It's big, bold and beautiful. The enormous size of the box, the hefty list of components, the multitude of options and the beauty of the design make The Colonists by Mayfair Games one of the most epic gaming experiences on the market. It says so on the box. Gamers rejoice.
From one to four players will represent the mayors of developing villages in the days of colonization. Those that can utilize their turn actions, make room for new workers, gather resources and manage their storage the best will be victorious.
The game board consists of hexagonal tiles containing a variety of action locations one might find in a developing village. There are merchants, embassies, production buildings and more. Each turn, players move their steward token around the village and activate the tiles they land on. Some tiles grant resources, development cards, purchases and other activities. More and more action tiles become available as the game progresses, and it's so cool to see how the village develops and changes over time.
A variety of buildings can be purchased throughout the game that grant special powers to the players. It's important for players to know what these buildings can do so they can be purchased at the right time.
Actions are limited to three each turn, so players will always be in a position of wanting to do more than they can each turn. Careful planning is vital. Players should develop a plan as the game evolves. Efficiency is rewarded by being able to do more than other players at the table.
A central game mechanism for The Colonists is the concept of storage. The resources that are gathered every turn must be placed in a storage area on a player's board. These areas can be managed and upgraded throughout the game. If there is not enough room on a player's board at the time the resources are gathered, the resources are wasted. Resources are hard to come by anyway, and losing even one resource can cost a player the game.
With a game this epic it is much appreciated that there are optional playtimes built in ranging from 30 to 240 minutes. The game is broken down into four eras and players can decide from the onset whether they want to play one or more eras.
The game ends when the specific amount of eras have been completed. The winner of the game is the person whose community is worth the most dollars. Dollars are given for the values of all of a player's buildings, embassies and permanent improvements. Dollars collected in the toolbox are also counted. As a final tally, each worker's value is counted.
The Colonists is a gamer's game. It would be hard to teach to someone who is brand new to the hobby. The concepts, level of strategy and incredible variety will appeal to those who appreciate deep games. But unlike many "heavy" games on the market, this game is sheer joy to play and surprisingly easy to learn. For gamers and game collectors, it's time to make room on the shelf. Find out more about the game here.