We went to Neutral Grounds last week and my kids chose Hyperborea as the latest game to add to our family time. I love the packaging. It gives off the feel of a fantasy adventure but it doesn’t come across as intimidating (as some games can).
What is Hyperborea? It is a board game where you develop your civilization, conquer your enemies and take over as much of the land as you can. Sounds easy, right? Once you get the hang of it, yes it is but mastering this game…will take me more playtime.
There are 6 competing kingdoms/countries in Hyperborea. These are the Red Duchy; the Green Kingdom and its archers; the Purple Matriarchy who worship the Goddess of Life; the Golden Barony where the diplomats and merchants abound; the efficiently organized socity of the Coral Kingdom; and lastly the enigmatic Celestial Reign. (I enjoyed reading the descriptions of each kingdom/society/country. I actually hope someone will write books set in the world of Hyperborea. That would be so cool!)
Some things you need to know before you get this game:
- This is a 2 to 6 player game.
- players must be aged 14 years old+ (though review sites suggest 10 or 12 year olds can play, I’d say stick to what’s on the box).
- This game takes at least 90 minutes. They estimated 20-25 minutes per player but our first full on race game lasted 3 hours and we still weren’t done. Forgive the novices!
There are many items in this game:
- 6 Central Hexagon Tiles
- 30 Borderland Hexagon Tiles
- 6 Homeland Tiles
- 6 Player Boards
- 36 Development Markers
- 6 Cloth Bags
- 180 Wooden Civilization Cubes
- 12 Race Tiles
- 60 Race Miniatures
- 18 Ghost Miniatures
- 48 Fortress Tokens
- 64 Advanced Technology Cards
- 72 Ruin Tokens
- 72 Gems
- 6 Objective Tiles
- 1 Scoring Pad
Not all items are in use in per game. It is best to get the pieces sorted so that everything is easily accessible for play and also easy to put away. Thank goodness they provided lots of ziplock bags but I still want a case to put all the tiny cardboard pieces in.
You will also need a suitable sized table so that everyone is comfortably seated and can easily access all items in play. A typical dining table for 6 is sufficient.
What is the goal? Depending on the type of play chosen, 1, 2 or 3 objectives must be met to declare a game is over. However, the victor is not necessarily the player who achieved the set objectives. It will be the player with the highest total number of points after all set objectives have been met.
If I go into detail on how to play this game, it will take too long. Anyone curious can get more information here. My personal opinion: this is a good game to develop a sense of strategy and logic. It is best played with people who are NOT rushing as the game can be loooong depending on how quickly the players respond in game play. I found it fascinating and fun but a little slow at times as we each had to pause and puzzle over stuff as we were still learning the game. Now, I’d better review my strategy since I haven’t won a single game yet 🙁