I'm always on the lookout for new board games and card games. Especially the rare ones that are fun to play solo or with two people. Don't get me wrong- I love playing with groups! However, sometimes it's not very convenient to get a group together. Recently, I stumbled across this game on Amazon called Palm Island and had to take a closer look. I am so glad I did. Spoiler alert: It is amazing.
The first thing I noticed when it arrived was the quality. Even the box it comes in felt nice. It has a cute little faux leather wallet for the cards to go in if you want (this would be handy for travelling). The cards are a strong and just feel good in your hand. It may sound silly, but really the quality was impressive.
Palm Island would be a very easy game to bring on a trip. You don't even need a table to play it on! For the solo game, you just use 17 base cards which you hold in your hand. There are 8 rounds, with a handy round counter card so you don't even have to keep track of where you are at. At the end of the 8 rounds you want to add up how many gold stars you have on the top section of the cards in your hand. Gameplay is simply gaining resources by turning cards, using resources to flip cards, and discarding cards to the back of your hand if you can't play them. The three resources to keep track of are fish, stone, and wood and each card provides resources at the top of them.
Each game I played took me about 15-20 minutes (with my cat interrupting me at times). It moves very quick and is highly addictive.
As I said above, at the end of 8 rounds you count your gold stars on the tops of each card in your hand. There is a score card that you can then compare against to see how you did. So far the highest score I have gotten was a 24… so I need to practice some more. Most of my games were in the “Needs work” category.
Palm Island also comes with special cards called Feats. As you complete a solo game, if you have mastered any of the special requirements listed on one of the Feat cards, you can then add that card into your deck for future games.
Some of the Feat cards work the same as the regular cards in game, however some also have special rules which can alter things in gameplay.
Two Player Gaming
Unfortunately I have not been able to experience the multiplayer aspect of Palm Island. However, there are special rules to play either cooperatively or competitively when in a two player game. In fact, the game comes with many more cards than I was able to play with because of having two decks available and the use of additional cards for multiplayer games.
Overall, It's Pretty Great
Yes, as you have no doubt figured out by now, I really like this game. It will absolutely be my new go-to for solo gaming. Hopefully soon I will be able to convince someone to play it with me as well so I can experiment with the two player version. Until then, I am happy with solo. Please let me know if you play it and what you think of it- especially if you have played multiplayer!