We are always a little biased to a game with lots of 3d pieces and and great table presence. That doesn’t mean that Taluva isn’t a fun game without those component, but they definitely add some great flavor to the game. The point of Taluva is to have the most temples built at the end of the game, but someone might claim victory early if they can get a large number of their structures built.
Each time you start your turn you will add a volcano tile expanding the island of Taluva. You can either add more surface area or go upwards adding levels to the island. Towers can only be built on higher levels so those will be a necessity if you are aiming to win the game by building towers up!
After you place your tile you can take a single construction action. You can place a single hut on any open level one space anywhere on the board. You definitely need to have lots of different settlements as each one can only have a single tower and temple. The other thing you can do with huts is pick one terrain type and one spot you control on the board and fan out a hut on each of the adjacent tiles of the terrain type you selected.
Instead of placing huts you can build a tower or a temple in a settlement if they don’t have one already. Each of these more advanced buildings has some requirements though. To build a temple there has to be at least three huts in a settlement. For a tower it just need to be built on level three and next to one of your settlements. While towers are hard to build, they are the most important ones to get built.
Taluva plays really quickly, only lasting 30 - 45 minutes for each game. I love building up the island and all of my settlements. There is plenty of ability to screw with opponents as you can crush some of their huts by placing land on top of them or just by building where they want to build before they do. While it takes a few turns to real grasp the strategy of the game it is quick enough that once you give it a try you will likely be up to playing again right away to win the game!