All the way from Finland comes an impishly interactive game featuring four colored elements (Earth, Air, Water, and Fire). Each edge space of the hexagonal grid illustrates one of the elements. Fourteen scoring spaces are valued from 7 to 10. Random element tiles occupy other spaces. You have 14 Elementals in your color and start with four random tiles (replenished when used).
Each turn, place a tile on a vacant non-scoring space and optionally add an Elemental to it. The Elemental’s strength equals the value of the tile it occupies plus the values of all adjacent matching tiles and/or edge spaces-less that of each adjacent countering tile/space. Countering offers entertaining ways to frustrate opponents: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire respectively counter Air, Water, Fire, and Earth.
Before placement, you may spend any number of Elementals to discard one tile and draw another-often a tempting endgame ploy because unused and spent Elementals earn 3 points each when play ends, which happens when the board is covered. Highest strength in Elementals adjacent to a scoring space earns its points; tied players share the points (rounded down). Highest score triumphs.
In the even more challenging variant for teams of two experienced (and patient) players, the strengths of friendly Elementals are added to determine which team wins the surrounding points.
You’re a playful parachutist aiming for a prime landing spot on the 3x3 grid that starts with a random facedown card (valued from 1 to 4 on the back) on each space. These nine unknown cards not in play possibly include the solitary “Crash.” A die roll determines which vacant spot your colored parachute initially occupies. Deal everyone three cards.
Each turn, either draw a card (maximum hand is four) or play one. Most cards let you move any parachute to an orthogonally adjacent space. Parachutes can even move off one side the board to enter the same row of column on the opposite side. When two contestants occupy the same spot, a die roll determines who moves the other to any vacant spot. Other cards, for example, let you move all parachutes in one row or column in one direction, roll to gain points, or target one or more opponents to lose points. Defensive cards (playable out of turn) thwart an opponent’s attempt to move you, reverse the direction of his proposed movement, or avoid losing points.
Rounds seem to end as quickly as a free fall-after everyone has taken only one turn. Earn points equal to the value of your spot. Whoever had the advantage of taking the last turn in the previous round plays first in the new round.
Many cards illustrate a parachute. After 10 rounds, everyone draws two cards. A player with the Crash may now reveal it to force one player to withdraw by losing points equal to the value of his spot. Others reveal cards and gain points equal to, double, or triple their spot with respectively one, two or three parachutes. Highest score lands victoriously.
Explorers matching the colored dice begin in the Great Chamber linking two sides of the perimeter, where 12 of the 26 spaced are numbered -6 to +6. The White Scarab begins on +1 and the Black Scarab on -1. You start with six treasures, and two differently colored pyramids. We especially recommend play with three or four, when everyone shares one color with a competitor.
The first player rolls all dice. Discard one to move the matching Explorer the number rolled, using either exit of the Great Chamber and continuing clockwise. Subsequent players roll remaining dice, until, when all but one have been rolled, all discarded dice return. Only one Explorer at a time may take a shortcut through the empty Great Chamber, ending movement there to exit at the opposite side when next moving.
An Explorer reaching the White Scarab ends movement. Players with pyramids matching the Explorer earn treasures equal to the Scarab’s space. The Scarab shifts to the next highest positive space, where Explorers there also earn treasures. Shifting continues until a vacant positive space is reached, or the Scarab jumps from +6 to the Great Chamber. Matching pyramids similarly lose treasures at the Black Scarab. Play ends when both Scarabs enter the Great Chamber, or an Explorer enters it with a Scarab present that will earn or lose seven treasures for matching pyramids. Most treasures win.
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