Coral reefs are some of the most spectacular and beautiful parts of our ocean’s ecosystem. But while a coral reef may take thousands of years to grow, the board game Reef allows you to build your very own reef in a matter of minutes. Reef is an abstract strategy game for kids and adults alike that combines card playing with pattern building for a fun trip below the sea. With colorful pieces and simple yet entertaining gameplay, Reef is an excellent game for families.
Building Your Coral Reef
The game of Reef comes with a box of colorful plastic pieces of coral that you have to stack together to build a beautiful multicolored reef. The fun of this board game comes from having to arrange these pieces into dazzling patterns that earn you extra points. Each player will get their very own starting reef to begin with, which is represented by four pieces of coral that go in the center four squares of their board.
Players will also start with several point tokens and two cards that they can use to collect more coral and build their reef into a big and beautiful display. Any cards not given out at the beginning of the game will go in the center of the table for players to choose from throughout the game. The game ends once all of the pieces of coral from one color have been taken or once all of the cards have been drawn.
Take a Card, Play a Card
Each turn you have two choices: you can either take a card from the center of the board or you can play one of your cards. To take a card from the center, you’ll either choose between the three face-up cards on the table or you’ll draw a random card from the deck.
To draw from the deck, however, you must sacrifice a point token, assigning it to the lowest-scoring of the three face-up cards. This then acts as an incentive for other players to choose that card in a later turn.
Each player is allowed up to four cards in their hand. The cards are split into top and bottom sections, which give you instructions to perform in that order. When you play a card, you must first take from the coral supply the two coral pieces displayed on the top of your card and put them on your reef. You can either put them on a blank space on your reef or stack them up to 4 pieces high.
Once you’ve added the two pieces of coral to your reef, you’ll look at the pattern that’s on the bottom of your card. If that pattern appears anywhere on your reef, then you will earn special points in the form of tokens. These patterns can include different colors of coral as well as the heights of the stacks, so it’ll take a bit of planning to try and make the right match.
Reef comes with one mini-expansion board game called Reef: Kings of the Coral. This mini-expansion will provide each player with two fish that they can use to boost the points of their patterns. Whenever you score for having a particular coral pattern, each fish that’s present on the formation will earn you an extra point. However, you can’t lay down a piece of coral wherever a fish is present, so be sure to strategize where your little slippery friends will swim!
Reef: Take a Trip Down Under
Reef is suitable for 2-4 players, as it comes with up to four little coral reef boards. It’s also suitable for ages 8 and up, which makes it perfect for parents to play with their kids or for kids to play together. Playing time lasts around 30-45 minutes, which should be short enough to keep the attention of younger players.
Reef is pretty easy to learn and is an excellent way to introduce kids to pattern building and strategy. It also provides enough room for long term planning that adults can feel stimulated while playing it. Buy Reef today and enjoy the beauty of the deep blue sea!