player to clean up. -Although I like the variable end conditions, it felt like it outstayed its welcome. Game probably ends faster with more players. NEGATIVES -Building tiles are not interesting – just order fulfillment. -Didn’t grab me: In a world of more interesting Euros, there are simply too many games I’d rather be playing.

10/18/2019

http://meeplelikeus.co.uk/yamatai-2017/ http://meeplelikeus.co.uk/yamatai-2017-accessibility-teardown/

3/28/2019

Based on a 3-player game: A very interesting game, effectively forcing you to help the other players before you can help yourself. Love the way the fleet tiles work, combining what you can do this turn with player order next turn "if I take this now, I can go first with this more powerful tile next time..." Curious to see how it works with 4 players. Knew I'd buy it for the art, but enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

3/16/2019

Really enjoyable and much more difficult than we expected. There unfortunately isn’t much strategizing—it’s purely tactical because you can’t plan too far ahead because you’re opponent will probably mess it up. The production quality & illustrations are amazing! The insert isn’t as nice as Quadropolis but works okay.

2/14/2019

Really enjoyable and much more difficult than we expected. There unfortunately isn’t much strategizing—it’s purely tactical because you can’t plan too far ahead because you’re opponent will probably mess it up. The production quality & illustrations are amazing! The insert isn’t as nice as Quadropolis but works okay.

2/14/2019

With English rules printed in color.

1/11/2019

The visual production of Yamataï is engrossing. The vibrant culture tokens, stout wooden buildings, and beautifully drawn specialists establish an immersive world that has prominent table presence. Sadly the rest of the game lacks this same luster. The board state is highly transient and turns are lengthy, both of which contribute to severe downtime issues. The selection of ship tiles and its effects on turn order are notable, but the lack of thoughtful strategy fail to attract players back for more.

1/11/2019