Fans of Spirit Island, gather around. We have some news to share with you.
Back in the long-gone days of 2021, a certain rather popular United States box-department store that you may be familiar with (they go by Target) reached out to us to say, “Hey, we like your game Spirit Island a lot. Can you make a lighter standalone version of Spirit Island for us to sell as a Target exclusive?” This was a compelling offer for several reasons, not the least of which was that it would bring a version of Spirit Island in front of thousands of new people who haven’t yet been introduced to the world of the cooperative settler-destruction game. So, of course, we said “absolutely not, we aren’t interested in simplifying the core mechanics of Spirit Island at any time”.
Sorry, this isn’t how a product announcement traditionally goes, is it? Usually the end of the first paragraph is like and here’s how the game you love is different now! That’s not the case today, though. Instead, we have something entirely new for you.
Target asked us what kind of Spirit Island game we would be interested in making for them, and the team at Greater Than Games sat down to discuss it with R. Eric Reuss, the designer and creator of Spirit Island. We concluded that a new version of Spirit Island deserved to exist, one with components that were easier to print and fulfill and could be priced at a lower cost than the core game of Spirit Island. Some of the figures that Spirit Island uses like Blight, Invaders, and Dahan villages could be punchboard instead of plastic and wood, and we could create a new set of Spirits with a lower complexity ceiling to introduce brand-new players to the world of Spirit Island.
So, that’s what we sat down and did!
Horizons of Spirit Island is a brand-new game in the Spirit Island family designed and developed by R. Eric Reuss and Christopher Badell. The core mechanics of Spirit Island remain the same, but the board, components, and new Spirits are a fantastic introduction for a player new to the game.
Horizons of Spirit Island presents everything you need to know to play on a 19”x19” (49x49cm) board with guidelines for streamlined setup, and a detailed Quick Start Guide. The five new Spirits we’ve designed are also made with new players in mind. Reminders live on the Spirit Panels, showing you how how to use your special abilities, and though the Spirits here are less complex than what you’ll find in a complete collection of Spirit Island, they still hold their own in the defense of the Island along with powerful spirits from expansions like Jagged Earth and Feather and Flame!
One of the things that we wanted to make sure of was that our devoted Spirit Island fans weren’t left behind in the creation of Horizons of Spirit Island. This isn’t a stand-alone, isolated experience — Horizons of Spirit Island is a fully-functional game of Spirit Island, just with different components than you may be used to, including simplified pieces and a double-sided map board. In addition, Horizons introduces an exciting set of five brand-new Spirits to add to your Spirit Island collection.
Devouring Teeth Lurk Underfoot boosts its own damage to lash out with massive strikes against the heart of the Invader’s Towns and Cities. With its unique Power card Gift of Furious Might, fellow Spirits will tear through Invaders, guided by the raw destructive power of the lurking predator.
Sun-Bright Whirlwind is all about control and thrives with utility Powers, enabling fellow Spirits to reach new heights, while Fathomless Mud of the Swamp piles up sacred sites, delaying the Invaders’ Build actions and oozing across the island to make construction miserable for the Invaders.
Eyes Watch from the Trees thrives by rallying the Dahan to fight for the fate of the Island, spreading Fear while defending lands, while Rising Heat of Stone and Sand saps the very vitality of the Invaders with oppressive heat, reducing their health and burning away their strongholds.
The Spirits included in Horizons of Spirit Island are compatible with all Spirit Island content, and can be brought to the table as new options for any challenges you choose to face.
In addition to new Spirits, the components of Horizons of Spirit Island include three new Presence token colors, a fold-out double-sided Island board for 2-3 player games that incorporates the Invader board into a 19”x19” (49x49cm) play area, and new cardback art for the Invaders deck, plus a few quality of life tweaks. It’s important to note that Horizons of Spirit Island is not a direct replacement for the core game of Spirit Island, as it requires content and components from the original Spirit Island to expand to Jagged Earth, Branch and Claw, and other expansions. Players who start with Horizons of Spirit Island will want to pick up a copy of Spirit Island to start expanding their collection!
Horizons of Spirit Island will be available for $30 at Target in the United States in October 2022, and will remain exclusive to Target for two years from release. The new Spirits, alternate components, and new player onboarding experience in this game are quality-of-life options that wouldn’t be possible without Target’s interest in adding a new title to the Spirit Island catalog of games.
This game is for all of you! For new players, Horizons is the guided introduction you’ve been waiting for, while the quality-of-life updates and new options for existing Spirit Island components have been designed to improve the experience of both new and experienced players. The five new Spirits of Horizons are perfect for new players, growing in their confidence, but will also thrive in the hands of experienced Spirit Island players, ready to optimize their unique skills and drive every last white-sailed ship from their shores. These low-complexity spirits offer new options to solo defenders of the Island and to game groups that regularly welcome new players, even in an all-expansions, six-player game of Spirit Island.
From brand-new fans who pick Horizons up on Target’s shelves, to the friends who sit down for the first time at the table, to the family that receives it as a gift, and the collector who plays every Spirit available, we are thrilled for you all to experience the Horizons of Spirit Island!
On that note, you may have already heard that another expansion for Spirit Island is coming this fall. We’re extremely excited to officially announce the next full expansion for Spirit Island: Nature Incarnate, coming to Backerkit on October 18th. Sign up to be reminded of the campaign launch exclusively on Backerkit!
We’ll share more information on Nature Incarnate over the coming months. Until then, keep working together to defend your Island from the Invader threat. Help is on the horizon!