What religion can they possibly be learning jumping over bonfires?
Something a bit different this time, as I rip the shrinkwrap off a copy of Inis by Matagot.
It’s a pleasure, isn’t it, to see a game that doesn’t have a long-winded or double-barrelled name these days. Not Inis: The Celtic Experience or Inis: Adventures Among the Celts, just bloody short and sweet Inis. And that’s pronounced Inish by the way. It’s an Old-Irish, proto-Celtic kind of word that roughly means ‘island’ (and even further back ‘standing in the water’).
This little linguistic aside brings us to today’s unboxing of the well-reviewed game Inis. It’s a game that goes nicely with two other games by Matagot: and Kemet, forming a kind of trilogy. And yet, in my opinion the visual design went off the rails with this one. The artwork looks dated and mismatched, the box cover is downright ugly, and the box insert is poorly engineered. The artist, Jim FitzPatrick, is a well-known Irish illustrator (and creator of the iconic Che Guevera poster) who has been around for yonks, but I’m not a fan of his brightly coloured style, which looks like something from a very detailed colouring book. Perhaps a talented designer could have integrated these images more effectively into a boardgame, but that hasn’t happened here.
Thankfully the miniatures look fine, and the good gameplay should make up for these poor visuals. And some people have said they like the artwork, but personally I find the design and art choices here are nowhere near up to Matagot’s usual standard.
That said, let’s have a look inside the box and see what you think!