Small Islands - A Family Review

Navigate through an archipelago of adventure in Small Islands, a tile-laying game of point scoring and clever placement. Explore, complete your missions, and create a beautiful world on your game table.
Small Islands - A Family Review

It’s time for a tiny island getaway! Small Islands is a cute, tile-building game where you create gorgeous little islands filled with interesting resources and sites. It’s great for players who like ever-changing maps or feel satisfaction from finding the perfect fitting piece!

Like similar tile games, Small Islands was great for the kids' spatial awareness—they had to determine how to fit and orient the island tiles together in a way that made sense and maximized their points. How do you get points? Each round you draw a mission and a reward to go with your hand of tiles, and you can plan the best way to score the most points.

9yo: “It was fun making the groups of islands and seeing what the map turned into.”

The art is lovely, and the islands are SO cute. The kids loved that each player got boats and houses that were unique to that player's colour. You know we love a custom meeple, and it was cool to see different historic boat and house designs, not just western ones! The game takes about 30 minutes to play, and the box recommends ages 8+. Those both felt right. Our younger kids may be able to play, but they’d need a lot of parent help.

Turns go pretty fast, so Small Islands is good at keeping players engaged. There’s also some strategy involved with planning when to play your boat. You only get to play it once, so you want to wait for the best time to maximize your points. BUT. Wait too long and you might miss the chance to play it at all!

Another exciting aspect of Small Islands? There are achievements to earn as you play! This adds extra challenge and reward to playing as you aren’t just playing to win, you’re playing to check off goals and unlock new game tiles. Plus who doesn’t love when games have secrets to unlock! This alone made Meric want to play again. Immediately.

Small Islands is a delightful, low-pressure game to add to your collection, and we think it’s one that you’ll play often!

Helpful hints

  • Look for some island themed music to have on as you play! We used an Isle of Cats playlist, and it was the perfect vibe for Small Islands
  • Have other island games? Plan an island getaway game day with the fam! Set the vibe with music, wearing beach wear, having themed snacks… Make a day of it!
  • Play through Small Islands achievements to unlock all of the game rules and pieces!
  • Make sure to have the mission and reward glossary handy, as the cards rely on icons instead of rules text.

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