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Indigo (Review)

Now that Trinity is available at our store and on Amazon, we’ll be getting back to doing some more reviews. Our first one since Trinity’s release is an abstract strategy game with some light theme called Indigo. Indigo is a game that Kayla and I discovered at a friend’s place. They never played it before but it looked interesting and was from one of Ankur’s favorite designers, Reiner Knizia. We gave it a shot and then immediately bought it on Amazon for ourselves.


I feel pretty, oh so pretty.

Overview

In Indigo, players try to collect jewels of various colors by placing hexagonal tiles that create a path for the jewels from the center of the board to the edge. On the edge of the board, there are “gates” and each of these gates can be wholly owned by one player or can be shared with another player. Each tile has various indigo colored paths the jewels can travel and by placing the tile next to a jewel, it allows the jewel to travel to the end of the path kind of like Chutes and Ladders (or Snakes and Ladders depending on what part of the world you’re from).


Theme

Indigo is an abstract game and besides some flavor text about the history and importance of the color, there isn’t much time spent on theme besides making the game beautiful. The artwork related to the theme makes it look like you are creating an elaborate Persian rug which is very pleasant to look at. The number of jewels, their color, and how they move around the board make you feel like a king playing with your riches. There is just enough theme in this game to look pleasing to the eye, but not distract you from playing.


Learning Curve

The rules are very simple to learn and were easy to pick up after months of not playing as well. Each turn, you place a tile in any direction you want, move the jewels, then draw a new tile. That’s it!



Depth

Having a simple rule set means more time can be spent strategizing and Indigo allows plenty of that. The game can change on a turn where you think a jewel is going in one direction and suddenly a new tile placement completely changes its course to a different side of the board. The fact that gates are also shared with various opponents adds more intrigue because you may be working together with one player to get one jewel to go in your direction and with a different player to get it to go in a different direction depending on who is closest. This can lead to some interesting alliances and betrayals. Sometimes it may even be beneficial to annihilate two jewels by having them run into each other so nobody gets them. There are enough options in the game to satisfy anybody’s strategic inclination.


Replayability

Indigo is something we would consider a deep filler game as it allows more strategy to form than a filler game would, but is still fairly quick to play. It isn’t a game we center our game nights around but one we play when we’re winding down for the night and want to play a game, but not spend a lot of time thinking about what to play. It is one that we would highly recommend to any new board game players as it isn’t overwhelming to learn.


TL;DR

Indigo is a great abstract strategy game where its theme is primarily shown in its artwork and not its gameplay. The rules are simple to learn yet the game is complex enough for players to come up with some interesting strategies. It’s a game we would recommend to any new board gamer as a great gateway game.

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