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Atiwa

RRP: £53.99
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RRP £53.99
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ATIWA, the new game by successful author Uwe Rosenberg, takes us to a farm in Ghana in West Africa. As a family of fruit farmers, the players learn that fruit bats – once scorned and hunted as mere fruit thieves – are in fact incredibly useful animals. Although the nocturnal animals continue to eat fruit from the trees, they also spread the seeds over large areas of the …
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Category Tags , , SKU ZBG-LOG0161 Availability 3+ in stock
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • The compelling theme
  • The management of your supply board
  • Challenging solo mode

Might Not Like

  • Some intricacies on bat placements
  • “Advanced Level” might be misleading
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Description

ATIWA, the new game by successful author Uwe Rosenberg, takes us to a farm in Ghana in West Africa.

As a family of fruit farmers, the players learn that fruit bats - once scorned and hunted as mere fruit thieves - are in fact incredibly useful animals. Although the nocturnal animals continue to eat fruit from the trees, they also spread the seeds over large areas of the country. That way, they help to reforest fallow land and - in the medium term - improve harvests. This realization has led to a symbiotic cooperation between fruit bats and fruit farmers. The animals are kept as "pets" to increase the size of fruit farms more quickly. Tall trees are left as roosts, providing shelter for them rather than hunting them for their scant meat. However, if you have a lot of fruit bats, you need a lot of space...

In the game, you develop a small community near the Atiwa Range, where you creat housing for new families and share recently gained knowledge on the negative effects of mining! Not only this, but the importance that the fruit bats have for the environment. You must acquire new land, manage your animals and resources, and make your community prosper. The player who best balances the needs of their community and the environment wins.

Good to know: A single colony of 150,000 fruit bats (AKA flying foxes) can contribute to the reforestation of 800 ha of forest within a year!

Atiwa is a one to four player worker placement, resource management game, designed by Uwe Rosenberg and published by Lookout Games. Atiwa is a region in southeastern Ghana with steep-sided hills and flat summits. The region consists of evergreen forests and is home to many endangered species. The Mayor of the nearby town of Kibi is giving shelter to fruit bats in his own garden. The Mayor has recognised the importance of these species that sleep during the day and head out at sunset in search of food. These bats excrete the seeds of the consumed fruit and spread them across large areas.

In Atiwa you develop a small community near the Atiwa range. You will create housing for new families, share your knowledge of the negative effects of mining and the importance of fruit bats in the environment. You will need to acquire new land, manage animals and resources and develop your community.

Atiwa is played over seven rounds, with each round consisting of a work phase in which players will take three actions, followed by a maintenance phase.

In the work phase, players will be placing workers to perform a variety of different actions such as gaining new resources (from their supply board), acquiring new terrain and location tiles (to build up their tableau) and spending resources. Resources (fruit, wild animals, goats and trees) are taken from your own player supply board and new terrain and locations tiles are placed below your player board. Tiles will depict a range of different icons ranging from the above mentioned resources to bats to houses. The shown resource can be placed on the respective space. There are some basic placement rules about placing resources, wild animals and bats in certain locations which I will not go into detail here.

After a player has performed an action they can, optionally, perform the fruit bat action, but only if they have 1) at least three fruit bats, 2) at least one fruit in their tableau, 3) at least one tree left on their supply board and 4) at least room for one tree. The player can take the three fruit bats from their tableau and move them to their night card, spending one fruit and taking one tree.

After the three actions the maintenance phase proceeds which consists of seven steps:

  1. Receive income based on the number of families the player has acquired. Each trained family collects one gold, each untrained family receives between zero and two gold, drawn from a bag, but also causes you to place a pollution marker in your tableau.
  2. Players then receive trees, fruit and fruit bats based on the number of resources removed from their supply board.
  3. Next, all fruit bats on the night cards are returned to the player’s tableau.
  4. Players must then feed their families based on the difference between the number of goats removed from their supply board and the number displayed on the family row. Goats, wild animals, fruit and gold can be used for food.
  5. Each round a set criteria must be met in order to breed. If any player has met the required demands then a player may receive new families or animals or both depending on the round.
  6. All workers are returned from the worker placement spots.
  7. Any remaining terrain cards are discarded and new ones put in place.

The game will proceed this way for seven rounds at which point players gain victory points for gold, terrain cards, resources removed from their supply board, trained families and fruit bats. Points are deducted for missing food. The player with the most points is the winner.

Final Thoughts

Uwe Rosenburg is well known for his farming and feeding your people type games. His games have been hit or miss with me in the past. Caverna is probably my favourite to date. The theme of Atiwa is what drew me in initially. I love the idea of a farming game where you are trying to work with nature to achieve your goals. So, how does Atiwa play? Lets find out.

Not Really “Advanced”

On the surface Atiwa looks like a big complex euro. It has “Advanced Level” written on the box. There are a decent amount of components, however, I personally find it more mid-weight in complexity. Sure, there are a decent amount of rules and a seven step income phase but after a few games it flows very well and is relatively easy to teach and play.

What To Do, When?

There are several aspects of Atiwa that I really enjoy. The way that action tiles move from round to round is very interesting and can create some tense gameplay moments as you are hoping no one goes to the space you desperately need. There are some static placement spots that don’t change from game to game but some that are variable and I like the variability. There is a decent selection of terrain tiles which are all different and varied adding to the variability. I appreciate both of these things as it will make you change your overall strategy from game to game.

Supplies For You

Another aspect that I enjoy is Atiwa is your supply board. You have your own personal supply board that you remove and add resources to as your progress through the game. Balancing this and managing your resources is very compelling. The more resources you remove the better rewards, but as you spend resources they re-populate your supply board. I love this mechanism and it is so simple.

The thematic touch of the untrained workers creating pollution for your community is a great addition. It always pains me to pollute my tableau, especially if I have to destroy a resource, or worse, a bat. It makes you think about what you are doing and pushes the theme of working with nature and the fruit bats for the greater good.

Going Alone

The solo mode is also interesting and borrows from games like A Feast For Odin. At the end of the first round, you don’t remove your workers, but leave them on the board, blocking spaces for several rounds. You only have yourself to blame when you are blocked out of an action. This creates an additional level of planning but a more predictable one as you control which spaces get blocked and when. It also means there is very little, if any, upkeep in the solo game which is always a massive bonus.

Overall, I think Atiwa is a fantastic game. It is high up in my ranks of Uwe games. I think the theme is appealing, the management of your supply board interesting and the solo mode is great.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • The compelling theme
  • The management of your supply board
  • Challenging solo mode

Might not like

  • Some intricacies on bat placements
  • Advanced Level might be misleading