So here we have yet another tile laying game and one must wonder how many iterations of this mechanic can be published without there being too much overlap…
Does Lanterns The Harvest Festival do anything new or do something old in an interesting way or is it just another tile game with a different coat of paint?
In the game of Lanterns you are charged with preparing a lantern display on the lake of a nameless palace. The person who lays down the prettiest lantern display gains the most honour.
To do so you lay down tiles with matching sides or tiles that have platforms to create a hand of cards that enable you to buy honour tokens with varying criteria. For example one token might require you to have one card of each colour. The harder the criterion the more you score.
So if Lanterns is different to other tile games it would be in its card set collection mechanic.
If you have read this far you may be starting to get the impression that I was not very enthused by this and you would be right. Admittedly the first few games were enjoyable enough but I got the same impression for this as I did when I played Between Two Cities. Bland. Super bland. The theme does not shine through very well and at the end of the game you are more or less just fighting for victory points like you are in so many other variants.
The components are reasonable with a mix of cards, wooden tokens and quality tiles and the graphics are attractive.
But do you need this to add to your tile laying collection? If this is your favourite mechanic, this offers something reasonably interesting and engaging that you might not have experienced before but it’s not a game that I would say is essential to have on your bookshelf. Not when there are other games out there doing this better.
I still have Carcassone the city edition and though it is a bit involved beyond basic Carcassonne, I would say that Carcassone is a far more engaging game that actually makes you feel like you are building something and there are others out there doing that better than Lantern. Basically you’ve seen it all before. Move along. Nothing to see here.
This was an unpaid review. We were provided a review copy.