I've been a huge fan of board games for a few years now, ranging from social deductions games such as Secret Hitler to more complex stretegy games such Arkham Horror. I love sitting down with a game and playing. However, I've never had a game that I would call my favourite. I had games that I liked to play in certain situations and with certain friends, but not an actual one favourite game. Until now.
Spirit Island is just brilliant. It had been on my wish list for so long and I wish I bought it earlier. Everything about it seems to be so well thought out and perfectly balanced. It's puzzle solving aspect and quite predictable nature feels so incredibly engaging.
It is a co-operative game, but works brilliantly well as a solo game. You don't feel as though you're missing out on anything and the tactics and decisions still feel as in depth. When playing with multiple people, 'quarterbacking' is not an issue because it's just not possible due to the sheer number of decisions and permutations there are. The downside of this is that it's tough to play a multi-handed solo game.
Whilst the learning curve is steep and the number of rules to start with overwhelming, the rulebook is well written and lets you almost just jump straight in. You can leave out some of the more complex stuff and add it in a bit at a time. Then, once you've mastered the base game there are scenaios, adversaries and, of course, the expansion.
I am so impressed with this game, that it is the only game (outside of MTG) that I've bothered sleeving the cards and organising and storing the pieces in a careful way to make it durable for a long time.