Caldera Park, the successor to Savannah Park, was launched at SPIEL '22. The interactive puzzle game is intended to be the next big step for everyone who has already enjoyed the predecessor. In this test you will find out whether Caldera Park can also convince players who have not played the predecessor.

Nothing much has changed in the proven game principle. Instead of building a wildlife park in the savannah, we are now building a national park in America. Instead of bush fires, we now have to watch out for storms. Without having played the previous game, we went into Caldera Park with no great expectations and can say in advance that it's one of the most relaxed games we've played this year.

Form as large a herd as possible

As in the previous game, the goal is to form the largest possible herds of all animal species. These must have at least one water point within their rows so that their water supply is guaranteed and thus generate points. If you set up two herds of the same animal species, only the herd that generates the most points is counted at the end. Points are calculated from the number of animals in a herd times the number of all water points within it. Means: A herd with 10 deer and three water points would generate 30 points. In addition, you get bonus points for each type of field that has been completely covered and for each geyser that has been surrounded by animals.

Get started quickly with simple rules

The puzzle is played over 5 rounds with 7 moves each. In each turn, the starting player chooses one of seven action tiles and decides on which field type the animal shown on the action tile must be placed. To do this, you place the action tile with the corresponding animal on an empty field type on the game board. You can choose from desert, forest, mountain, river, waterfall fields and fields that are adjacent to one of the geysers in the national park.

All players must then place a tile of the specified animal type on a field of the specified field type on their player board. If you no longer own an animal of the same type, you can choose any animal. However, this must be set to the specified field type. When all players have placed their tiles, the starting player marker is passed on and the next person can decide which of the remaining animal species goes on which space.

In Caldera Park we try to form the largest herds of each animal species. But beware, storms can drive away the surrounding animal species.

In Caldera Park we try to form the largest herds of each animal species. But beware, storms can drive away the surrounding animal species. Photo: Sven Karsten

As soon as all animal species have been through, the next round begins. The game board is reset, new animal tiles are revealed at the top of the player board and one of the weather tiles at the bottom of the player board is placed clockwise on a weather space of his national park. Here you can decide whether you want to take one of the 5 face-down tiles or the sun tile.

The face-down tiles each contain negative effects that drive the animals out of the national park at the end of the game due to storms. The animal tiles lost in the process do not give any more points in the final scoring. The Sun tile, on the other hand, counts as +1 for each adjacent herd. However, it can only be placed once in the game.

Relaxed jigsaw puzzles

The weather tiles give Caldera Park a nice tactical component. Each round you weigh up when and where to place which animal tile, since it can happen that a weather tile drives away exactly the type of animal that you could actually use on the square.

Combined with the largest possible merging of herd groups, the game creates a nice, relaxed flow. You never feel under pressure for a second and you never have to think too much about your next move.

Only herds with water points count at the end. If there are several, the one with the most points counts. Photo: Sven Karsten

Only herds with water points count at the end. If there are several, the one with the most points counts. Photo: Sven Karsten

Of course you can also think more and, for example, observe the national parks of your opponents and choose tiles that are of no use to the others. However, in all our games it turned out that the focus on his own puzzle was the best way to win us.

About Caldera Park

 Number of players: 1 to 4
Age: from 10 years
Playing time: 30 - 40 minutes
Difficulty: easy
Long-term motivation: low
Classification: family game
Core mechanisms: puzzle matching game
Author: Wolfgang Kramer, Michael Kiesling
Illustrations: Annika Heller
Publisher: Pegasus, Deep Print Games
Official Website: Link
Year of publication: 2022
Language: German
Cost: 34,99 Euro

Summary

With Caldera Park, Pegasus and Deep Print Games offer a family-friendly puzzle game that is suitable for every type of player. With its simple rules and quick setup, it's the perfect game for a quick round in between.

However, the game doesn't offer anything particularly new. It works with simple basic mechanisms that have already been implemented better in many other games. However, that doesn't mean that Caldera Park is automatically a bad game. On the contrary. It is precisely through these simple mechanisms that the game creates a relaxed feel, which can be a good change on action-packed days. And if you want, you can also chase scores alone in peace and quiet.

Another positive thing to note is that the game is completely plastic-free, except for the wrapper of the box. In addition, Caldera Park comes with four folding boxes. These each have a symbol so that each player can assign their tiles to the respective box. As a result, there is no chaos in the box and the game can be completely set up and dismantled within a few seconds.

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Pegasus Games 57808E Caldera Park (Deep Print Games) (English... Pegasus Games 57808E Caldera Park (Deep Print Games) (English... * Currently no reviews 30,99 EUR

Last updated on 27.01.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API