Setting alight countless colored paper lanterns on a lake must be a beautiful sight. And while this board game doesn’t glow, it still is quite pretty once you have arranged all the tiles. Players are building a lagoon with tiles showing lit lanterns in order to earn the most points from sets of lantern cards.
How you get lantern cards is one of the interesting aspects of the game. When you play a tile, not only are you getting a lantern card, but you are likely giving a card to all of your opponents. Playing tiles at the right time in order to benefit you the most and your opponents the least is one of the central strategies of the game. When a tile is placed the color pointed in your direction is the color that you receive (if there is any available). Also if you matched colors to previously placed tiles, you also get those colors as a bonus. Then starting with the player to your left you give people the colors pointing towards them if the color is available.
If one of the lake tiles that matched had a platform you also get a favor token. These favor tokens can be used during your turn to exchange one lantern card for a different color. This exchange can be helpful because this is the only way to change your lanterns cards before you make a dedication on your turn. Dedications range from having all the different colors to have multiple copies of certain number of colors. If you make a dedication, you have to do it before you play a tile so players will see what you will be capable to dedicate as the round goes around the table.
Simple, strategic, and pretty Lanterns has quite a few of the things we like in games. One of our favorite things to do is place a great tile for us that denies cards to our opponents. There is also an expansion that adds little tweaks to the game that are a great addition if you find that this game is lots of fun like we do!