Indigo Board Game Review

Game: Indigo
Publisher: Ravensburger Spieleverlag
Created By: Reiner Knizia
Illustration: Eckhard Freytag, Walter Pepperle
Board Game Type: Puzzle Game

Players: 2-4
Duration: 20- 30 minutes
Age on box: 8+
Youngest age that we've observed enjoying this game: 5
Time to learn: 5-10 minutes

Indigo Board Game Review

Just look at the beautiful, swirly paths! Note: This was a 2-player game of Blue vs Purple. In a 3-4 player game, the exits (gateways) are shared with other players. When you earn a jewel, the player sharing a gateway also gains the same jewel. This leads to fun comradery and competition. 

Just look at the beautiful, swirly paths!

Note: This was a 2-player game of Blue vs Purple. In a 3-4 player game, the exits (gateways) are shared with other players. When you earn a jewel, the player sharing a gateway also gains the same jewel. This leads to fun comradery and competition. 

Description/Game Play

The goal of Indigo is simple: collect the most jewels. The way in which you collect jewels is also simple: lay down a path that leads from the jewel to your exit on the board. However, winning is not easy. Every tile played can quickly and drastically change the course of the road. A jewel that was one tile away from being your very own Precious, has suddenly been whisked away on a journey to your rival. The game is over once all of the jewels have been collected from the board. The winner is whoever has the most points, with amber gems being worth 1 point, emerald gems worth 2, and the sapphire is worth 3 points.

The game play of Indigo is light and fun. You never have more than one tile, so it is tough to get too competitive or upset. Strategy changes depending on the number of players. If it is a two player game, it is a simple player vs player game. If 3 or 4 people are playing, things change. You share exits with your competitors, so sometimes you are friends, sometimes you are enemies. And you never really know who to side with, since everyone's collected jewels are hidden behind screens. You may have teamed up with Aunt Marge against sneaky cousin Moe, only to find out that Marge was dominating the jewel collection all along.

Four player setup. Sometimes you are teamed up with purple. Sometimes with red...

Four player setup. Sometimes you are teamed up with purple. Sometimes with red...

Verdict

Indigo is competitive enough to be exciting, but light-hearted and impulsive in a way that keeps people civilized. There is a pure joy in watching the path take a sudden swerve, especially when two partial roads connect and the jewel is suddenly swept all the way across the board. For those looking for educational games, Indigo is like a puzzle and maze combined. We've observed kids as young as 5 ponder their options and try to mentally visualize their potential paths with the tile they've drawn. If you like puzzles, mazes, or Tsuro, you will probably like this game.

Pros

  • Sturdy, vibrant board and tiles. The quality that we expect from Ravensburger.
  • Light-hearted competition, and alternating comradery.
  • Easy to learn. A great introductory game for kids, grandparents, and non-tabletop friends.
  • Beautiful design. The sweeping lines and sparkly jewels are delightful.

Cons

  • The OCD part of my brain struggled with the placement of the emerald jewels. Five emerald jewels are placed in the 6-sided center treasure tile, surrounding one sapphire jewel. This is the way the game has to be set up to work correctly. Once the 5 emeralds have left the center tile, the sapphire follows the path of the 6th, and final, route tile placed next to the treasure tile. However, this means that the emeralds cannot all be placed evenly along the edges, or evenly at the hexagon's points. This is not really anything truly negative about the game, it's just a personal note.
This lovely center tile defies my desire for perfect alignment.

This lovely center tile defies my desire for perfect alignment.

There will be games that you like more than this one, but for what it is, it's pretty perfect.

This review was written by May Begaming, who spent hours as a child striving to earn the crown in Pretty Pretty Princess. Indigo's sparkly jewels bring back the drive to earn the bling.

What's your favorite bejeweled game? Let us know in the comments below.