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Four tribal pearls must be delivered to the volcano in the middle of the lagoon. Pearls are distributed to the eight islands at the rim of the lagoon. Rafts start at one of the islands. A player has 30 seconds to load his raft and move it towards the volcano, one square at a time in any direction. Players' rafts may be blocked by obstacles and influenced by currents, and players may exchange loads with other rafts.
Laguna is something of a puzzle game, kind of like Ricochet Robot. In Laguna, you have to manipulate your raft through reefs and currents, trying to pick up four pearls of your color and put them on the island in the middle of the board.
Your raft has six holes in a 2 by 3 pattern, and between two and four of these holes are covered by marbles (pearls) at any time. If you ever move your raft so that a current arrow can be seen through one of the uncovered holes, your raft must immediately move one space in that direction. And if you ever move so that a reef shows through a hole, your move ends. You may always reposition the marbles on your raft, so the reefs and arrows will be covered as you move, but don't take too long because your moves are timed, and your turn will end when the one minute timer runs out.
There is a lot of puzzle-solving on your turn, as you figure out which way to go, which marbles to reposition, and how best to avoid the reefs and currents, all under a time constraint. Some people I played with got too stressed out by the time and memory constraints, but most of us (myself included) enjoyed the challenge, especially after dropping off marbles and having to sail around to pick up more, with only two marbles left on the raft for covering up reefs. Challenging and fun.
Distribute the 24 pearls in four colors over the eight outer islands, pick your color, and place your holey 3 x 2 raft next to one of the islands. Your mission is to land four pearls of your color and deliver them to the central volcano. Any colors, up to a maximum of four, may be loaded at an island. Use these to cover the holes in your raft and speed your progress. Your raft progresses unhindered in straight lines until (1) an arrow current showing through a hole forces you to proceed in its direction or (2) a reef peeks through to stop your turn instantly. You can rearrange pearls before moving to plan for dangers ahead, and even stop to trade with adjacent rafts; but, with only 30 seconds per turn, your first priority is to stay afloat in these treacherous seas. The waters might be calm, but you won't be!