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Review: Day & Night

Posted by Eisley on 12th November 2009

Day And Night BoardDay & Night is a two-player only game which has already won awards.

Players take on the roles of Day or Night with the goal of building temples on the squared board.  At the start of the game, all tiles on the board are neutral but, during the game, these tiles will be changed into day or night tiles many times.  As soon as a player has an area of 9 contiguous tiles of their type, these become a temple and remain fixed from then on.  The first player to build two temples wins.

Players use cards in their hand to change tiles from neutral to day and night or from day to night and vice versa.  Cards also allow players to discard cards, get more cards, move themselves, move their opponent, get cards from the deck, discard an opponent’s card, and so on.  Players can move slowly across the board too without cards.  Movement is important because the player’s, or their opponent’s, position on the board can be a requisite when playing a card, i.e. a card may only work if the opponent is on a night tile.

Each card costs an amount of hours to play (these costs are marked on the cards and some even cost zero).  On their turn, a player can play as many cards as they want but can only use 12 hours in total.

Day And Night ArtIt sounds quite abstract and, to be honest, it is.  However, the way the artwork and a few elements of the game have been created make this abstraction into something more tangible and artistic.  It doesn’t feel like Night fighting Day but it’s not important that it does.  One theme element I thought was really clever was how each player has 12 hours to spend each turn as this really tied into the theme.  The artwork is also very tranquil and unique.

Overall, I found it a very interesting game to play, especially as I saw more and more of the cards and their effects.  There is a broad variety of card effects in each deck but they are identifiable enough that you start to think, “if only I had that x card right now.”  Once I started to understand the sorts of things the cards could do, I was better able to play them in sequences where they would compliment each other.

The two sides – Day and Night – play extremely differently.  Day has many cards that can lock tiles down if not interrupted by the Night player.  Night has a more aggressive style.

It’s a bit difficult to know what the other player may be planning as you have no sight of what the cards in their hand are.  As a result, I found I had to devise a plan for my board domination and react to my opponent’s moves (whether they were to help themselves or hinder me) when they happened.  Disrupting your opponent’s play seemed to be quite critical in this game, but it was enjoyable to work out how to disrupt your opponent (for example, moving my opponent to the other side of the board was annoying to them and satisfying to me) whilst still making progress yourself.

Day And Night BoxAfter a while, the board starts to take shape and you really start to try and work out how you can achieve what you need within the 12 hours and the cards in your hand.  I often found myself an hour or two shot of the best move and had to wait with baited breath for my opponent to take their turn and then see if I could still finish off what I had started.

Day & Night is an unusual and very tactical game.  I’m not sure if I would play it over and over again but I would play it more and the two sides play very differently so that offers some variety.  However, it is a good two-player game with a decent amount of thinking required.  I can see why it won an award.

James.

[Played with 2 players]

Second Opinion: Read the thoughts of the other player (my friend Rick) at: http://www.gamesetupmatch.com/news.htm#10

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2 Responses to “Review: Day & Night”

  1. ohbalto said

    Hey — good review, but you have one error / typo in there.

    The temples Day & Night need to build are 9 tiles each — not 12.

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