Tiki Island: Build Islands and Escort your Islanders

 Game: Tiki Island Players: 2- 6
 Publisher: Great Wight Games Age: 12+
 Time: 30 minutes Replayability: 7/ 10

tiki island Tiki Island: Build Islands and Escort your Islanders

Tiki Island is a game with Pocket God graphics and tile placement gameplay. The game is simple, escort your islanders from your native island to the island directly across from them. This is all done and seen on a grid map of six islands and later placed island tiles that will be paving the way to victory. Each team is built up of three islanders and a tiki. The difference between the two meeple types are the tiki’s act as the teams range for building and action cards. The rules are thorough which makes initial game interaction into gameplay under five minutes and the game experience easy to understand. I really enjoy the textured card stock Tiki Island uses for their cards and components and found the board to be of high quality as well. The game is simple, on your turn choose between an advanced action, using a rune card, or a basic action–presented in either a dice roll, your hand of cards, or a selection of some basic actions respectively. Dice rolls will activate advanced actions based on outcome and can provide you with more than one basic action. these are great for strategically playing cards down and being able to begin movement. Rune cards can offer a variety of different powers including permanents, buffs, attacks, and miscellaneous events. Basic attacks are great for turns you find absolutely necessary to take and don’t want to risk not using. Once all your players have placed enough island tiles to reach the opposite island , you win!

My Experience

I played a three player game mostly because two of the reviewers were able to make it and also because I was curious how this game would play with an odd number of players. Being a board game about moving your meeples from one side of the map to the other, I felt the player with no head on defender may have an advantage. I wanted to test this situation out. I began my turn (as green obviously) by rolling a three granting me +2 move and +1 build. I placed my tile in front of my tiki and moved both my tiki and an islander onto the new island (two islanders cannot occupy a single spot, however, a tiki and islander can). The second player (also the player with no direct opponent) rolled a six (any option or an opportunity to destroy a permanent rune card) and chose to receive the benefits of a roll of two. she built two tiles in front of her tiki. Player three chose the build from the basic action list and placed it in front of his tiki.

Mid game got interesting as we all started to find islands popping up around our own making travel a bit difficult. I used a neutralize rune which converted any island into a neutral island (which made travel a lot easier for all of us) and also stopped us from needing to backtrack. The second player played the Stinky Tiki permanent which prevented anyone from ending their turn adjacent to her meeples. Opponent three, who was the safest option player, used another basic move to begin their journey toward the opposing island.

In the end, player two won the match. I do not think her win was influenced by her not having any head-on opponents, however, once she made it passed our center collision, her journey wasn’t too difficult. She did have some great runes in play and our general play style is to not get too directly interactive. In case you’re a fan of Take That, our group isn’t necessarily fond of that mechanic, so that could have also influenced the ending.

tiki islandFinal Thoughts

Tiki Island is a great way to communicate tile placement with a balance of luck and take that. While the game is not hard to learn, the gameplay would take a few plays to master. Its repetition may sell this game short in replay value and the rune cards, while adding a nice variety to the gameplay, tailors different movements but follows a similar outcome. This title can be directly interactive in ways such as rune card actions, island placements and collisions, and through the obstacles made from opponents. There are a lot of ways to influence the board and I think that makes for a fun experience. I love the quality choices for the cards and the board and enjoyed the variety of meeples.

You will like this game if you’re a fan of tile placement and Take that blended with a nice island theme.

You will not like this game if you’re looking for something denser and aren’t interested in a point A to point B goal to win.


Find the game here on kickstarter


Joseph Nicholas

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Indietabletop. Communication major. Favorite mechanics include: Bluffing and Deduction, modular boards, and action point allowance. Favorite video game genres are Rpgs, Puzzles games, and Sim/Tycoons.