Welcome to Which Game First where we boldly explore the hilariously huge world of board games. Did we unearth any hidden treasures you’ve been missing out on? Let’s find out!
First up: We lay tiles in the light of the silvery moon in Nova Luna
Next: We pray tiles don’t fail us in the shadow of the sun god in Ra (Pharaoh Edition)
And lastly: We use our cards farm both day and night in Pomegranate Planet
Designed by: Uwe Rosenberg, Corné van Moorsel
Published by: Edition Spielwiese and Stronghold Games (2019)
Players: 1 – 4
Ages: 8 & up
Playing time: 30 minutes
Nova Luna (latin for new moon) is an abstract tile tile-laying game, where the goal is to be the first player to successfully place all 20 of their scoring markers onto tiles.
On each turn, a player chooses one of three available tiles situated around a large circular board. Wherever your marker is on the board, choose one of the next three tiles from your position. Tiles come in 4 colors. Each tile has one, two, or three possible scoring tasks to fulfill.
To fulfill a task, place tiles of the correct color adjacent to the task you want to complete. For example, a tile might have a task on it to place a yellow tile adjacent to it. Or, a tile might have a task in which you have to place a yellow tile, an orange tile, and a blue tile adjacent to it.
Each time a task is solved, place one of your markers on it. Be the first one to place all your markers and bask in the glow of victory by the light of the silvery moon!
Ra (Pharaoh Edition)
Designed by: Reiner Knizia
Published by: new edition by 25th Century Games (2023) / Originally published in 1999
Players: 2 – 5
Ages: 12 & up
Playing time: 30 – 60 minutes
Ra is an auction and set-collection game with an ancient Egyptian theme. In turn, players draw a tile from the bag and place it on the sun chart. At any time, a player may initiate a bidding round to try and win all of the tiles on the chart. Tiles can be useful, detrimental, or they can simply move the Sun Boat across the sky (which is effectively the game clock). The bidding starts with the player to the left, and they can either pass or bid using their bidding tiles (aka suns). Suns are numbered 1 through 13, 13 is the highest bid. If you win the bid, collect the tiles, resolve any disaster tiles, and place all the other tiles on to your scorecard in their appropriate sections. Each section has different scoring rules. Watch out for that sun chart … as the Sun Boat moves across the sky, the round draws to a close. The game lasts for only 3 rounds. Score at the end of each round and score the game end points after the 3rd round. Highest point total wins, hur_rah!
Designed by: Ben Krieger, Josh Paugh
Published by: Paw Warrior Games (2020)
Players: 2 – 4
Ages: 11 & up
Playing time: 30 – 60 minutes
Pomegranate Planet is a blind auction card game, where the players are pomegranate farmers trying to grow the most productive pom fields.
Each player receives a stack of 15 pom pebble cards. Players will use these cards to bid on market cards. Market cards include things like seeds, water, fertilizer, special tools, and dreaded pests.
Each turn, five market cards are placed face up in the center of the table. Players will bid on each card by placing one of their pom pebble cards face down in front of the market card. Generally speaking, the highest bid will win that card. In the case of a tie in a game with 3 or 4 players, the second highest bid will win the card.
Place the cards you win into your inventory. When there are five or more cards in your inventory, use them all to plant one of your three fields.
First player to plant their third field triggers the end game; score all points, and the victor becomes the King or Queen of The Pom!