March 29, 2023


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Board game review for Aeolos: Gentle Breeze or Big Storm? –

The big SPIEL DAS novelty! At SPIEL the AEOLOS connoisseur game was made easy. The test tables were very popular there and at the following trade shows. Set initially in space, players are drawn into the world of Greek mythology. We tested the fast Kennerspiel.

The goal of all players is to win the favor of the gods and accept them into their alliance. For this they have to content themselves with the competition organized by the wind god Aeolus and use the wind as best they can.

On the island of Aeolos there are ports, rivers, and temples that players can navigate to in classic worker hiring fashion. The “payment mechanism” for job sites is unique here. Temples are the goals of the journey and are essential to victory.

Kingdom of the island of Aeolos

The built-in game board shows the island of Aeolos with its ports, rivers, and temples. Top left is where the cards and wind tokens are placed. The five different colored crystals are placed in the corresponding slots. Their number depends on the number of people. The Sail deck and the Favor to the Gods deck are shuffled and each dealt three sail cards and one favourite.

Temples are an important source of victory points. Photo: Jonas Dahmen

They all take the game board of their own color and put two ships and all the buildings there. The remaining ships are on public display at the moment. With a little bit of wind in the wind, you can head out to sea.

Travel at sea

At the top left are two printed “cards”. There you play the sail card on the first move of your turn. These are available in gray and purple and with three different icons. If the symbols on top of two cards are the same, you get a Wind Tile.
The sum of both cards indicates the value of the sail. This tells you which port or area of ​​river you can sail to. The value can be changed up or down by spending wind tiles.

In the second step, you can move one of your ships to a location with the corresponding sail value. This could be a port or a river area. The temples can be reached through the river fields.

Players use their sailing cards (above) to sail across the island kingdom of Aeolos. Photo: Jonas Dahmen

If you have not moved to a river space, you can carry out port-specific port procedures corresponding to the sailing value. In different ports you can collect crystals, build settlements or ships, draw new gift card, get wind tiles, move ships on rivers to get wind tiles or move the prophet to the next level, also for wind tiles.

The temples are located at the end of the rivers and can only be accessed by taking the second to last action. The three levels that the messenger can reach give instant victory points for different conditions and for reaching them first.

At the end of your turn, you draw three cards from your hand again. Each settlement you build increases your hand size by one. In addition, you must now eliminate all wind tokens that exceed the maximum of five tokens on the windbreak.

Back to earth

When the deck of sailing cards is used for the first or second time, the game ends. If there are three or four endings, they are (partially) modified. You collect a large portion of your victory points in the course of the game by investing in temples and advancing the Prophet. The third important source of victory points are crystals. Here you get points for the largest possible combinations of different crystals.

Also, score three points for each gift card remaining and one point for each remaining wind tile. If you haven’t used bonus tiles, which you can use to perform a free harbor move or shuffle five cards from your hand, you also get four or two points for that.

In the end, of course, the one with the most victory points wins.

Hard-to-reach purple crystals can be the key to victory. Photo: Jonas Dahmen

Some small differences are included directly in the box. This is how Poseidon’s tiles play out in the Poseidon expansion. Once all building spaces in a port are occupied, a random tile is placed in front of that port, which means additional costs, profits, or both once you want to enter that port.

Tile harbor procedures can be changed. You can decide to “upgrade” the individual actions of frequent players so that the game becomes more tactical or randomly allocate all ports to sailing values.

With neutral game mats, a little bit of asymmetry comes into play, too. They give benefits when performing certain actions.

box info

Number of people: 2 to 4
Age: from 10 years
Playing time: 30 to 60 minutes
Difficulty: medium
Long-term motivation: good
Genre: Easy connoisseur game
The basic mechanism: placement of workers

Authors: Arve D. Feeler, Guido Eckhof
Design: Marco Armbruster
official site: Aeolus
Release year: 2022
German language
Cost: 50 euros



Aeolus Don’t do anything wrong. But it doesn’t do much that’s really cool. With a short playing time, it’s a quick tactical game for two people in between.

The theme is really well chosen and visually stunning. However, one also feels that sailing may not have been the first form of locomotion. Moving ships using the values ​​of sailing cards makes it look relatively abstract in the end.

The Favor of the Gods cards are a valuable help in the game. Photo: Jonas Dahmen


The rules are quite clear, except for the small details. At first, it was not clear to us how many times you can use wind tiles on your turn, since a hint was found that you can use them in several places without excluding the possibility of using them several times. Since we’re apparently not the only ones with this little problem, author Arve D. Feeler’s answer was found on BGG, so this wasn’t a hitch.

Especially when it comes to the symbols and their understanding, the game is very successful. Here, language neutrality can reasonably be implemented in practice.

The material is just like the overall look: it does nothing wrong without standing out particularly. On the other hand, cards are an essential part of the game mechanics, but above all they feel visually out of place and make the game seem more abstract than it should in reality. It is positive that the game is relatively compact and does not take up unnecessary space on the playing surface.

Overall, the gameplay is very smooth. Single moves are played quickly and there is not much waiting time here. The box says 60 minutes a game, but for two you can easily get there in half an hour.

Unfortunately, with more people, the game quickly feels “too long”. Doesn’t leave much room for progress. The increase in the hand card limit through buildings above all helps you to be able to perform the required actions more likely.

It is relatively clear that racing for temple slots is the most lucrative source of points. If other players don’t take their eyes off the crystals completely, it’s hard to successfully implement radically different strategies.

Everything important to players can be collected on the game board. Photo: Jonas Dahmen


The Poseidon expansion and asymmetrical gamepads are a nice addition, but ultimately they hardly add any new gameplay. On the other hand, the three squares that can be used to change the three port actions are really exciting. When drawing new gift cards, you can now choose between two, and the seventh port is now a wild card, allowing you to perform another port action if you’re in there. This actually looks better because it significantly reduces the luck factor.

Of course, there are still enough of them on the sailing charts. Here, other players can quickly “shuffle” everything, which makes it difficult to plan ahead for the next move, especially if the cards in your hand don’t want to match.

Aeolus is Certainly not a bad game. The exciting movement mechanism is really a nice item that can always stimulate thinking. As an easy family game/connoisseur game, the game can certainly impress. Frequent players shouldn’t be seduced by the clear point distribution and consistent feel of the game.

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