Sunda To Sahul

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  • Designer: Don Bone
  • Players: 1-4
  • Playing time: 30-45 Min
  • Age: 10+
  • First Released: 2002

This game takes it's inspiration from the migration of people down the Indonesian archipelago at least 50,000 years ago. The starting point for their epic journey was the mainland of Southeast Asia, which at that time was enlarged by the lower sea levels. In archeological circles this land mass is known as Sunda. The end of their journey was the joined land masses of Australia and New Guinea, known as Sahul.

The game is based on a set of jigsaw like tiles, the images on each of which consist of some combination of land and sea. Each tile in the set has a unique combination of land, sea and tile shape. However the tiles differ from a normal jigsaw puzzle in that there is no single solution to the puzzle. Each time you play the game you will discover a different set of islands.

Each player plays as one of four great spirits guiding their people to discover new land and claim it for their totem. The points where the corners of a number of the jigsaw tiles all come together are known as nodes. Any player who completes a land node by placing the last tile with a corner at that node may add one of their tokens to the island.

The aim is to be the dominant spirit at the end of the game. The rules of the game are structured so that in it's simplest form it can learned in about 10 minutes and played in 30-45 minutes. Additional elements which add depth and complexity to the game can be included as players become more fluent.

The game can be played either in turns or simultaneously. The 'turns' version of the games involves a greater depth of strategic play, while the simultaneous version of the game is a fast paced race demanding good visual pattern matching skills and an ability to negotiate coalitions with other players on the fly.

There are also a number of intriguing puzzles and challenges based on the tiles.