Boonlake The latest Alexander Pfister board game published by DLP Games💙
With a group of pioneers, you have left civilization behind to settle along the shores of Boonlake, a long-forgotten region inhabited by humans long ago. This unexplored area beckons you! Become part of a new community and commit yourself to the common good. Explore the landscapes, build houses and settlements, raise cattle, produce raw materials, and develop an infrastructure. Do your best to automate these processes. Seize the opportunity to make the best of your new life in Boonlake.
Designer: Alexander Pfister Artist: Klemens Franz Player count: 1 - 4 players Playtime: 80 - 160 minutes Theme: American West, Civilization, Exploration, Economic
✔️ Pfister, so yeah, it’s going to be great!
✔️ A sweet action selection mechanism
✔️ Tons of cards like the most recent Pfister designs
✔️ Many ways to score points, a point salad galore.
✔️ Different strategies to follow, but balance is key.
✔️ Every turn you are involved in the secondary actions of other players
✔️ Colorful presentation
➖ Setting is very general. It takes away any bias or trappings regarding any history ‘flaws’ or difficult topics you need to tackle. For me personally, that does lead to a little less of a captivating experience. Maybe a more steering expansion with some more background would fix this for me.
➖ Rulebook is okay, but not great. The iconography isn’t as solid as earlier designs but it does do the job.
➖ Don’t be fooled, it’s a racing game and if you don’t play it with a little speed, you will get caught in the river by surprise.
The lesser points
❎ No story, no little thematic grounding, no real sense of progression. Are we spoiled the last few releases? Loved the hybrid designs with eurogames having an extra layer of experience
❎ Cards aren’t as interesting or powerful as f.e. Maracaibo. Also, they don’t really come alive on the board and are just in a stack of cards. Where I almost could imagine some cards from Maracaibo living in those places, Boonlake lacks it a little.
❎Can it be…too streamlined 😲
The final opinion
Overall I do really like this design. It isn’t my favorite out of Alexander’s stellar design portfolio. But, maybe an expansion in the future adding especially some more thematic grounding and a little more backstory (like OMG, Maracaibo, or something like that he used in Cloudage) would make this FANTASTIC! I can highly recommend this game, but do know it has a learning curve to it and you need to balance speed with making use of as many opportunities as possible. Components and art are great, yet also a little too nondescript for my taste, but it does have a vibrant and modern feel out on the table.
~ El Crosso