This Kanaloa.Bambus is not the same game as the Kanaloa published by Tilsit
BoardgameGeek rating: 7.17 of 10.00 (Bayesian Average Rating: 6.57)
See ratings (35) and comments (14) (at 23 / Sep / 2004)
"Kanaloa - Bambus [=3 stars of 3]
Takes the award for "most wood in a game" for 2001. Players are worshippers of gods on Hawaii. Each turn they may island hop to an adjacent island, claim a worship marker OR instead sit still and make an offering to one of five gods. If a
player moves the characteristics of the board changes, altering the available routes and possibly hindering the other players. Offering to gods allows an altar to that god to be built in front of that player, possibly giving them access to that god's
This is an excellent game and easily the best game out of 2001 Essen."
(Doug J. Adams, 20 January 2002)
"... the game does have a reasonable number of options, they are not too difficult to make and the progress you make is visible in the form of temples that you display in front of you. The offering tiles are also visible, so this represents the threat you may have of increasing power...
Overall, I would concour with the 'gamer's game' feeling. The theme of Hawaiian gods was lost to me within minutes as I concentrated on the game systems, which I like. The game has high replay value as the set up and occurence of the offering tiles will change and the variety added by the god powers improves the game. The only warning I would add is that you have to beware of a player controlling particular combinations of powers. These can be quite devastating when under the same control. Recommended for gamers who want a change of scenery and some clever interactive systems.
(Alan How, "Counter" games magazin, issue 16, see complete Review at Funagain Games)
My second favorite of the Essen release. A very different kind of game, as we've come to expect from Günter Cornett. The mechanics defintely take a bit of getting used to. The movement system (with the rotating fish) is very nice, but the best part is the powers of the Gods and the way you need to balance your desire to gain those power versus your attempt to maximize your score (via the very clever scoring system). The movement vs. scoring decision is somewhat reminiscent of Union Pacific. In fact there's quite a few aspects of the game that remind you of other designs, even though they are in no ways copies of them. By the way, I cannot imagine choosing where to lay out the fish at the beginning of the game - it would take forever and lead to a total meltdown of the brain. Fortunately, the layout provided is perfectly adequate. I've been good things from Cornett since I first tried Arabana-Ikibiti, and he certainly hadn't disappointed me with this one. Probably the most innovative game to come out of Essen and easily Cornett's most ambitious and complete game to date.
My first game of Kanaloa was in something of a daze, and this appears to be true for the others I've seen play it, suggesting that there is something of a learning curve. Quickly, however we all figured out how the elements of the game interacted. And interact they do: each of the four gods' powers subtly improve one's quality of available offerings, but having more than one power improves one's chance geometrically. Which is where the player interaction appears in the game, as everyone vies for the biggest towers to lure the gods to them. For me, the amount of player interaction is just about right, and the scope for strategy is probably limited to about two turns ahead, alleviating extreme analysis downtime. Add to that the frantic race to build a sizeable Kane-the-White-tower before the finish and you have a fascinating endgame.(Actually, the endgame is possibly the biggest problem in the game, as it often possible to know about two turns before the end who is going o win). My co-players and I were struck by the originality of this game. I was struggling to find another game that felt even vaguely similar. Kanaloa has made many journeys to the table recently, though it's probably not old enough yet to prove itself a stayer. So far, only one of the five people I've played this with refuses to play it again."
("Counter" games magazin, issue 16)
"What makes this game seem full of potential are the many clever ideas at work in the play and scoring.
...the different powers each god card has ... seem nicely balanced and since a player can have more than 1 god card working for him, the combinations can be very powerful...
The game took an hour and a half, maybe a bit more explaining the rules...
Partially in relief that this very expensive gamble wasn't a bust, but I'm going to give this an 8 for my first play. I'm sure it will get more playings over the next few weeks, so I'll be able to decide how it goes over several playings, but after one try I'm very pleased with the game."
(Ward Batty, see complete review (long) at Boardgamegeek)
"...there are about three systems functioning at once.
...Kanaloa has a big stack of rules. Fortunately no single rule is horribly difficult to learn. It's just that there are a lot of them, and you have to learn how they all work together. While I started the game in a cloud of uncertainty, I felt like I finished the game knowing how to play.
And certainly I finished feeling that the game is a good one! There were a few things that seemed like fresh ideas along with a few things that reminded me of other games without being exactly like those other games. I don't always care for games that let players choose special powers, but in this game, with there being only four powers, constantly held by one player or another, and having to be claimed in victory points, the feeling is not the same as in a game where there are two dozen powers and any odd assortment of them may be in play at any given moment. In a striking truth-in-theming moment, they really did feel more like gods! Like down on the islands we were trying to do our simple deeds, but at the mercy of these big forces, always present and always having to be appeased...
The only discouraging thing I have to say about the game is that it is not a bargain at the price. If it were $29.95, I'd snap a copy up. At about twice that, Kanaloa is likely to become more of a collectors' item and less of a popular favorite. I wonder if there's any chance that enthusiastic notices from players will pave the way for a larger print run and a lower sticker price? "
(Stven Carlberg, see complete review (very long) at Boardgamegeek)
Hippodice game designer competition 2001: