Our preview post below was published on June 24.
Tranquility: The Ascent is a 1-5 players cooperative game of laying tiles in a pyramidal grid to climb a mountain up to the summit. It is a standalone sequel to the 2020 tile laying game Tranquility, and it will launch on Kickstarter on June 28.
You start by laying down 10 “panorama” triangular tiles in a row. This opens up 9 slots that can be filled with square tiles, leading to 8 slots on the next level, etc., up to the last level where you will place a summit tile on the final free slot to finish climbing the mountain. If you achieve this, you win!
You begin the game with six tiles in hand. Each round, you can either play a tile, or discard two tiles from your hand. In either case, you draw tiles to refill your hand up to six at the end of the round. Discarded tiles are discarded for good, and you risk running out of tiles! When this happens, and you are unable to do anything on your turn, you lose the game!
For a tile to be played, it must fulfill certain requirements. First, the number on the tile (from 1 to 12) must be higher than the current level (e.g. on the last level before the summit, you can only play tiles with number 8 or higher). Second, if you place it in a row with already placed tiles, it must be adjacent to another tile, but of a different color. You then discard cards equal to the difference between the two numbers. Lastly, you can place a tile on a higher level if you have placed enough tiles on the prior level to create the corresponding slot.
There are also three special tiles you can play. Bridges allow you to “pass” and keep constructing a row, but you must cover them before the end game (otherwise you are not allowed to place one of the summit tiles in the final slot). Campfires can be played to replace a tile of the same color, which will then be played higher on the mountain. Finally, ropes allow you to “mulligan”: you shuffle your hand into the deck and draw 6 new cards. You have 3 ropes at the beginning of the game -the less you use throughout the game, the more experienced a climber you are!
Besides the core game, you can add a variety of expansion modules to vary the experience. For instance, one module introduces goats: when a tile with the goat symbol is placed in the mountain, you put a goat meeple on it. You may then discard cards to help the goats climb up the mountain. The goal is to herd at least 8 of them all the way up to the summit!