The newest iteration of the strategy genre by BrainGoodGames, Skyboats, is in the Euro game genre, and it is simply outstanding. Previous to SkyBoats, BrainGoodGames released Militia in December of 2015 and Axes and Acres in April of this year, both of which were very well received. SkyBoats mixes classic Euro Board Game mechanics with our own unique wind mechanic to create another deeply strategic single-player strategy game.
The developers are very clever, and have obviously playtested this design massively. I can easily see this as a multiplayer board game, where everyone is racing around trying to deliver goods and collect victory points. However, I digress. This is a single player PC strategy game, and it is brilliant. The tutorial explains everything very nicely, and you get into playing your first real game pretty quickly. Their leveling/ranking system keeps the games competitive, even though there is no A.I. to be found.
In SkyBoats you fly around picking up different goods to sell to cities. The goods also give you the ability to control the winds. Different goods have different wind shapes and when you play a wind the board will now have those wind spaces, and other boats can move into them to sail along the wind. When you sail on the wind your boats gain more prowess and will be able to sell their goods for more Glory Points, the in-game currency. Each wind pattern can also be flipped, allowing you to go the opposite directions. These winds also generate goods allowing you to control production.
Empty cargo holds can also provide other powers each turn (such as additional fuel). In each city, credits earned from selling goods can be used to spawn new goods, purchase ship upgrades, refuel, or sign lucrative contracts. Ending each turn allows for every cargo hold to be used again. Successfully placing cooperative wind patterns and seeking out the best goods is the key to getting far in Skyboats.
The game is lots of fun, quick playing, and there is definitely enough choices to make each turn to please even the hardcore Euro game veterans .With approachable game rules and random maps that increase replay value, SkyBoats is an interesting turn-based game with multiple layers of strategy. Give it a try. You’ll become a fan of BrainGoodGames. Then get Axes and Acres and Militia, their other brilliant games, though this is definitely my favourite title from them so far.
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