Kickstarter has become the launching point for many of the hottest board games out there. Nowadays, it seems like tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of game campaigns are getting funded each month. While I have watched this phenomenon from the sidelines the entire time, I took the plunge about six months ago on a Kickstarter campaign by publisher Eagle-Gryphon Games for a “twofer” of a new game, Illumination, and an older game getting a reprint, The Road To Canterbury, both designed by Alf Seegert. Recently my games arrived:

 
A friend and I love to play “thinky” two-player games over some beers as often as our schedules allow, and Illumination struck me as a perfect addition to our playlist. From the publisher: “You and your opponent are monks competing to become the new head of the Scriptorium. You do so by illuminating manuscripts with elaborate religious artwork… Each turn, players create illuminations in three Books by placing one full row or column of tiles of their choice from their Player mat. With careful placement, players collect Coins that allow them to perform special actions or purchase Scriptorium cards… When the game ends, players score points for the Rituals recorded on the Monastery mat and 1 point for each of their faceup Illumination tiles in each Book.”
 

Here’s my unboxing of Illumination:

 
As soon as I could, I got Illumination to the table, and we were not disappointed. Here is a look at the last couple of turns of our game and final scoring:
 

 
We really enjoyed the three book battle front and the strategic choices that were layered over the tactical back and forth of Illumination. The day after our first game, we were both still thinking about the game, the decisions we made, and what we could have done differently to improve our respective strategies in future games. This is why I love to play games. Such a great mental exercise under the tent fun and escape. I’m very glad I took a flyer on the Kickstarter campaign, and I haven’t even opened my copy of The Road To Canterbury, yet. That will be my next achievement to unlock! 
 
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Rob Fenimore
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