June 18, 2024


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Review the game with a cloth as a plan, criticism and test

Review the game with a cloth as a plan, criticism and test

Turquoise sea, palm-lined beaches, idyllic thatched huts – life in the Maldives archipelago couldn't seem more dreamy. In addition to sunbathing and snorkeling, the inhabitants of the four islands of Evo, Solis, Wipe and Nanga primarily engage in fishing. Sailing on wooden boats and selling the collected goods ensured the livelihood of the people of the Caribbean paradise.

This is the impression that Zoch Verlag's Maldives collection left me with. But Roberto Fraga paints a different picture with this particular board game, a game of intense competition in a small space. Maneuvering ships across an ever-shrinking sea.

How does the Maldives work?

the moldive Islands.  Construction, photographed by Zuck

Each player has his own boat that he sails across the sea. There are larger and smaller fish deposits in this. The goods collected there, in the form of small wooden fish, can be sold on the margin in which case they are exchanged for cards. Whoever replaces the most fish with cards wins the game.

This seems completely normal so far. But the four actions players take each round are determined by four action blocks before the round begins – and the player has to live with the consequences. Other boats can block the way or even steal fish from your own stock.

But the craziest thing is the game plan.

A piece of cloth is folded at the corners of each round. So the game plan got smaller and things got tighter for the boats. The game ends once the game board has shrunk too much.

Downsizing the schedule in the Maldives, photographed by Zook

Maldives: a game that is gradually disappearing

This subtitle can be read in the game instructions. First of all, Roberto Fraga should be given credit for taking many exciting steps with the Maldives. The building blocks as action indicators instead of dice or cards and the foldable cloth playing board are not as natural and promise variety.

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But this does not reach the players. There's no stimulating flow to the game, no weird situations.

The tours are not very diverse and not amazing.

Each round has the same plan: collect fish and sell them. Either you succeed or you are blocked by another boat. With two players, it's like hunting and waiting in parallel, with three or more players, you're constantly bumping into each other even with the full size of the game board.

The game material doesn't convince me either. The fabric has a strangely shiny surface. The fish displayed on it has a slightly different color than the collectible wooden objects. It is very difficult to distinguish between green and yellow in particular.

The Maldives does not convince me

A box from the Maldives, photographed by Zook

Overall, the Maldives loses itself to its forced difference. Even if the ideas are correct and suggest something promising, the concept is not convincing. So not only is the card gradually disappearing, but the game is also quickly disappearing from my collection.

Information about the Maldives

  • Address: Maldives
  • Publisher: Zoche Verlag
  • Author: Roberto Fraga
  • Number of players (from to): 2-4
  • Age (from or to in years): 8
  • Duration in minutes: 30
  • Vintage: 2023
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