I thought it was just a scam. Island full of fireflies. But my curiosity did not resist, and I spent a trip on a boat with three other passengers. Our tiny barge with tarpaulin was hit by high waves, but our determination was irreversible. The desire to see the shining island prevailed over fear. And now we stand on the banks and we are full of doubt. Are they here at all?
A small, glittering creature will come to us in board game Lumina. You just have to wait long enough, and when the darkness comes, everything will come alive. So it does not really matter, because you probably want to play this game during day. Designer duo Udo Peise and Marco Teubner are behind its creation and it was published at end of 2016. All of this was produced by HABA.
Pretty small (though, bigger than usual cardbox) yellow package contains a surprisingly large game board. On its surface, we find various places of big island and they are all connected by paths. It is the whole plan that is spread by players on top of the table and sixteen squares are placed around it. Then players draw four circle tokens and place them on the board to position corresponding with its chicory illustration. Each participant then selects one of his figures and places it on any location on the map that has a radiant ring around it.
Players are alternating during this rivalry and can always reveal one of sixteen tiles. These match locations on the map. In they search, players try to uncover the location that is adjacent to their figurine. If he succeeds, he may move to new position. Otherwise, he only provided hint to others and game continues with another player.
At the same time, however, all opponents must also have in mind, that pieces are blocking each other’s way, and occupied locations are unattainable for other adventurers. But as soon as one of the pieces finally arrives, where one of the fireflies is hiding (placed at game start), he can take it for himself and reveal a new one, so that others have something to chase. Once any of the players has managed to capture five of these luminous creatures, game ends with his victory.
Lumina is an elegant memory game that builds everything on the need to remember all sixteen tiles and their images. This is always about turning a single one unlike a classic memory game. The luck dependency is bigger, especially when you consider that only sixteen tiles are available. But if the player is wrong, he simply loses his turn.
Soon, however, the simpler version will make it too easy for you. Especially younger children for whom this game is designed primarily are great target audience for this. And playing it can be perfect for five year’s old, because it is only about recognizing and naming images. Here it is necessary to appreciate the speed of the whole match, which is over in ten to fifteen minutes.
Traveling on the map is often not easy and catching a firefly is a matter of more than one move. In such a case, players must consider their chances against other hunters. The more moves you need to reach goal, the less chance of really getting there first.
And the next level of tactics enters the game if you choose a more tactical variant. Tiles suddenly have their owners at the beginning of the game and they are gradually exchanging them. Their positions do not remain the same and it is much harder to keep an overview of tile location. This brings more mistakes and thus a also exciting gameplay.
The whole processing is beautifully colored. The figures are wooden, but finished with stickers already from production. That means it will last a lot longer than if you will be sticking it yourself. But the whole game is very optimistic and spreads a good mood around it.
Lumina is a vibrant childhood game. This is because there are dozens of fireflies in its bowels. And they illuminate a simple memory game that will definitely test the ability of small children and their parents. Even some little amount of tactics must be added to the mix. This is needed in Lumina, if you want to win and have fun.
Lumina is a very nice children game that contains everything you need: tension, memory and fun. All these things kids need and will also appreciate. The fun is not long, but the players with the help of common board move with their figures (always to the neighboring location if they are able to find it). They need not only to remember positions of the pieces but they also have to plan well. Elegant simplicity, nice processing and fitness for older gamers makes Lumina an excellent choice for young players.