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Lacuna Review

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Review of: Lacuna
Board Game Review by::
Brian Winters
Price:
$29

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4.5
On Mar 20, 2024
Last modified:Mar 20, 2024

Summary:

Lacuna is a fast and fun abstract strategy game is where players will place their pawns, collect flowers, and if you win the majority of flower colors you win the game!

LacunaWhen I think of abstract strategy games, the first ones that come to mind are the ones that my family and I have on rotation: Chess, Shobu, Noctiluca, Onitama, Cathedral, and Feudal. These aren’t the only ones we like or own, but these are some of the ones that come out on family game night or when my son has a hankering to play. I own others like Bosk, Photosynthesis, and Othello but those really don’t hit the table but once maybe twice within the last couple of years. Maybe those 3 need to find new homes?

This brings us to today’s review Lacuna a game by Mark Gerrits and CMYK. This abstract strategy game is where players will place their pawns, collect flowers, and if you win the majority of flower colors you win the game. Will Lacuna be another good abstract strategy game worthy of our game rotation, or will this be another one that needs a new home? Read on!

Lacuna is an abstract strategy game for 2 players which plays in about 10-15 minutes.

Game Overview:

Lacuna set-up is straight forward and quick. The first player will collect 1 of the 7 different flower token colors (each color includes 7). Players then spread out the cloth playmat and fill the game container with the remaining 48 flower tokens and sprinkle the flower tokens over the playmat trying to distribute evenly.

Lacuna Tokens
Flower tokens are all unique shape and colors for players to discern.

The first player begins and draws an imaginary line between 2 of the same-colored flower tokens and places 1 of their 6 pawns on that line. That player then collects those two flower tokens if no other flower tokens or pawns block that line. Once a player collects their 2 flower tokens play passes to the opposing player. Play continues until all pawns are placed on the playmat.

The second part of the game now begins with the remaining unclaimed flower tokens on the playmat. Both players will now collect the flower tokens that are closest to their pawns on the playmat. If there’s any question about who is closer. Players should use the ruler included in Lacuna to determine which player is closest.

The player who has collected the majority of flower tokens of a color (4+) wins that color and the player who wins the majority of colors (4+) wins the game.

Lacuna Gameplay
Place your pawns carefully because you will collect flowers in part 1 and also collect closest flowers in part 2.

Game Experience:

Lacuna is a very easy game to pick up and play. The rules are straightforward and easy to master. Lacuna also plays relatively fast and the only things that sometimes slows it down is some minor analysis by paralysis when placing your pawns and when you must measure to collect pawns in the second part of the game.

Lacuna is described as a cozy game and that’s accurate especially when this game set-up is complete. It’s rather pleasing to the eye and not just because you’re surveying the play mat for your first optimal move but because it’s aesthetically pleasing. Lacuna has an excellent and calming table presence and it’s also rather eye catching to boot.

Lacuna Measure
When in doubt, bust out the Lacuna ruler to see who “really” is the closest in part 2.

The other aspect of Lacuna I wanted to highlight is players will always have options to collect flower tokens. Each time you place your pawn you will collect flower tokens. Even when your imagery line is blocked you adjust and find an unblocked line so player will always collect something. In the second part of the game, you will again collect flower tokens. This makes Lacuna a closer scoring game and keeps both players engaged.

The one aspect that really surprised me and most other players is that Lacuna can be rather thinky. Pawn placement is key not just for initially collecting flower tokens but also in the second part of the game when the flower token nearest to your pawn will be collected. So, it becomes a question of where on that imagery line should you place your pawn to collect flower tokens now and then of course which ones possibly later. Also, there’s math you need to be aware of. If your opponent has a majority (4+) of a flower token color, then it’s time to avoid that one to gather others.

Lacuna Mat
Lacuna is cozy game and pleasing to the eye.

The last thing I want to note is that Lacuna does not come in a box but rather a 9” cylinder. Does this thematically help sprinkle flowers on a pond a night to later collect them? Sure. Does it wreck all my existing available rectangular gaming shelf space? Yes, a thousand times, yes! My gaming shelf space like most is finite, and I always try to maximize it, but I never bury a game behind another because I’ll forget about it. I want to keep Lacuna but I’m going to have to reorganize my shelves to fit this oddly shaped game and I’m not thrilled about that.

Final Thoughts:

While Lacuna is easy to learn and quick to the table, it’s a much more thinky game than players might expect. It’s also filled with great options for players to always collect flower tokens (but are those the ones that will help you gain the majority) and has a cozy and calming table presence. Overall, Lacuna is a great abstract strategy game that is now part of the family game rotation.

My only complaint is that Lacuna storage solution is a cylinder, and my shelves are filled with rectangular games. I like the cylinder because it fits the theme, but this will require reorganization to fit.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars – A calm-looking abstract strategy game that is fast and fun to play but filled with great player options and thinky moments as well.

4.5 StarsHits:
• Easy to learn, quick to play
• Pleasing table presence
• Great player options
• More thinky than expected

Misses:
• Cylinder storage solution

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