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Tabletop Game Review – Holi: Festival of Colors

Holi: Festival of Colors by Floodgate Games
Price: ~$40.00
2 to 4
20-40 minutes
Perfect for:
Groups who enjoy strategic area control games with unique and colorful themes.

Holi: Festival of Colors is a game of spreading love and joy based upon themes from the ancient Hindu tradition. Where family and friends come together to throw colored powders upon one another to celebrate the victory of good triumphing over evil. In this playful adaptation, individuals spread their own colors over a multi-tiered board to score points and become victorious.

To begin Holi: Festival of Colors, 2 – 4 four players collect their color tokens, a deck of powder pattern cards, a scoring marker, and their character. The group then assembles the play area—a vertical board with three levels, each with a large grid. Players begin in the corners on the ground floor with three starting cards.

On a turn, players will move and play a pattern from their hand to drop corresponding tokens of their color onto the board, and the placement nets points at the end of the game. If a token hits another player’s character, it gives the thrower victory points. When a player finds themselves surrounded orthogonally by tokens, they can choose to ascend to the level above them (where colors dropped score more points). Play continues until individuals are out of paint at which time victory points get scored and the person with the most wins.

RELATED: Tabletop Game Review – Bosk

What works in Holi: Festival of Colors? It’s the vibrant design, clever adaptation of the area control mechanic, and engaging interactivity with other players. The artistry by Vincent Dutrait is warm, energetic, and gives Holi a truly vivacious feel. The layout allowing players to ascend creates a very dynamic feel. Especially since the colors “fall” down to layers below if the spots underneath are vacant (only one token can occupy a space on the grid). Furthermore, players can’t descend which means they must be strategic about choosing the optimal time to take a higher position. Finally, the playful nature of scoring bonus points by tagging other players means that individuals must be thoughtful about how they might be able to benefit by covering others with their colored powder.

Players who do not enjoy directly competitive territory-conquering games may not enjoy Holi: Festival of Colors as much as others. The core strategy revolves around evaluating movement and location. Players who are not keen on special relationships games therefore may feel frustrated. Also notable is that the games are fairly quick. This is intentional, and game-specific randomized scoring objectives make for good replay value. However it’s possible players might have a desire for a longer experience.

Holi: Festival of Colors continues the excellent tradition of Floodgate Games creating dazzling experiences that stimulate multiple senses. While Holi is a competitive game, there’s something playful and delightful at its heart rendering it irresistible. And there’s just enough of twist on a familiar style of play to make this a highly recommended addition for families and gaming groups.

Recommended if you like: Sagrada, Bosk

Final Grade: A

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