Sail Away – Mattel Games – Review

"The actual game art, is quite nice. The symbology is well thought out, and plays well. I did not like the box art. I’d have rather seen angry over bearing pirates."

Theme and What is it?

You are a merchant (pirate), but lets not mince words. You are getting goods, to get rid of them through merchant channels. Points, glorious points… I mean gold.

Yo ho ho.

Gameplay Mechanics

The general gist is a simple worker placement game, that allows you to build goods to sell for victory points (doubloons).

Each turn, you will place a crate (worker) on a specific good. It is now yours, unless a neighbor uses a trump (pirate with a crate). It is now his, unless you pay him two gold. Each card you have is worth differing amounts of gold. Think of them as mission cards.

The game ends when a player has lauched 5 of their ships. Whoever ends up with the most gold, wins. Simple enough.

Initial Impressions

The game did not call my attention. In fact, I forgot we had it in the backlog. (Sorry Mattel!)

This generally does not bode well for a game.

Game Build Quality

Mattel Games has made a push to have some great quality games in the past few years. This is no exception. The quality of the plastics is excellent. 

The rest of the game is on par with any other major release. It just looks and feels good.

Artistic Direction

The actual game art, is quite nice. The symbology is well thought out, and plays well. I did not like the box art. I’d have rather seen angry over bearing pirates. 

Though I do understand, this is a Mattel release, they like the softer art, for mass market appeal.

Fun Factor

Worker placements are by and large a mechanic that is seen in almost every style of game. The reason… it works. 

Sail Away, works, and I like worker placement. My daughter was not a huge fan, she is 7. 

She could not really explain what she disliked, so much as was able to say she definitively was not wow’ed by the title. 

Age Range & Weight

10+. I think the game is easily understandable to even a younger audience. The weight is something that an even younger audience could understand. 

Conclusions

I truly wanted to enjoy Sail Away. 

The quality is there, the game art is quite nice. It just kind of hit a flat note for me and my daughter. There are so many games with similar mechanics, that I cannot say this game is something you should focus on rather than another title. 

If you are able to find this, and it is a good price, and you want to see Mattel’s style of worker placement, this game is a fine example.