Grail of the Week: Rapa Nui

I’ve said it before. I’m spoiled, at least when it comes to games. I buy a fair number of games, though I should say my most expensive game I think cost me $60 (Claustrophobia, 2009 ed.). So when I have a “Grail Game,” it’s not nearly the sort of serious thing it is for a lot of people, because 1) variety is the spice of life, and 2)I want a fairly short quest, with satisfaction at the end. What I’m saying is, I go through more grail games than your average gamer, I think, and I’m comfortable with that.

So, my current Grail Game. I have discovered (here comes a shocker, for those who have been reading me lately) a super rare Kosmos 2-player series (mea culpa, it’s 2-4 players) game called Rapa Nui, designed by Klaus-Jürgen Wrede (of Carcassonne godhood) which came out only in Germany in 2011. (It’s language-independent, so that part isn’t an issue, at least.) You can play a pretty decent version of it on Yucata, and I have done so many times, losing a lot of them, and now I need it on my table. There’s a problem, though, and it’s not a problem $30 is going to make disappear. No one is selling it, and the one American who has it for trade isn’t taking my calls. So I may be pricing out of this particular fancy cup of a game.

The game is pretty simple. It’s set, as the name would suggest, in the Easter Islands. 2-4 players take turns playing cards that are either Lumberjacks, Hunters & Gatherers of various specialties, Priests, or Moai. You need to gather wood from the Lumberjacks to build Moai, gather goods with the help of Hunters & Gatherers to have sacrifices for when you and/or your opponents build the Moai, gain Glory through Priests, and gain your choice or wood or Glory from Moai. You earn Glory points for the sacrifices you’ve made, which are added to your other Glory points at the end of the game to determine the winner.*

This game is good, and it is fun, and I should have it. Perhaps this will become a longer-term, back-burner quest, a hope that burns with a small flame and would still manage to set off some fireworks if it were satisfied. We shall see.

* I’m glossing over the slightly hellish reality of scoring the sacrifices here, because I still haven’t mastered it, and hold my breath at the end of every game, because I honestly don’t know whether or not I will win, even if I’m well ahead in Glory before the final tabulation. I imagine when you play it in real life, there’s a slightly more transparent way of figuring it out. The translated rules I found online seem clear, but I think the Yucata version changed them slightly to allow for the electronic interface.


About Suzanna

Suzanna's passions are gaming, dogs, and writing. She also loves reading, travel, and cranberry juice. Above all else, she would have it be said that she is compassionate, funny, and too clever by half.
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One Response to Grail of the Week: Rapa Nui

  1. Pingback: Grail of the Week: Pecunia non olet | once more to the table

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