Players: 2 – 4 players | Game Duration 85 – 95 mins | Min. Age 12+ | Game complexity: MEDIUM
Genre: Economy / Industry, City / Resource Management, Air / Land / Sea Travel, Historical
Solo game mode: No | Co-op: No | Online Version: No
What is Goa about?
Goa, a strategy game of auctions and resource management, is set at the start of the 16th century: beautiful beaches, a mild climate, and one of the most important trading centers in the world.
Companies compete for spices, send ships and colonists into the world, and invest money. Who is at the top? This depends on how you invest your profits. Are you going to make your ships more efficient? Will you expand your plantations? Will you recruit more colonists? A steady hand in business is the key.
The turn begins with an auction phase, where each player gets to auction one item (and the starting player gets to auction two items). The first item auctioned gives the right to go first on the next turn (along with a card that gives an extra action). If you buy an item, you pay it to the bank.
You get paid if someone else buys the item you sell. Plantations are among these items, complete with crops, income tiles (income in money, ships, plantation refills each turn etc.), ships, settlers, and later on tiles that score points for certain achievements. After the auction, players get three actions to either improve their technologies or produce things such as spices on plantations, ships, money or build more plantations.
A player’s board shows their progress for various things: getting ships, planting new spices, getting colonists, etc. One gets better at doing one particular action as he or she advances along one track. Getting further along a track will earn you more points at the end, and there are also rewards for the first player who reaches the last two levels along a track.
On the other hand, each player normally needs to perform the actions for all the tracks at some point, so it’s not necessarily a good idea to concentrate on just a couple of them. Goa is a game that gives plenty of opportunity for tough decisions, since a player always has at least one action too few.
The game mixes an interactive element of the auction, which encourages you to nominate things that other players want so you receive cash with the solitaire management of your plantation, which then interacts later on as players race to be first in the top tech levels. The 2012 edition of Goa includes four new tiles and a new play variant, as noted on the cover of the Z-Man Games edition.
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2013 Gra Roku Advanced Game of the Year Nominee
2012 Lys Passioné Finalist
2005 Nederlandse Spellenprijs Nominee
2004 Meeples’ Choice Award
2004 Japan Boardgame Prize Best Advanced Game Nominee
2004 International Gamers Awards – General Strategy; Multi-player Nominee
2004 Deutscher Spiele Preis Best Family/Adult Game 3rd Place