Nova Luna is an abstract tile placement game, co-designed by Uwe Rosenberg and Corné van Moorsel. It deserves praise for being on the shortlist for the 2020 Spiel des Jahres (Family Game of the Year) award. That’s a major accomplishment!
Translated from Latin, Nova Luna means ‘new moon’. To start the game, players begin with one tile. Others sit around a moon wheel, which represents the a new moon cycle. On your turn you move the crescent moon standee up to three clockwise places around the wheel. You take whichever tile among these spots that you want. Then, you place it next to one of your current tiles.
Tiles come in different colours, and each one has a ‘contract’ of sorts on it. The tasks involve having tile(s) of certain colours adjacent to that tile. (Or, groups of contiguous coloured tiles next to that tile.) Once you’ve completed the contract, you cover it with one of your moon markers. The aim is to be the first player to place all your markers down on your ever-growing array of tiles.
The wonderful challenge that comes with Nova Luna is that every time you pick a new tile, you’re taking on a new contract. Can you place it in a clever manner that it accomplishes many tasks with one placement? The moon wheel fills up again at regular intervals. Pick your tiles with care, keep an eye on what tiles lie ahead, and you could set yourself up for future turns! Players that can plan ahead will love Nova Luna, in a similar way to Patchwork (also by Rosenberg). Games like Nova Luna don’t get nominated for Family Game of the Year by accident – this is a gem!
Player Count: 1-4 Players
Time: 30-60 minutes