DMZ's "The TREASURE of ISLA TORTUGA" is a fun card game of Pirate combat designed by Leandro Féliz García with some neat illustrations by Juan Manuel López
It was one of many good Spanish games on the HISPA table at this year's UKGE at the NEC in Birmingham.
The Rules booklet is in Spanish language and English, each taking up half of the 12 small pages.
It is a game of card drawing and using the resources shown on the cards to buy cards from the display that they have been drawn into. It's quite neat really. Players draw cards one at a time and count up the resources, there are four different types, as they are drawn and laid on the display. The resources on the drawn cards can be used to buy cards that have been drawn that turn. Apart from resources cards also show Events - coloured flags: Yellow = Storm, Red = Famine and Blue = Warship. If when drawing the cards you pull out three with the same event colour showing then your turn ends, you cannot buy anything and the cards in the display are all discarded.
The idea is to build up your ship, ends and centre, (Prow, Stern and Deck) adding cards to the ship as you buy them from the display. Each Deck card has a limit to the number of extra cards it can hold. If you buy a card and have no place to put it you must discard one from your ship and add the new one. When you think you are strong enough to board an opponent's ship you need the right card an "All Aboard" which allows you the right to attack. You need as many Swords (Attack) resources as your opponent has Shields (Defence) to be able to Board and maybe steal something from them.
The game swings back and forth as players take their turns, grab resources, and fight their way to victory. Resources are shown as icons: Compass (find Treasure), Treasure Chest (VPs), Sails (increase capacity of ship) and Hammer Tools to build new decks). Fifteen VPs wins the game!
Once you have played a few times and know the basics well enough not to need the rules to play then it's time for you to add the new Captains into the mix. Bring on Blackbeard, Anne Bonny, Mary Reade, John Roberts, Henry Morgan and others, each with their own special devices to make the game that bit more fun. The quicker you can introduce these to your game the more you will enjoy playing as after those first few learning games it starts to get a little samey, but then don't most games if you play them too often?
Other symbols on the cards are explained in full definition on the back of the rules booklet though unless you have super vision and/or don't wish to get a headache then make sure you have a magnifying glass close to hand, the font size used is about an eight. Yes that is the size of it and to not help matters the font type used is some kind of "Pirate" font with curly and italicised letters (I am trusting that the font size shows up clearly when this is published on the website. I will say that despite the game being translated from its original Spanish to English there are very few typo or grammatical errors which is excellent for learning the game.
Overall this is one of the better HISPA games from those that I have played; some haven't travelled well between Spanish and English, losing something in the translation or the culture, whilst the others are every bit as good as the majority of American or European games and deserve to be on your game shelf through merit alone. You should be able to pick up this pocket-sized game for under a tenner (Pounds or Euros). It is for 2-5 players aged 10+ (we reckon 7+ could handle it with ease) and games last around 15-20 minutes thus making it a good game to play if you are travelling any reasonable distance with a companion in a train with a table between you and of course to take almost anywhere you go. It is easy to teach and fun to play.