Designed by Rory Muldoon, Skora is a fast-paced game for 2-4 players where you'll be jockeying for position in the three fishing regions of the board in order to collect cards to score for their value and for achieving your hidden individual set collection objectives.
Players each have a hand of cards. These represent the three different catch types (fish, claws, sharks) and have victory point values in the range 1-6. Most cards also specify an action - usually to place out boats at the location the card is played, move boats or move cards. Where a card is played on top of a card showing the same catch, you additionally collect an axe token. In keeping with the notionally Viking theme, the axes are used to resolve ties...
When all the cards have been played, the number of boats in each fishing area are compared. The player with the most boats in an area has first pick of the cards at that location. The player with the second most has second pick, and so on... Ties are resolved in favour of the player with the most axes (tho' this costs the player an axe). In the main, you'll be trying to achieve a majority in an area in order to guarantee you first pick, but you could well find that some areas end up with equally valuable cards for the players who get second and third pick.
In addition to players' starting hands, they'll also choose one of the two 'decree' cards they are dealt. These set out objectives that score end-game points in addition to those scored for the cards themselves. The value of the decree cards varies to reflect the difficulty in achieving the objective. The decrees tho' could well affect the choice of cards you make - it may well be more profitable to eschew a higher victory point card in favour of a lower value card that contributes to satisfying your decree.
With Skora, Inside The Box have come up with an appealing game that's easy to play. It's well produced and its packaging as a 'Lunch Box Game' (in a magnet-closing box that's ostensibly shaped as a lunch box) drops the extra hint that this is a 15-minute game that you can take to work and play with colleagues over lunch. For us at Board's Eye View the game was at its best with four players but there's an added frisson playing with two because the special two-player rules involve a card being discarded when you play to a location. This can make for some cutthroat tussles!
Skora should be sailing onto game store shelves now, but if you have any difficulty finding it, click here to order it direct from Inside The Box Games.