This weekend Julie and I had the opportunity to play: Planet - a really neat little tile-laying game with an interesting thematic twist. In Planet players take turns drafting tiles to create their own custom world. The tiles show various terrain. There's: rich soil (brown), dry sand (yellow), lush forest (green), open water (blue), and frozen tundra (white).
After you draft your tile and add the tile to your world, it's time to see if you attract any wildlife. Wildlife cards have specific requirements. Maybe one card wants water that is adjacent to forest. In this case the player with the largest contiguous forest that also touches water somewhere along its boarder will "win" that wildlife card.
Planet scores points in two ways. First every player receives a "secret" objective card. These cards simply give the player points for having a substantial amount of a specific terrain type. In my case, my secret object was to collect a lot of tiles that had sand (or desert) type terrain on them.
The second way that Planet scores is for the wildlife cards. You get 1 point for every wildlife card whose natural habitat matches the terrain type specified by your secret objective. However, you get 2 points for every wildlife card whose natural habitat does not match your secret objective! This creates an interesting challenge and will impact your choices throughout the game.
This is all very straight forward, and makes Planet a super simple basic tile laying game, but Planet has just a little bit more to offer.
Remember that I mentioned an "interesting thematic twist?" Well, Planet comes with these large 12 sided polyhedrons. Players don't place their tiles on the table in front of them as in other tile laying games. The tiles are magnetic and stick to the sides of the polyhedron. Thus, Planet is played around a globe as each player builds their own custom world over the course of 12 rounds.
The polyhedral world globe may be a gimmick, but it's a good one, and it elevates Planet from a basic tile-layer to one that stands out in the crowd. The globes are great fun to play with, and terrain areas can wrap around on each other forcing players to think in three dimensions. No other tile laying game does this!
Planet is an awesome game! The scoring is interesting. The tile laying is unique, and the game looks gorgeous!!