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Board Game Spotlight: Islebound

Board Game Geek Rating: 7.8 / 10
Matt’s Thoughts: Ryan Laukat is one of the very few designers working in the industry that does art and design, and the result is a beautiful, coherently meshed game, with excellent mechanics that will find a home at almost anyone’s table. From Above and Below, to City of Iron, Laukat has consistently delivered excellent games that I strongly recommend everyone at least be familiar with, and probably own. 
In the board game Islebound, you take command of a ship and crew and sail in a mystical archipelago filled with bustling towns, sea monsters, pirates, and gold! Compete to build the best sea-faring nation with up to three friends by collecting treasure, hiring crew, and conquering or befriending island towns.

You sail to island towns, collecting resources, hiring crew, and commissioning buildings for your capital city. Each building has a unique ability, and your combination of buildings can greatly enhance your strength as a trader, builder, or invader. You also recruit pirates and sea monsters to conquer towns, which, once conquered, allow you to complete the town action for free, and charge a fee to opponents if they want to use it. Alternatively, you can complete events that give influence, which can be used to befriend towns.

There are many routes to success. Will you be a ruthless conqueror, careful diplomat, or shrewd merchant in your race to the top?

The player with the most wealth and most-impressive capital city will win the game!