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Spirit Island box image

Spirit Island

Spirit Island is a cooperative strategy game where players take on the roles of spirits defending their island home from colonizing invaders. Each spirit has unique powers and abilities to manipulate the elements and thwart the invaders' plans.

8.35 / 10
BGG Rating
published year
1 - 4
player count
1 - 4
Recommended player count
90 - 120 mins
play time

How Complex is Spirit Island?

4.06 / 5

Spirit Island has a moderate complexity, with many unique spirits and mechanics to learn. However, the rulebook is well-written and the game is rewarding to master.

How much Luck is involved in the gameplay of Spirit Island?

2 / 5

Luck plays a minor role in Spirit Island as players have control over their spirits' abilities and can plan their moves accordingly. However, the invaders' actions are determined by card draws, which can create unpredictable situations.

How much Player Interaction does Spirit Island offer?

3.5 / 5

Spirit Island is a cooperative game, so players must work together to defend the island. However, there is limited direct interaction between players as each controls their own spirit. Some spirits can support or hinder others, but cooperation is the primary focus.

How much Replayability does Spirit Island offer?

4 / 5

Spirit Island offers high replayability due to the variety of spirits, invader types, and scenarios available. Each game presents unique challenges and opportunities for strategic play.

Why you should play Spirit Island

Unique Theme

Spirit Island has a unique theme where players take on the role of spirits defending an island from colonizers. This theme is not commonly found in board games and adds a fresh perspective to the gameplay.

Cooperative Gameplay

Spirit Island is a cooperative game where players work together to defend the island. This promotes teamwork and communication among players.

Strategic Gameplay

The game requires players to think strategically and plan their moves carefully. Each spirit has unique abilities and players must work together to use them effectively.


Spirit Island has a high replayability factor due to the different spirits and scenarios available. Each game can be different depending on the spirits chosen and the scenario played.


Spirit Island is a challenging game that requires players to think critically and plan ahead. This makes it a great game for experienced gamers looking for a challenge.

Solo Play

Spirit Island can also be played solo, which is great for those who prefer to play alone or cannot find a group to play with.


The artwork in Spirit Island is stunning and adds to the immersive experience of the game. The illustrations are detailed and beautifully done, making the game visually appealing.

Why you should avoid Spirit Island


Spirit Island can be a complex game to learn, especially for new players. The rules and mechanics may be overwhelming and take some time to fully understand.

Lengthy Gameplay

The game can take a long time to play, especially with a full group of players. This may not be ideal for those who prefer shorter game sessions.

Limited Player Interaction

While the game is cooperative, there may be limited player interaction during gameplay. Some players may prefer games with more direct player interaction.


The theme of Spirit Island may not be appealing to everyone. The idea of defending an island from colonizers may be sensitive or uncomfortable for some players.


Spirit Island is a relatively expensive game compared to other board games on the market. This may not be ideal for those on a tight budget or looking for a more affordable game option.

Where to play Spirit Island online?

Where to find the Rules of Spirit Island

Check the rules of Spirit Island in a PDF file.

You can also find the community-driven rules summary, player aid, etc., in the Spirit Island files section on the BoardGameGeek website. You need an account on BGG to download files.

Beginner Strategies for Spirit Island

These strategies are for players who have either not played or played one or two games of Spirit Island.

Focus on defense

In Spirit Island, preventing the invaders from ravaging the island is just as important as attacking them. Make sure to use your powers to defend the land and prevent the invaders from building and exploring.

Use your innate powers

Each spirit has innate powers that can be used without spending energy. These powers are often very powerful and can be used multiple times per turn. Make sure to use them as often as possible.

Plan ahead

The invaders will always be building and exploring, so it's important to plan ahead and anticipate their movements. Try to predict where they will be next turn and use your powers to stop them.

Work together

Spirit Island is a cooperative game, so make sure to work together with the other players to coordinate your actions. Communicate with each other and try to use your powers in a way that complements each other.

Focus on your strengths

Each spirit has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Try to focus on your strengths and use them to your advantage. For example, if your spirit is good at destroying buildings, focus on that and let the other spirits handle other tasks.

Don't be afraid to lose

Spirit Island is a challenging game, and it's okay to lose. Use each game as a learning experience and try to improve your strategy for the next game.

Advanced Strategies for Spirit Island

Focus on synergy

As you become more familiar with the game, you'll start to notice how different spirits can work together to create powerful combinations. Try to focus on using your powers in a way that complements the other spirits on your team.

Prioritize the most dangerous invaders

Not all invaders are created equal. Some are more dangerous than others, and it's important to prioritize your attacks on the most dangerous ones. For example, if there are invaders that deal extra damage or have a special ability, focus on taking them out first.

Use fear to your advantage

Fear is a powerful tool in Spirit Island. As you play the game more, you'll start to notice how fear can be used to slow down the invaders and give you more time to prepare. Try to use your powers in a way that generates fear and take advantage of the fear cards when they come up.

Plan for the long game

Spirit Island is a game that rewards long-term planning. Try to think ahead and anticipate how the game will progress over multiple turns. For example, if you know that a particularly dangerous invader is going to appear in a few turns, start preparing for it now.

Experiment with different spirits

As you become more familiar with the game, try experimenting with different spirits and see how they play differently. Each spirit has its own unique playstyle, and trying out different combinations can be a fun way to keep the game fresh.

Don't forget about the island

It's easy to get caught up in attacking the invaders, but don't forget about the island itself. Make sure to use your powers to heal the land and remove blight, as this will make it easier to defend against the invaders in the long run.


Set Collection
Modular Board
Variable Player Powers
Campaign / Battle Card Driven
Simultaneous Action Selection
Cooperative Game
Hand Management
Area Majority / Influence
Solo / Solitaire Game
Action Retrieval
Variable Set-up
Automatic Resource Growth


Territory Building