About this project
- Gameplay videos!
- Custom plastic pieces!
- Canonical maps!
- A third Adversary!
- A "mini" expansion!
- Up to six players with Champion of the Dahan!
- A fourth Adversary!
- A new promo Spirit!
- New Scenarios!
- Two more Spirits!
In the most distant reaches of the world, magic still exists, embodied by spirits of the land, of the sky, and of every natural thing. As the great powers of Europe stretch their colonial empires further and further, they will inevitably lay claim to a place where spirits still hold power - and when they do, the land itself will fight back alongside the islanders who live there.
Spirit Island is a cooperative, settler-destruction strategy game for 1 to 4 players designed by R. Eric Reuss and set in an alternate-history world around A.D. 1700. Players are different spirits of the land, each with their own unique elemental powers, forced to defend their island home from colonizing Invaders spreading blight and destruction. Work with your fellow spirits and the native islanders to increase your power and drive the invading colonists from your island in this strategic area-control game.
If you would like to read more about the development of Spirit Island by R. Eric Reuss, you can follow along with his game design diary here!
Each player plays one Spirit; the Invaders and islanders, or "Dahan", act according to game mechanics. Spirits affect the world with Powers. Each turn, all players simultaneously choose what Powers to use. Some Powers will resolve before the Invaders act, others afterwards.
Spirits start with limited options but learn new Powers over the course of the game. The Invaders will spread across the land, destroying Spirit Presence and Dahan, and Blighting the land. You will not be able to contain them forever.
At the start of the game, Victory can only be obtained by obliterating all of the Invaders, which is extremely difficult! However, as you grow in power and escalate the fear in the hearts of the Invaders, progressively easier victory conditions will become available. The game ends immediately in Defeat if no more Blight is left in the Blight pool, if any player is knocked out of the game (by losing all Presence from the map), or if you take too long to rout the Invaders.
The basic version of the game is played against generic Invaders, but the core game includes different specific adversaries to fight against. Each changes play in different ways and offers a different path of difficulty boosts to keep the game challenging as you gain skill. Additionally, there are alternate scenarios in the rulebook which change the goals and victory/loss conditions. These can be played on their own, or mixed with any of the adversaries for further challenges!
If you would like to explore the rules and gameplay in more detail, you can download the rules and the print and play!
(Note: the PnP is rather rough looking as it is what we've used for playtesting. The final rulebook and game will look MUCH better and be expertly designed and laid out. That's what this Kickstarter is for!)
One of our friends and backers has also made a video of a full game being played. Check out the video below, then go watch the full session in this playlist!
Spirit Island will be constructed of premium components, including thick greyboard panels with linen finish for the board and each spirit, wooden tokens to represent Spirit presence and the Dahan, and injection-molded plastic to represent the invaders and Blight. Here's what you'll get in the core game box:
- 1x Rulebook
- 1x quad-fold Invader board
- 8x Spirit Panels (grey board; double sided; full color)
- 2x Adversary Cards (card stock; double sided; full color)
- 135x Major Power, Minor Power, Innate Power, and Fear cards (63x88mm)
- 15x Invader Cards (44x67mm)
- 4x map tiles
- 45x plastic Explorers
- 35x plastic Towns
- 20x plastic Cities
- 30x plastic Blight
- 32x wooden Dahan huts
- 52x wooden Spirit Presence disks (4 different colors, 13x each)
Spirit Island will come with eight different spirits that players can choose from when playing, including four lower-complexity spirits, and four higher-complexity spirits. We will post updates about each of them over the course of the Kickstarter campaign!
- Ocean’s Hungry Grasp
- Lightning's Swift Strike
- Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares
- River Surges in Sunlight
- Vital Strength of the Earth
- Shadows Flicker Like Flame
- A Spread of Rampant Green
Spirit Island will also come with two specific Adversaries for more advanced gameplay:
- Kingdom of England
- Kingdom of Brandenburg-Prussia
- Kingdom of Sweden
Additionally, the rule book will contain four scenarios for alternate gameplay experiences. The currently planned scenarios are:
- Clear the Center
- Dahan Insurrection
- Rituals of Terror
Finally, all backers of this Kickstarter campaign will receive a promo spirit, The Serpent Slumbering Beneath the Island! This promo will include a new Spirit panel and set of four starting power cards. We will share more information on that spirit in an upcoming update.
Shipping is extra, and will be calculated with your pledge based on destination.
We have been working on this game for years, and will be absolutely thrilled if it funds. By way of thanks, we will be sending every backer of this campaign the Serpent Slumbering Beneath the Island Promo! This promo spirit is difficult to master but builds to incredible power over the course of the game.
In addition to the promo spirit - which every single backer will automatically receive - we have planned out some awesome additional content that we will be able to include for all backers free of charge if the project exceeds our funding goal:
- $40,000 - FUNDED! All backers also receive the Serpent Slumbering Beneath the Island Promo!
- $45,000 - FUNDED! Custom Sculpts for Invader pieces!
- $50,000 - FUNDED! Canonical Island Map on the back of map tiles!
- $55,000 - FUNDED! Add a third Adversary, Sweden, to the core game!
- $60,000 - FUNDED! All backers receive the Spirit Effects and Events Mini-Expansion! (See Update #12)
- $70,000 - FUNDED! All backers receive the Heart of the Wildfire Promo spirit!
- $75,000 - FUNDED! We'll include Gameplay Scenarios in the Mini-Expansion!
- $80,000 - FUNDED! All backers will receive TWO more Spirits (Sharp Fangs Behind the Leaves and Keeper of the Forbidden Wilds) as part of the Mini-Expansion!
If the campaign is wildly successful, we have several ideas for stretch goals beyond $70,000, including a few new spirits, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it!
We also have a backer count stretch goal! If we can reach 1000 backers, we'll be adding in an extra Adversary: France! SUCCESS!
As with previous campaigns, we unfortunately have to charge shipping on this campaign, but are continuing to work to minimize the shipping cost to you. Shipping on this campaign is priced as follows:
- US: $9
- Canada: $14
- EU: $35
- Other: $50
For customers in Canada, the EU, and Australia, this includes customs duties and import taxes, but it does not for other countries.
We know that international shipping is annoyingly expensive; believe us, we are just as annoyed as you are! However, to help offset the shipping costs a bit, we have work-arounds. You can add additional copies of Spirit Island (including all stretch goals) to your pledge for +$49, and the shipping rates are fixed regardless of the number of games. If you have a bunch of friends who want to support this project, just make one group pledge for as many games as you’d like, and you'll all receive every stretch goal!
Risks and challenges
As with any project that involves the production and manufacture of a good to be delivered, there is certainly a real chance for hiccups, delays and more than one or two gremlins gumming up the works along the way. Many boardgame projects on Kickstarter have been seriously hampered by art production delays, problems with an overseas factory, missing units and one shipping snafu after another.
Luckily, we have a few projects under our belt, and have dealt with many of those snags along the way. We try to plan for all contingencies, and we've been fairly successful with that in our past projects.
We won't lie - stuff happens. Delays can occur. Sometimes you have to go back and forth on color samples six times just to get the color right, and even then the color isn't perfect. But what we do promise is that we will hold ourselves to the same high standards we expect from other board game publishers and our previous projects, and we will be completely honest and open with each of you every step of the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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