Quick Takes: 2-4 players 30-45 minutes Ages 8+ Level 1 (easy to play, easy to learn, and FUN!)
Unlock the secrets of Umbra Via, the shadowy pathway game from Pandasaurus Games. In this abstract board game, your goal is to make the most cunning pathway to the unknown. The first step of the round is to draw four path tiles and lay them face up on the altar board for all to see - these are up for auction. One path tile may be an L-shape or a curve, or a straight line. These are no boring, ordinary paths you are building! Then secretly draw wooden flowers from your bag, and place them on your personal bidding board to bid on the paths you want most. Once all players have placed their flower tokens on the bidding board, those boards are revealed to all. After the results of the first bidding round are revealed, players repeat the secret bidding process using the information they gleaned in round one. Last, tiles are placed on the board along with the Flower tokens - these paths are how you score points and ultimately win the game by controlling pathways. It's three types of game play in once: bidding, tile placement, and area control. Combine that with high quality pieces made by Pandasaurus, and we have a winner!
So many of these board game titles have us brushing up on our language skills! Umbra Via asks us to go back to high school Latin this time, as in Latin it means shadowy path. We love how evocative the title is - you just know you're in for a lush garden design with lots of moss and flowers and paving stones. And Umbra Via does not disappoint!
- We love abstract games like Hive and Nova Luna and are excited for this gorgeous new entry to the genre!
- Very cool blend of bidding, tile placement, and area control. It's not hard to learn but definitely keeps us thinking!
- Design cred - it's beautiful!
- Cardboard Edison Award - 2019