Date: 1st October 2004
Game played: Iglu Iglu ( Goldsieber ) BGG Id: 9509

Iglu Iglu is a game by Bruno Faidutti and Bruno Cathala that was released at Nurnberg this year. It is all about inuits hunting animals and fish on an island of ice, which is slowly melting. At the end of the game players score victory points for the creatures they have caught and for occupying island areas.

The board shows an 8x8 square grid, onto which ice tiles are placed. The centre four squares are left uncovered and this is water into which some fish tokens are placed. In the four player game, each person controls 3 inuits who are placed at the edge of the board to start with. On a player's turn, they must firstly melt an ice tile: They remove a tile that is adjacent to water, look at the symbol on the reverse and either carry out the action represented by the symbol or, if it has a red border, keep it unseen by the others, to be played later when the drawing player decides. The symbols will direct you to do things like place fish tokens or a polar bear in the sea space you just created, create a pack ice space onto which a fox is placed, move animals around, or cause an ice tile to drift. Once you've dealt with melting ice you then have 3 action points with which to move your inuits, hunt animals/fish, or build an igloo. After your actions, it becomes the next player's turn. As the game proceeds, separate areas of ice are created and players can try to control these areas by placing inuits and igloos in them. Eventually, it will not be possible for someone to melt an ice tile and play ends. Each area is examined to see who has the strongest tribe in it (each inuit counts 1 and an igloo 2). The strongest tribe or tribes (if tied) then get 1VP for each tile in the area; the second strongest tribe(s) get half that value. However, if you're alone in an area, you get the squared value of the area. To this area score is added the point value of the animals/fish and whoever then has the highest total wins.

In our game, pack ice created a potentially very large area in one part of the board. Mark G looked to have the strongest tribe but on the very last turn John built an igloo in that area to tie Mark's tribe strength. They shared the points (14 each) and John's greater holding of animals gave him just enough to win. Nige was hoping to create a nice little 4 square area which he alone occupied (potentially giving him 16 points) but, on my last turn, I managed to thaw the space he occupied with one of my red-bordered tiles, that I had kept for just such a ploy, and sent his inuit away to a corner of the board. The game was ok but I thought perhaps a little long. It is very difficult to get control of an area and keep it as, once you show a strong presence in an area, it is often easy for the others to reduce the area's size by melting the tiles at its edges. I think it could be quite good as a two-player game though. The others all felt it was good but nothing really special.

Mark G

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