«Greenland, 1850. Following the Franklin expedition’s tracks, cross the Lancaster Sound and sail into unknown seas. Navigating the maze of ice in your ship or your sled, and threatened the endless Arctic winter, will you discover the fables Northwest Passage in time to return?»
Whites bears, Inuits, Cairns and a huge amount of ice. This is what waits you in this game designed by Yves Tourigny, nicely illustrated by Stéphane Poinsot (Evo) and published by Matagot (Cyclades, Dice Town).
This 2 to 4 players game, with a minimum age suggested of 14 years old for a length of 60 minutes. This is a game of tile placement and action point allowance system. The 6 pages of the rules book make of this game an easy one to understand which in my opinion could be played by 8 to 10 years old children like my son Nicolas!
It could seems like a «déjà vu» but where «pushing cubes» become interesting is that those «cubes» are quite nice! You have a wood ship, a wood sled and 8 wood crew members with their big coat and fury hood!! All of that nicely detailed. There is also a scoring piece, a «solar disc» to indicate the season (and the area frozen ) and you have an individual board to manage your expedition.
The visual quality of this game (wood pieces, illustration and overall quality of the game material) and the quality of the game system are well done! Thanks to Matagot and to Mr Poinsot to give Mr Tourigny’s game what it needed to succeed.
Ok, the game? Well I like this game and its system of the season which change what happen. Yes, the tiles froze depending where the «solar disc» is placed at the beginning of each rounds and your ship could be stock in the ice and then your crew will have to use a sled! As well as when the nice weather comes back and the ice melt, your sled could find itself stock in a small island with nowhere to go! Be careful to the change of weather. Don’t forget you are an explorer and the temptation is strong to collect Cairns, to contact Inuits, to explore Franklin’s site and who never dreams to have a Strait named after you for the posterity? A lot of things to take into consideration and this game which become more interesting with 3 or 4 players because the competition is hard and because each action you chose to do (you are limited to one action at the time) will occupy some of your 7 crew members and they need to rest after each of those actions!
One more time, it is a game that I really like and I invite you as soon as you can to try it anywhere you could. Know that each game of Northwest Passage will be different because the tiles selection is random.
For more information, do not hesitate to visit Matagot’s web page: