"Sacrilicious" -- Board Game Quest, Best Board Games of 2021
Illumination is a game of Mad Medieval Monks and Illuminated Manuscripts.
You and your opponent are monks competing to become the new head of the Scriptorium. You do so by illuminating manuscripts with elaborate religious artwork. But not all is as peaceful as it once was! Possessed with eccentric enthusiasm, one of you has turned from the reverent to the irreverent by scrawling demons instead of angels and by painting fierce dragons instead of noble knights. Who will become the new master of the Scriptorium? Will it be the monk who reverently illuminates the page with monks, dogs, knights and angels; or the irreverent monk who whimsically draws the forces of rabbit, squirrel, dragon and demon? Play Illumination to find out!
Each turn, players create illuminations in three Books by placing one full row or column of tiles of their choice from their Player mat. With careful placement, players collect Coins that allow them to perform special actions or purchase Scriptorium cards. By placing tiles next to others of matching color, players collect Ritual tokens to score points at the Ritual stations in the Monastery when they are occupied by the Abbot.
As tiles are placed in Books, conflicts are set in motion: Angels wrestle with Demons, Knights skirmish with Dragons, Monks contend with Rabbits, and Dogs struggle with Squirrels. These conflicts are resolved only when they are bounded on all sides. Then, the player with more tiles on their side wins the
Bounded Battle, flips the losing side’s tiles facedown, and places their Marker on the matching Battle card.
When the game ends, players score points for the Rituals recorded on the Monastery mat and 1 point for each of their faceup Illumination tiles in each Book. Players also score points for placing more Markers on Battle cards and for defeated factions that match their Crusade card. The player with more points wins!
Join us as we review the 2021 Best Two Player Game nominees for Meeple Mountain’s annual Diamond Climber Board Game Awards.