Rapa Nui

Use your tribe members to sculpt, transport and erect Moai statues on Easter Island, and work yourself into the grace of the gods!

2-4 players, ages 10+
Playing time: 45 minutes
Designers: Fabrice Besson & Guillaume Montiage
Artist: Vincent Dutrait

Publisher: Matagot

Rapa Nui is a reimplementation of Giants, a game released in 2008. I haven’t played the original, but when comparing the rules, Rapa Nui looks like a shorter and more streamlined version.

The rulebook is very clear and well-structured, with a lot of examples, and a nice summary of the different tiles and their explanations on the last pages. I was able to teach the game in about 15 minutes for the first time to my wife and son, and only needed that summary once for the explanation of the tiles.

The game is played over the course of several rounds, each consisting of 3 phases:

  • Players place their figurines on the locations, depending on what they want them to do: they can sculpt Moai, become transporters for the statues, and their sorcerer can change turn order this way.
  • Depending on how much tribe members they placed in the quarry, players acquire large, medium and/or small Moai sculptures
  • Players transport their Moai and erect them, which gives them resources and tiles with a special power. They also can put Pukao (hats) on Moai, giving them the possibility to gain points by spending resources.

There’s a nice overview of these game phases on the game board, ensuring a steady game flow.
The components, and especially the Moai figurines are amazing! There are nice dual layered player boards, and the custom meeples are top notch.

Overall, the game gives a great experience, and it’s really nice to see the board evolving as more Moai statues get erected and they get decorated with Pukao. At the end of the game, I really was satisfied with how the board looked and had the feeling we built those statues together, although it’s not co-operative, but you can use other players’ tribe members to transport your statues. If you’re looking for a game that plays rather quickly in under an hour, but gives quite some depth and interaction, I’d definitely recommend checking this one out!

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