Design by Klaus-Jurgen Wrede
Published by White Goblin Games
2 – 4 Players, 45 minutes – 1 hour
Review by Greg J. Schloesser

Games–like many films–continue to be recycled and reinvented, sometimes receiving a major overhaul, while other times receiving nothing more than just a simple tweaking or re-theming.  I guess this is a good way to bring a former title to the attention of a new generation of gamers. However, many times the re-release is only just a few years after the publication of the original version, which seems a bit premature.  Do gamers really have that short of a memory? Or perhaps the reason is more noble. Perhaps it is because the original game was lost in the avalanche of yearly game releases and another publisher–or perhaps even the same publisher as the original–felt it would be good to give the game a second chance, quite likely with a shiny new veneer and/or theme.

Such appears to be the case with Bali from award-winning designer Klaus-Jürgen Wrede (Carcassonne) and publisher White Goblin Games.  Bali is a re-release of Rapa Nui, which was first published in 2011 under the Kosmos label. The original game was set on Easter Island, which is famous worldwide due to its mysterious moai, the large stone carvings which appear at various locations around the small island.  This latest version of the game has a new setting: the island of Bali. Bali’s past is also mysterious and, according to game lore, laden with superstition and spirituality. Islanders attempt to appease the gods and spirits of their ancestors by sacrificing much of their harvests.  Priests help ward off the evil spirits, while the erection of shrines pleases the gods.

Game play in Bali is essentially the same as that in Rapa Nui, with a few minor tweaks and the addition of two new variants.  A deck of cards consisting of farmers of four types (rice, peanut, banana and pepper), priests, shrines and stonemasons is mixed, and four columns consisting of four cards each are displayed as the “offer.”  Each player receives one each of the four types of “sacrifice” cards–rice, peanuts, bananas and peppers–with the remaining decks separated and set aside. Players also receive a starting deck of three farmers and one stonemason, as well as a few “stones” depending upon their place in the turn order.

About gschloesser

Greg Schloesser is the founder of the Westbank Gamers and co-founder of the East Tennessee Gamers. He is also a prolific reviewer of games and a regular contributor to numerous gaming publications and websites, including Counter, Knucklebones, Boardgame News, Boardgame Geek, Gamers Alliance and many others. Greg has been a gaming enthusiast his entire life, growing up in our hobby mainly on the war game side. His foray onto the internet exposed him to the wonderful world of German and European games and now nearly all of his gaming time is devoted to this area of our hobby. He travels to several gaming conventions each year and is the co-founder of Gulf Games, a regional gaming get-together held in the Southern USA. Greg was born in 1961 and lived his entire life in New Orleans before moving to East Tennessee in 2005. He is married and has one daughter (now married.)
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1 Response to Bali

  1. huzonfirst says:

    I’m also a fan of the original Rapa Nui; it’s probably my favorite Wrede design. Very nice, and nicely thinky, 2-player game.

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