This year Uwe Rosenberg has been inspired by most people’s favorite season (autumn) for a new puzzle game called Indian Summer. In Indian Summer, on a beautiful sunny day, you can take a walk through a beautiful autumn forest where you can gaze at the colorful beauty of all autumn trees. If you are lucky you will also see some rare forest animals such as hedgehogs, squirrels or maybe even a fox. Meanwhile you pick the berries and mushrooms, pick nuts from the ground or find a beautiful feather. This sounds very idyllic, but under this beautiful thematic layer a smooth puzzle game is hidden.
All players have their own player board with a piece of wood on it that they have to complete. Some boxes show the berries, mushrooms, nuts and feathers, but most of the boxes are empty. Each player gets 5 tetris-shaped tiles with autumn leaves and one hole.
During your turn, place such a tile on your board and try to put the holes on the berries, mushrooms, nuts or feathers. If you do this, you get a round chip with the forest discovery on it. Of course, at some point you will have bad loose compartments. Instead of a tile, you may cover one square with a squirrel.
You can hand in these chips for nice extras. With a nut, for example, you get a squirrel with which you can cover one space on the forest floor for free (but without it costing your turn). With berries you can replenish your stock of tiles in between. Normally you have to wait for all your tiles to be exhausted and then you can replenish your supply in one fell swoop until you get more tiles by taking the first five tiles from the general supply. With a mushroom you may place an extra tile in a turn. And with a feather you can take the front tile from both neighbours and place it on your turn.
In the middle of the table are a number of tiles with forest inhabitants. If you succeed in using the holes in the tiles to make exactly the pattern of such a tile, you may place the forest creature on your board and you will get all the forest discoveries that can be seen through the holes once more.
The goal of the game is to fill up your board as quickly as possible. The player who does this first wins the game. Only when more people have filled up their board just as quickly do the discoveries in the woods count as tiebreaker. So don’t put too much energy into collecting these tiles. If you can score them, that’s fine, but if it costs you extra turns then it’s not worth it.
Indian Summer is beautiful but maybe bit to fast
Indian Summer is a game that plays very fast. With the two of you you you often play it in about fifteen minutes. Even at full capacity, I think you have to do your best to spend more than half an hour on it. Of course, the fact that a game is short is not necessarily bad. But with Indian Summer, the game is too short. Sometimes you just have to be a little lucky with the tiles you get. If they all fit together nicely and you can also score through the forest discoveries, then it can go fast. If one player gets nice tiles and the other not then the game is already decided. To be fair, it didn’t live up to its expectations.