The Legend of Landlock
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Deep in the forest is an ever-changing world of paths and streams....
In Landlock, strategy rules! Take turns placing tiles next to each other until lo and behold, you've created a game board where critters skitter and gnomes roam. Make a continuous path or stream around Landlock and you score big points. Discover a dragon or match up gnomes for extra credit. But watch out... your opponent will try to stop you in your tracks! The player with the highest score rules the land.
I took a gamble on this one. I usually don't buy a game till it gets consistent good reviews. All I knew about Legend of Landlock was that it was selected as one of the best new games by Mensa. Strangely enough, I couldn't even find information about the game on the manufacturer's website. But I thought, for $9.95, what could I lose?
Turns out, it was a good gamble. The game consists of 40 tiles that depict streams and paths. One player plays as the paths, the other as the streams. During the game, you take turns picking a tile from the facedown pile(s), and placing it next to a tile that has already been played. The game is played until a 6 x 6 square of tiles has been created.
There are 4 types of tiles: ones that favor paths, ones that favor streams, 3 that equally depict paths and streams (bridges), and 3 that equally hinder both paths and streams (Tussocks). The object of the game is to score the most points by creating continuous paths or streams that connect the 4 sides of the finished square. You also get bonus points for closing off (making ponds or islands) your opponent's streams or paths.
Sounds simple? It is. BUT, it's much more strategic than the whimsical depictions of the tiles suggest. When you draw tiles, you'll draw tiles that will both help and hurt you and your opponent, so as the board develops, you end up with some turn angst.
The 6 x 6 board limitation is clever, because as the board grows, careful placement of tiles will possibly cut off your opponent from connecting to one or more sides. In addition, since there are 40 tiles, but you only use 36, you can't be sure which tiles will be the last ones to complete the board (which would be very helpful to know).
I have to admit, when I first opened the box, and saw the gnomes, and fairies on the tiles, I thought, 'Uh oh. I just bought a kid's game'. But I was wrong. While the box says for ages 8 and up, the friend I played Legend of Landlock with, and I are in our 30's and we both enjoyed it immensely. We ended up playing it 5 times in 2 days.
The rules are quickly learned, and the game itself plays quickly, about 15 or 20 minutes. The artwork, is cute, done in colors that are easy on the eyes. The tiles are thick, well-made cardboard. The manufacturer even includes a blank pad of paper and a pencil so that you can keep score(I thought that was cute. Was that in case I didn't have some form of paper or a writing utensil of my own at home?).
It's obvious that not only was care put into the development of this game, care was put into the production it as well. If you like Carcassonne, or Ta Yu, and you want a quicker(but not necessarily lighter) game to be played by two people, get Legend of Landlock. It's a great deal.
One player starts as Land, the other Water, in this charmingly illustrated tile-laying game. After the first tile is on the table, players alternate drawing and placing new tiles so that the edges match. The layout cannot extend more than six tiles in any direction. All 40 tiles feature a combination of land and water The game ends when a 6 x 6 square is formed. You score points by connecting sides with paths (if you're Land) or streams (if you're Water). A bridge tile, which is the one and only place where a stream and a path can cross each other, must be placed on another tile. Land scores for ponds, and Water scores for islands. Some tiles show gnomes; you score if you get two or more adjacent gnomes on your type of terrain. A land of enchantment awaits you.