Carcassonne is by far one of my favorite games. I talk about modding one of the big box sets out with the Broken Token insert. There is something special about the way the game feels while building a map of a kingdom. The feeling of gaining points after positioning tiles on the table so that you can build up roads, farms, & cities.
Carcassonne itself isn’t alone when it comes to the name in the title. Oh, no. There is a wide range of stand-alone games from Z-Man for Carcassonne. One of which is called Carcassonne: South Seas.
As a stand alone game for an already established series, Carcassonne South Seas is great. Now there are a few differences between the original & this version. For one there is only one small expansion for it, but that really doesn’t matter for this version. Another is that some of the mechanics change.
In South Seas you still lay the tiles out just like in the original. This time you match up tropical islands, wooden bridges, & the sea. Your meeples are Islanders & fishermen instead of followers that turn into knights, monks, & farmers.
Of course you need the most points to win the game & in order to do that you can need to collect bananas, sea shells, & fish to buy ships that are worth points.
Collecting resources are actually really simple. Place an Islander on an ending set of wood bridges that have sea shells just like placing a thief on the roads in the original to collect points.
When collecting bananas you will have to connect island tiles with an Islander. Finish an island & you can collect the corresponding amount of bananas on that island.
Collecting fish from the sea has a really interesting mechanic. Sea tiles will contain one fish, two fish, no fish, or a boat. You will collect fish by placing a fisherman, like a farmer in the field, onto the sea. The next part of the process is to place a sea tile with a boat into your sea zone. Interesting part of this mechanic is that once you take your fish you will use a boat token & place over a fish emblem.
So what do you do with all of these resources? Depending on how many players there are you will have a set of number of ship tokens out. Each ship token has a set of resources you have to turn in to purchase it. At the end of the game you will tally up all the points on all of your ships.
Oh yeah…there is one other way to get ships. In the original Carcassonne there are tiles with monasteries. Well, in Carcassonne South Seas there are marketplace tiles. Capture a marketplace tile & you can immediately take any of the ships that have points on it without paying the resource cost.
At the end of the game everyone will count how many points that have on their ships. Every three resources are worth one point. The player with the most points will win the game.
I’m not going to lie about Carcassonne: South Seas. I love playing this game. Well, I love playing any Carcassonne really, but that is a different tale. Carcassonne South Seas, however, is similar to the original but there are little differences in the way it plays. It is a game you can teach children as young as 8 years old. It is a great family game.
I give this a 5 out of 5 stars for being fun & family friendly.
Lets head to the South Seas & get to building those bridges from island to island & game on!