Author Topic: Rifugio - That Dutch Game with Huts  (Read 1689 times)

Offline Decar

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Rifugio - That Dutch Game with Huts
« on: June 13, 2016, 05:41:37 AM »
Some of you may know about a small tile-laying game in a shop in Amsterdam a few months ago, which I forgot the name of.  I was able to track down the game and ordered a copy from the designer.  The game is called Rifugio -

Rifugio is a Dutch tile-laying game set in northern mountains of Italy.  If tile-laying games have taught me anything - setting your game is a different country leads to great things (...I'm looking at you Carcassonne).  The game takes it's name from: Rifugi which are small mountain huts that travellers use as rest stops.

The game is really simple.  Players take it in turns to place a tile and then go wandering to visit places of interest.  In the base game, tiles are Forests, Grasslands or Mountains; Grass tiles cannot be placed next to Mountains and there are some passes that contain both types.  Certain tiles have wildlife, flowers, mountain peaks or waterfalls which players are intending to visit.  Once they've been they collect a little card, which scores points at the end of the game.  The Points of Interest are grouped into sets (of flowers or animals for example) which if all collected score even more points at the end of the game.

During a player's turn they can also place one of their Rifugi; if another player visits yours: you score some points, but they are given an extra-movement card as an incentive.  Some tiles have bears which score negative points at the end of the game.  In a two-player game 2 tiles are placed each turn and the game ends at the end of the last turn when the last tile is placed.

This game has been self-published, which I admire greatly; the designer was kind enough to ship me a copy - the 3rd in the United Kingdom I believe.

The game is neat and short, probably only 20 minutes.  I was a bit worried that in a two player game, near the end each player would be at either end of the board visiting things the other player had no chance in visiting; but the motivator is to try and stay relatively close to each other in case you need to dash for a particular tile to finish a set.    I think some of these faults have been addressed with the Helicopter and River Expansions, which allow people to hop around the board more easily; but I've yet to play these.

I wasn't too fond of the scoring mechanics - the set collection is really nice, but there's a very large bonus for completing a set, which ultimately won me the game by a considerable margin.  The artwork is not fantastic, but seems to do the job, I would have liked more distinct artwork for the mountain tops & waterfalls - these cards were hard to separate.

Mechanically though it's quite pleasing - and for a self-published memento from my trip, it was neat.  I'm looking forward to the Dutch Windmills expansion  :(y)


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