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Spirit Island (Solo Option)


Spirit Island is a complex and thematic cooperative game about defending your island home from colonizing Invaders.

Players are different spirits of the land, each with its own unique elemental powers. Every turn, players simultaneously choose which of their power cards to play, paying energy to do so.

Using combinations of power cards that match a spirit’s elemental affinities can grant free bonus effects.

Faster powers take effect immediately, before the Invaders spread and ravage, but other magics are slower, requiring forethought and planning to use effectively.

In the Spirit phase, spirits gain energy, and choose how / whether to Grow: to reclaim used power cards, to seek for new power, or to spread presence into new areas of the island.

The Invaders expand across the island map in a semi-predictable fashion. Each turn they explore into some lands (portions of the island); the next turn, they build in those lands, forming settlements and cities. The turn after that, they ravage there, bringing blight to the land and attacking any native islanders present.

The islanders fight back against the Invaders when attacked, and lend the spirits some other aid, but may not always do so exactly as you’d hoped. Some Powers work through the islanders, helping them (eg) drive out the Invaders or clean the land of blight.

The game escalates as it progresses: spirits spread their presence to new parts of the island and seek out new and more potent powers, while the Invaders step up their colonization efforts. Each turn represents 1-3 years of alternate-history.

At game start, winning requires destroying every last settlement and city on the board – but as you frighten the Invaders more and more, victory becomes easier: they’ll run away even if some number of settlements or cities remain. Defeat comes if any spirit is destroyed, if the island is overrun by blight, or if the Invader deck is depleted before achieving victory.

The game includes different adversaries to fight against (eg: a Swedish Mining Colony, or a Remote British Colony). Each changes play in different ways, and offers a different path of difficulty boosts to keep the game challenging as you gain skill.

Solo Rules

Solo games work much like normal games, but with a single board as the whole island.

The only difference is that you can target yourself with Powers that specifically target “Another Spirit”, though you do not gain extra benefits from Powers that are better when used on another Spirit (like Gift of Constancy or Elemental Boon).

Also, the luck of the draw is high, and you have no fellow Spirits to compensate for your Spirit’s weaknesses or limitations

Spirit Island in 3 minutes

Spirit Island – How to Play


A selection of files from BoardGameGeek. Links will open in a new window or tab.

Spirit Island Rules Reference

>> Click to download PDF <<

Teaching Spirit Island

Basic teaching spirit island.

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New Spirits 2018 – Print and Play PDF

>> Click to download ZIP <<

Spirit Island Reference with all expansions

An updated player reference sheet for Spirit Island with instructions that include rule changes from both Branch and Claw as well as Jagged Earth.

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Difficulty Chart: Base Game + all Expansions & Promos

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Shades of Sun and Moon: Homebrew Spirit

Rework based on feedback from lots of people. Please give it a try!

>> Click to download ZIP <<

Spirit Island – Quick and Easy Guide For New Players

New version of the Spirit Island rules, explained in a more logical order. – While new starting players won’t use the “healthy island” card yet, I’ve now included the new rule on blight for the “healthy island” card and a few other ways you might initially up the difficulty/complexity.

>> Click to download PDF <<