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New to Kickstarter – Coral Islands

Coral Islands - New to Kickstarter
Coral Islands - New to Kickstarter

Alley Cat Games (publishers of Dice Hospital and Pocket Pharma) are back with Coral Islands. A two-in-one game featuring dice rolling, dice stacking and pattern building, with a splash of player interaction. Both these games look stunning but how do they play? Read on to find out what I thought of them when I played them with Caezar from Alley Cat Games.

Coral Islands - The Games

In Coral players are trying to repopulate a coral reef on a shared board. The coral is represented by lovely translucent dice which are stacked on top of other dice to make patterns. Players are trying to create patterns of dice based on the structure cards displayed. The structure cards are public and involve your opponent’s dice as well as your own. So, careful placement of your dice to help you but not your opponent is critical.

In addition, when placing the dice players must stack a dice of a higher value than the die below it. A pip value of one is a wild and can be placed on any die and six is the highest. Fish tokens, which are earned if a player does not claim a structure card or if they place the third and top level die, allow players to increase/decrease the pip value of their die. Using three fish tokens allow players to place two dice in a turn.

The 3D dice stacking element of this game is brilliant, it makes players look at the board from all directions and makes for some interesting and unique feeling gameplay. I really enjoyed my time spent with this game.

Coral Islands Kickstarter - Coral Promotional Image
Coral Islands Kickstarter - Coral Promotional Image (Credit: Alley Cat Games)

In Islands, players are conservation charities, moving dice around archipelago islands, stacking them on top of other dice, in an effort to escape the rising sea levels. There are six different coloured dice representing the six different landscapes of the islands.

Each round a card is added to each of the three stacks available and the active player will select one of these stacks. The player will then select one of the cards in the stack to move that coloured die the number of spaces equal to the cards in the stack. When moving a die its pip value is increased by one and it has to be placed on top of another die of lower value. Each stack has a rule changing specialist associated with it and are activated when the stack is taken.

At the end of the game the player who has specialised the most in a particular landscape will get to select a stack of dice with that particular die on top and score points based on the number of dice in the stack. Then, the next player will do the same and it will keep going back and forth until all the stacks have been taken for the landscape. This is repeated for all the landscapes. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Islands is another lovely looking game and offers a very different gameplay to Coral. There is a lot of player interaction as you are constantly checking who has the majority of certain landscapes, taking landscapes cards to deny your opponent, manipulating the die stacks to block people as well as trying to keep your majority landscapes on top. It is a fun game and enjoyed my playthrough of this also.

Thoughts ahead of the KS Launch

Coral Islands offers two excellent games in a single box. Although they employ a similar mechanic (dice stacking) they are two very different games, both of which look gorgeous and offer very interesting gameplay. I enjoyed both of these games for different reasons, Coral for the 3D pattern building and Islands for the interesting player interaction and choices offered.

Coral Islands is scheduled to go live on Kickstarter tomorrow and is worth checking out. Based on Alley Cat Games' previous releases and my playthrough of both games, this is an instant back for me.

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Zatu Games is rated 4.90 based on 9947
Reviews

I was afraid due to being ordering from Spain, but all worked perfectly! Great!

I was afraid due to being ordering from Spain, but all worked perfectly! Great!

Zatu are a good place to get games for reasonable prices in the UK. Their service is quick, and I've yet to come across any problems with them.

Zatu are a good place to get games for reasonable prices in the UK. Their service is quick, and I've yet to come across any problems with them.

Everything went great; fast delivery, good price.

Everything went great; fast delivery, good price.

Very competitive prices and delivered super fast. No complaint at all. Would use again and recommend.

Very competitive prices and delivered super fast. No complaint at all. Would use again and recommend.

Excellent website so glad I found it as it's hard to find certain games in UK. But Zatu definatelly opened my game world once again. Great prices too and super fast dispatch and delivery. Will definitely recommend it to everyone! Thanks Adi x

Excellent website so glad I found it as it's hard to find certain games in UK. But Zatu definatelly opened my game world once again. Great prices too and super fast dispatch and delivery. Will definitely recommend it to everyone! Thanks Adi x

The service I have received both by email and over the phone from Zatu has been very good. I have had a few issues with the subscription box they offer but only due to website and transaction problems. The actual subscription and the games contained within are excellent and we look forward to it each month.

The service I have received both by email and over the phone from Zatu has been very good. I have had a few issues with the subscription box they offer but only due to website and transaction problems. The actual subscription and the games contained within are excellent and we look forward to it each month.

Let's keep it simple. They have alot of games at good prices. I ordered from the Netherlands, everything arrived within a week. When I asked a question they responded the same day. I order a lot of games online, Zatu is now always one of the first I look up.

Let's keep it simple. They have alot of games at good prices. I ordered from the Netherlands, everything arrived within a week. When I asked a question they responded the same day. I order a lot of games online, Zatu is now always one of the first I look up.

First time using Zatu, insane pre-order discounts for YuGiOh boxes, also stacked a 5% discount and got a freebie dice mat arena from Zatu (really good quality). Shipping was prompt and everything was well packaged. 0 complaints, 1000% will use again and recommend :) !

First time using Zatu, insane pre-order discounts for YuGiOh boxes, also stacked a 5% discount and got a freebie dice mat arena from Zatu (really good quality). Shipping was prompt and everything was well packaged. 0 complaints, 1000% will use again and recommend :) !

I purchased Azul from Zatu Games. The game was easy to order and arrived really quickly. I have seen a couple of other games on the Zatu Games website, which look great so will be getting those to add to my collection.

I purchased Azul from Zatu Games. The game was easy to order and arrived really quickly. I have seen a couple of other games on the Zatu Games website, which look great so will be getting those to add to my collection.

Quick and reliable.

Quick and reliable.

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