Tuesday, October 23, 2012

First plays: Luna....

Stefan Feld is very hit or miss for me.  In The Year of The Dragon is a total masterpiece of simple, agonizing choices but I found Macao to be a cluttered mess that had a decision tree which expanded to infinity by the final rounds.  Lately it seems his game have gotten even more involved so I must admit I was a bit wary of Luna: In the Domain of the Moon Priestess.  One can only do a single action per turn but there are about 19 different actions one can take (I'm not actually kidding here).

I've now played a couple games, one solo learning game and now a game with the full capacity of 4 and my feelings are rather mixed.  On one hand the theme is unusual and rather lovely and the game feels very interactive and dynamic.  On the other hand, for a game that takes almost 90 minutes over 6 rounds, there is no story arc and little opportunity for any long-term strategy.  Despite the ridiculous number of options the gameplay is mainly tactical due to the fact that any workers you can get into the temple will most likely be kicked out later anyways.  One also has the option to build shrines which offer some bonuses but it seemed that every play built them when given the opportunity so there was little diversity in strategies.  For a game with such a learning curve, playing it still feels a bit shortsighted.

Still, I would probably play again if only to solidify my opinion now that I think I have some semblance of what the hell is going on.  Fun game, but I think not enough of a payoff for the amount of work involved.

Islands surrounding the temple

The path surrounding the island temple

Mater builder just chilling on the isle of waves

Ladies and Gentleman, these are your options....

Everyone wants to get with the Priestess!