I am glad that I gave Coralia a second try. I would have missed out on a very fun game. This game has plenty to keep me coming back and just enough randomness with the dice to throw in fun surprises.
Theme and What is it?
As a scientist your goal is to advance your field of study and help make the world a better place…and make some moolah while doing it. The island of Coralia is a perfect place to make all of this happen. You have come here as a marine biologist because this coral reef is one of the best places in the world to study sea creatures. With your findings you can help save reefs all over the world. Also, over the years this island used to be a hideout of pirates and their treasures are hidden in the coral you are studying. I would call that a win-win situation. So grab your ROV (remotely operated vehicles) and start exploring. What you find will make you a well- known scientist, and it may even make you a very wealthy well-known scientist.
Corial is a dice placement game for 2-4 players.
In Coralia players want to explore as much as possible in a variety of ways to discover as much as they can. Exploration happens through dice placement. Each reef has the same color as a set of dice. There are six reefs and each reef has the same dice placement options. Each space on a reef matches one of the dice faces and allows the player to take a specific action.
Players roll four dice and select one to place on the board. They can place it in the matching reef and matching space or they can place it on the island. Once a dice is placed, it cannot be removed.
Coralia uses dice placement to both take actions and as a way to control territory. Both will eventually lead to victory points. Players can move their divers around the board to capture treasure and control reefs. Throughout the game players collect fish, clams, starfish, turtles and treasure. These all lead to immediate or end game victory points.
At the end of the game the player who has the highest score wins the game.
Dice games are a hit or a miss for me. Sometimes both. I have very bad luck with dice. I was drawn to Coralia because of the colorful graphics and some mild hesitation because of the dice aspect. The first time I played I didn’t really enjoy it. I think I was so focused on the dice and how they were not working for me that I didn’t pay attention to some of the ways to negate the randomness of the dice.
I sat back down with the rules and as I learned more about the game, I saw that there were things I could do to overcome my perpetual bad luck with dice. After that, the second game went much more smoothly and I really enjoyed it. So, I am glad I am writing this after my second playthrough. I usually put down my impressions of my first game.
The second time through the game really came alive, and I saw more opportunity. The randomness was still there. but I found ways to work with it and even use it to my advantage. From the first game to the second I went from “no thanks” to “I really want to play again”.
Game Build Quality
The quality of the game is very high. The board and other cardboard components are made from thick, sturdy material. The cards are nice. The dice are lots of fun and look great. Since they are the focal point of the game, it was great to see them so vibrant.
I do wish the box had a better insert to keep everything stored without being all over each other. That is not a huge deal. I just put each component in their own bag and will store it horizontally.
Coralia looks fantastic. The rich color saturation extends from board to cards to dice. The color palette is strong and bold. Because of this, players will feel very involved in the theme. The immersion happens from the attention to detail.
Much of the artwork is repetitive but it works well for Coralia because that is how reefs feel. Swimming along one reef feels very similar to swimming along a different one. The colors and sea life may change some but not drastically. I think that is why the repetitive nature of the art found in Coralia is not an issue at all.
Like I said earlier. Game one was a dud. Really for everyone that played. I brought back one of the players and game two went way better. It was more involved and we were able to look for strategy that we missed in the first game. This brought more complexity and variance to the game.
After game two I looked forward to getting another chance to play. I was able to find ways to make my bad luck with dice still work for me. I enjoyed the art and was caught up in the theme.
Age Range & Weight
Coralia is rated for 10+. That may be a little high for kids who have a solid background in board games. I would feel comfortable playing this game with my 8- year-old. There is nothing in the game that is over complex that would keep him from enjoying the game.
But with that being said, Coralia does have many ways to win and can involve a great deal of strategy. Some of that will be lost on younger players, but the overall experience will still be a good one for them.
I am glad that I gave Coralia a second try. I would have missed out on a very fun game. This game has plenty to keep me coming back and just enough randomness with the dice to throw in fun surprises. I like the multiple paths to victory. I thought the theme was spot on and the art captured the theme and allowed players to become involved in the game.
I can see Coralia making its way onto my table for both family and adult game nights. It is easy enough to teach and pick up on so that it could be played by newbies to the board game community. Yet, it still has meat to it that will keep seasoned players happy.
If you get a chance to check out Coralia I would recommend you give it a try. And when you do, try it out and let me know in the comments what you thought about it.
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