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Rating: 7.6 Very Good
Players: 1-4 players
Playing time: 90-120 minutes

Official Site: Living FAQ for Spirit Island

Created by: R. Eric Reuss, Jason Behnke, Kat G Bermelin, Loïc Billiau, Cari Corene, Lucas Durham, Rocky Hammer, Sydni Kruger, Nolan Nasser, Jorge Ramos, Adam Rebottaro

Published by: Greater Than Games (Fabled Nexus), Intrafin Games, Pegasus Spiele


You are powerful Spirits of the natural world, existing on an isolated island.

Invaders from beyond the known sea have recently begun their colonization of your island, killing the native islanders - a people called the Dahan - and upsetting the natural balance.

The Spirits of the island must grow in power and throw back the Invaders before the island is blighted beyond hope of recovery!

Spirit Island is a cooperative game for 1-4 players where each player is a Spirit of nature, defending their island from invading colonists who have little regard for the well-being of the land or its native inhabitants, the Dahan.

Every turn, all Spirits act simultaneously, employing Powers to push the Invaders back, bolster the island, and aid the Dahan. But the Spirits start out small and limited, and will have to learn some new tricks in order to catch up to the rapidly expanding Invaders, whose Actions (automated by the game) drive them to spread across the Island and establish settlements, spreading Blight in their path.

To win, the Spirits (with the help of the Dahan) must destroy the Invaders and scare away any survivors. However, the game will end in defeat if the island is overrun by Blight, if any Spirit is destroyed completely, or if you act too slowly and fail to drive the Invaders off before they become entrenched.

Spirit Island is a complex game with many moving parts. The first time or two you play, you should:

  • Choose a low-complexity Spirit. (Lightning's Swift Strike, Vital Strength of the Earth, River Surges in Sunlight, or Shadows Flicker Like Flame).

  • Take the Power Progression Card for your Spirit. Set aside all the Minor and Major Powers listed on the card. During the game, when you gain a new Power Card, add the next Power Card on the list to your hand instead of using the standard method.

If everyone is playing the game for the first time, also:

  • Don't use a Blight Card. Instead, use the pre-printed Blight space on the board.

  • Don't use an Adversary or Scenario. They increase difficulty and add additional rules.

Whenever your group is ready for a more challenging game, we recommend the Kingdom of Brandenburg-Prussia as a good first Adversary - it mostly modifies setup rather than introducing new rules. The Kingdoms of England and Sweden involve more fundamental changes to how the Invaders work.

Retail Price:$32
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Players are spirits of nature on an isolated island. Invaders from beyond the sea have recently started to colonize, killing the Dahan (native islanders) and generally wrecking the place. The Spirits must struggle to throw them back before the island is overrun!

Each player plays one Spirit; the Invaders and 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 can slowly learn new Powers over the course of the game. …

Victory and Defeat

At the start of the game, the Invaders are at Terror Level 1 - not really afraid. To win, you need to completely clear the board of Invaders. As you earn Fear cards, you will reach new Terror Levels with easier victory conditions. You win immediately anytime you meet the current victory condition.

You can lose three ways:

  • Too Much Blight: If the last Blight comes off of the Blight Card, you follow the instructions there, which are often "you lose". …

Solo Player Mode

Solo games work much like normal games, but with a single board as the whole island. The only difference is that you can target yourself with Powers that specifically target Another Spirit', though you do not gain extra benefits from Powers that are better when used on another Spirit, like Gift of Constancy or Elemental Boon.

Also, the luck of the draw is high, and you have no fellow Spirits to compensate for your Spirit's weaknesses and limitations. …

Streamlining Gameplay

  • As you play Power Cards, put the required Energy on top of them. This will help you remember to pay for them.

  • When you resolve a Power Card, you can push it forward or turn it sideways to note that it has been used. Don't discard it until end of turn, because you may be making use of its Elements for Innate Powers!

  • When you resolve a Fear effect that affects an Invader Action (such as "Defend 2 in all lands"), place it atop the affected Invader Card so you don't forget to apply it. …

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