1PG April Challenge: 5 games with a water theme

The 1PG Challenge in April was to play 5 games with a rain/water theme. I wanted to try Bullet as it is very much raining bullets in that game, but I didn't get the opportunity. So it turned out to be a mostly sea/island month!

1. Palavan

Sometimes you buy a game with a very specific expectation in mind, and when it turns out to exactly match this expectation, it just feels great. Although Palavan is certainly a minor title, I especially enjoyed it for this very reason: it does what I hoped it would do.

The game is made of exactly 16 tiles. The goal is to make an arrangement such that all land bits, or all sea bits, form a continuous whole (if both, it's even better). There are several such configurations that you might find. That's absolutely all there is to it (no rules, you just try out things) and it's great.

(In the picture, it was the first time I found a "medium difficulty" configuration!)

2. Mu

Image source: BGG

Mu is a French game that wasn't successful. It received poor reviews, went straight to bargain bins, and I found it new in shrink on the second-hand market for just a few euros. Least to say, my expectations for it were low, which may have been a good thing, because I surprisingly enjoyed it a lot!

The multiplayer is a drafting game. You draft tiles, place them on 3x3 boards, and score at the end according to rather convoluted rules (well, that's what people say, it didn't strike me as very complicated). You also begin by drafting three specific scoring conditions that you might try to activate during the game.

I never tried the multiplayer game, but the solo mode is neat. It does everything right in my book. There is an "opponent" as it implements one of the basic parts of the draft: should I take the tile that will get me the most points, or deny my opponent what benefits them? To solve this, the game uses a simple "mirror placement": you must draft one of two pairs of tiles, and one tile goes on your board, the other goes on the same location of your opponent's board.

Of course the opponent will score poorly. But their scoring is simplified, and it only subtracts points from your own score (so the game is your regular BYOS solo mode, but with good mechanics).