“You’ve come to make your fortune on Cooper Island, whose
untouched peninsulas stretch out like long arms into the wild Atlantic. With
two ships and a few workers, each of you has landed on a separate peninsula,
which you hope to explore, cultivate, and settle. But who will do this best?
And how? Will you expand your land quickly, or will you instead spend your
efforts cultivating it, making it more and more valuable and productive?”
Frosted Games along with Capstone Games have announced Cooper Island, a new complex strategy game from the brilliant mind of Andreas “ode.” Odendahl (La Granja). In Cooper Island, 2-4 players compete as explorers to colonize their island off the Atlantic peninsula. Players have 2 ships and a worker, and place landscape tiles over their island, gaining resources. Resources can be used to build structures with special abilities. Certain areas on the island are inaccessible and need to be cleared to gain access. Supply ships can come in from the Old World, helping the colonization.
As you can see, Cooper Island is a complex set of mechanical interlocking gears, melding together into a satisfying heavy euro game. The point scoring and tracking is yet another unique element to this game; each player marks their points by moving a small ship around the perimeter of their island. However, this ship can discover new lands, granting benefits to the player. After 5 rounds, the player with the most victory points is declared… well, the victor.
Solarius Mission is a space-faring eurogame from the creators of La Granja, Michael Keller II and Andreas “ode” Odendahl. It’s unique for being a 3X game, exhibiting all the features of the 4X genre minus the “eXtermination” (or combat), making for a relatively peaceful space epic as players expand, exploit, and explore the galaxy. Unfortunately, Solarius Mission saw a limited language distribution in 2016 via Spielworxx, although it still impressed many players with it’s familiar mechanics from La Granja and those inspired by Ora et Labora. Fortunately, Flying Lemur Games has announced that they’ve partnered with Spielworxx and obtained English language rights for publishing and they plan to start via Kickstarter, improving the components while they are at it. As described in their press release:
“This is a big game with lots of components – dice, cubes, tons of cardboard, minis, and cards – so we are pleased to be bringing it to Kickstarter within the next few months,” says Mischa Harris, CEO of Flying Lemur Game Studio. “And, we’re going to do it right, with a deluxe version to really make it pop on the table.”
This is excellent news for people around the world that have been waiting to play this game, especially fans of La Granja and deep, brisk eurogame sensibilities. Solarius Mission is a game that really deserves to see a wider audience, being a member of a small club of space-themed games that lacks interstellar conflict yet still keeping the gratifying sense of technological progression and discovery. It’s nicer still that this game will go through Kickstarter first, as the visuals of the first edition were frankly simple and lacking and could use the deluxe treatment. If you are interested in Solarius Mission and it’s upcoming Kickstarter, keep an eye on the Flying Lemur Games Twitter page for announcements and dates.
Looks like there’s no napping on the horizon on this farm as Stronghold Games expands the La Granja title with a new standalone dice game: La Granja: No Siesta.
No Siesta takes the dice mechanism from the original La Granja and streamlines it into a dice-rolling and drafting game where the most victory points at the end wins. Players are seeking to collect resources, hire helpers for special effects, build barns to store goods, and maybe even have a little siesta in the game!
Coming out at the end of November, fans of La Granja but not its length may find something to love in this game. For additional information, visit Stronghold Games’ website!