The complexity of the island


Some time ago Christian from Spielstil.net drew my attention to the #BG2GETHER campaign and asked if I would like to participate. At #BG2GETHER different bloggers, podcasters, vloggers etc. create a post about a topic from the world of board games once a month and link each other. To me, this is a great way for all participants to benefit by networking. The reader gets a diverse access to a specific topic. After last month was all about media and entertainment, today it's back to the world of board games. And deep, deep into it. It's about the knots in the brain that complex games cause. A topic that every board gamer has certainly been confronted with at some point. So here are the concrete questions:

Brain twisters are great, but at what point is too much too much?

I don't think there is a universal answer, but for me it would be too much when the game itself is no longer fun. Honestly, though, I have to say that this only happens to me under certain circumstances, which I'll explain in a bit more detail in the next question.

And which titles drove you to the brink of despair?

Some of you will have asked yourselves what is supposed to be so complex on the island. There are two answers to that:

  1. Robinson Crusoe
  2. Spirit Island

Both games are cooperative games on an island. However, the first rounds were extremely tough, the heads smoked and the manual was always at hand. Of course, this doesn't mean that the two games mentioned above are somehow bad. Mostly it is a mixture between lack of preparation, problems with the game manual, tiredness and maybe one or the other drop of red wine. It's probably ironic that my biggest trip to a complex island is still ahead of me, because: Cooper Island has been waiting on the shelf for quite some time for its first turn, and this title has an even higher complexity than the other two titles, according to BoardGameGeek.

By the way, the title On Mars has the highest complexity in the Top 100 at BoardGameGeek. A game that I enjoyed very much - also because of the many great and interlocked possibilities. In my first game, however, everything fit: I was in top shape and the "game master" prepared and explained the game perfectly.

And what's at the other end of the scale? What very simple game do you find incredibly immense fun?

Specifically, I can think of two games that are very simple in terms of rules, but still create a really chess-like depth of play:

  1. Onitama: Six cards, ten pieces - that's all it takes for a round of Onitama. The rules and the game are quickly explained: the opponent's king must be captured, alternatively the own king must reach the exit on the other side of the 5x5 squares playing field. The cards in front of the players give the possibilities. The clou: these cards are changed after each move. So you have to think about the possibilities of your opponent and of course about your own possibilities.
  2. DiceWar - Light of Dragons:
    DiceWar is a bit more complex from the rules, but is also played on a small board with 7x7 squares. The game pieces are, as the name suggests, dice. Each side of the dice has a different ability or combat strength. A great game with few rules but enormous depth. You can also find a detailed review on our blog at: DiceWar - Light of Dragons

Of course, there are also games that are not complex at all or develop a strategic depth. I am a fan of PushYourLuck dice games like Zombie Dice or Go Nuts!. The latter, by the way, is a game that always accompanies us on vacation with the family. The looks of the other restaurant visitors are always a highlight when the whole table starts to bark :-)

As already mentioned, #BG2GETHER is a format to strengthen networking, so read directly other interesting articles on the topic, for example, at:


06.05.2022 - Stefan