Blue Lagoon, published by Blue Orange Games and designed by Reiner Knizia and Tomek Larek, provides a Polynesian journey of discovery and exploration. It is an excellent gateway for families into the world of area control and set collection strategy gaming.
The game takes place on an archipelago of eight islands and covers two rounds. The beauty of Blue Lagoon lies in its simplicity that allows the strategy to be learnt at a perfect pace across the two rounds.
Players start by placing the settlers counters, boat side-up on any empty sea space, from here they can place counters on adjacent spaces, either continuing their expedition by sea or placing a counter villager side up on land as their tribe settles. As play develops and the board is populated, players move towards a number of randomly placed wooden resources and statuettes, placed at random, which will be vital for the successful survival of their tribe.
During their turn, players can place one of their five wooden settlement pieces on any island, on a space adjacent to any of their tribe pieces. The first round draws to a close once all players have played all their pieces or all of the resources and statuettes have been collected.
Round one is then scored, with tribe leaders gaining points for having the most populated island, placing villagers on seven or eight of the islands and linking islands together by a chain of their tribe counters. Players also gain points for the various sets of resources and statuettes their tribe have collected. The board is then cleared of all settlers and villagers and the resources are placed back in the Blue Lagoon bag, mixed up and then randomly replaced on the stone circles as before.
Play starts again, but this time villagers are placed as they move out from their wooden settlement. Tribe leaders explore the archipelago again from their island bases. At the end of round two, scores are calculated as before and the overall totals worked out. The winner is the tribe with the greatest total score.
The learning curve for Blue Lagoon is set perfectly and the two rounds allow players to pick up the simple rules easily and adapt their strategy as they learn. It plays well at all player counts between 2-4 and the artwork and quality of the components adds to the beauty of the game.
Blue Lagoon is a great game for those new to gaming and families but has enough strategy thrown in to meet the needs of a wide variety of gamers. It is an absolutely lovely game and a lot of fun, the theme is strong throughout and it is well balanced providing a perfect stepping stone into area control and set collection gaming.
Player Count: 2-4
Time: 30-45 Minutes