Review: Tranquility – when the calm sea storms

I’m not sure it’s the right decision. Embark on a seemingly calm sea without any experience on a ship, the name of which means calm in translation, and hope that the gods of the sea will be forgiving to us. And all this just because of the promise that somewhere behind the horizon, on the open ocean, there is a paradise. A place where we will be happy forever.

The ship swinging on the waves is called and there are players on board. The novelty was created by and published by . As usual, a successful campaign was at the birth of everything. The illustrations were completed by and are now spreading overland in Europe thanks to .

The whole sea is hidden in a tiny box filled to the brim. Players draw cards from it, sort out the expansion of the stormy sea, and especially the edge cards. From these, he will now create a square on the table and thus delimit a game area measuring six by six squares inside. He then prepares a draw deck of eighty island cards and divides the pile equally among himself. Everyone then draws their starting five cards from their set and only then mixes one starting card into the deck.

Players take turns in discarding cards from their hand. Instead, they have the option to give up their turn, only discard two cards and draw back into the five parts of the map. Most of the time, however, they will expand the horizons on the map by 36 positions. Although they can place a card in any of the positions, such a card still has its clear rules. For the whole time, the values ​​must follow the ascending series gradually from left to right and from bottom to top. If the attached card should violate this rule, it cannot be attached.

But that’s not all. Whenever players attach a part of the map that is adjacent to another card, they must pay the difference between the numbers printed on those cards. It is then advantageous to lay the card between two neighbors, because in this case the player can choose which difference to use. At all times, however, players are not allowed to communicate with each other or in any way communicate the identity of the cards they are holding in their hand.

Sooner or later, a starting card appears in the hand of one of the team members. Although everyone has it in the package, only one can put it in the lower left corner of the box. Right now, just now, players can exchange some information and plans (but still can’t name their specific cards) and, above all, agree on which eight cards they want to discard together. Everyone can contribute any number of cards from their hand.

Whatever action the players have chosen, at the end of the round they will always draw back five cards from their deck. What this game is about for players is quite clear. They can’t win other than if they successfully fill all the seats and follow the end card at the very end, following the procedure.

Tranquility is a name that fits perfectly with this game. This is not only the name of the ship in which the players try to cross the insidious ocean, but it also indicates the peace and quiet that will rule the table for most of the game. It is another in a series of silent games that have recently become very popular, as evidenced by the popularity of The Game (that’s really the name of the game).

Even in silence, you can find a lot of tactics, especially in how players manage to reconcile their steps and ideas about how the map should be fulfilled. It is clear that with other games, the players‘ idea of ​​the ideal distribution of numbers improves, and the whole game is then controlled mainly by how well the cards go in their hand.

However, the basic version may not necessarily be all that the game has to offer. Just shuffle the Stormy Seas expansion cards, which will add various traps to the game. And this is the difference in addition, which makes it truly unique and better fun than the competition. Forked stones block some rows that cannot be played in at all (the team moves the card to another row in each turn), monsters destroy cards and players must replace them with new ones, while storm cards limit the number of cards in the hand or further affect the ability to map of the new part.

Thanks to these new cards and constant pressure, players can’t just follow some pattern they’re used to. They have to be able to cope with surprises and dangerous pieces, which they do not have to play right away, but then they take up space in their hands and reduce their choice. The number of cards added from the expansion affects the difficulty of the game.

The only complaint that appeared in our questionnaires is the space requirements of the game. But any slightly larger table can easily be denied with this, it just won’t be a game on the road, which is a bit of a shame considering the size of the box. But of course, there is also the management and layout of the cards, for which it is necessary to prepare a good frame at the beginning. Even so, players don’t always have to keep their cards in place if they play them somewhere in a free-form space.

Due to the fact that it is mainly about communication and the ability of the manager to spread the cards without getting into a dead end, it seems important to have more participants in the game. But Equally, Tranquility can work as a solo pastime. Complications in communication are associated with many players. The process is beautifully fast and the placement of the cards does not have to take more than some twenty minutes. Even this can be like a serving of silence for someone too.

The game boasts very interesting and unconventional graphics, which divides the card into two halves, day and night. These are used in one of the other additional variants, which are mentioned in the rules and further increase the replayability. It’s just a pity that the cards no longer follow each other and thus do not form a visually completely unified whole. However, the individual images themselves are nice, and this is especially true for the mentioned expansion, when monsters and unexpected events hit it.

Tranquility is a game of quiet cooperation. Players must not consult at all, but work together to fill the map and discover the path for their ship from start to finish. If you want a challenge in which you have a common goal, but you do not mind being silent, then Tranquility is currently the best solution. This is mainly due to the large range of extensions that make the game significantly more difficult than the basic version.

DesignerJames Emmerson
ArtistTristam Rossin
PublisherBoard Game Hub, Hobby World, Lucky Duck Games, White Goblin Games
Year Published2020
# of Players1 - 5
User Suggested # of Players Best with 5+ players
Recommended with 1, 2, 3, 4 players
(29 voters)
Playing Time20
Mfg Suggested Ages8 and up
User Suggested Ages8 and up
(4 voters)
Language DependenceNo necessary in-game text
(1 voters)
CategoryCard Game, Number
MechanicCommunication Limits, Cooperative Game, Hand Management, Tile Placement
ExpansionTranquility: Stormy Seas
FamilyCrowdfunding: Kickstarter, Digital Implementations: Board Game Arena, Players: Games with Solitaire Rules
Primary NameTranquility
Alternate NamesШтиль

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

Review: Tranquility – when the calm sea storms
Final word
Tranquility is a game that is really quiet and calm, like the surface of the sea. Players are not allowed to communicate with each other most of the time, but they still have to play cards in complete harmony. It sounds crazy, but because the cards have numbers and their order must be sequential, the whole effort has clear rules. They just have to be kept in mind by everyone and they need the right cards in their hands at the right time. In addition to the basic version, the box also contains a number of ideas for expansion and a significant increase in difficulty, which, despite the not entirely harmonizing graphics, makes Tranquility the best game of this genre so far.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
+ extensions
+ other variants
+ fast game
+ the team is gradually improving
Cons
= twenty minutes of silence
= card graphics are not combined into one unit
= the game needs a lot of space
4.1
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