La Isla

La Isla: Strategies and Tips for the Tile-Based Adventure


La Isla is a fascinating board game that takes players on an adventure to an unexplored island filled with rare animals. It’s a game that combines elements of strategy, luck, and a bit of planning. The game was designed by Stefan Feld and published by Alea, known for creating games that are both challenging and engaging. Since its release, La Isla has gained a following among board game enthusiasts for its unique mechanics and thematic gameplay.

The goal of La Isla is to score the most points by collecting rare animals, playing cards effectively, and strategically moving your explorer around the island. The game is played on a modular board, which means the layout can be different each time you play, adding to its replay value. It’s a medium-weight game, meaning it’s not too complex for beginners but has enough depth to keep experienced players interested.

La Isla’s history is not as long as some other classic board games, but since its introduction, it has made a mark in the gaming community. It’s known for its colorful artwork, engaging theme, and the clever use of cards that serve multiple purposes. If you’re looking for a game that’s a bit different from the rest and offers a good mix of strategy and luck, La Isla might be the perfect game for you.

Quick Tip for La Isla

Always keep an eye on the animal scoring track and adapt your strategy to the animals that are most valuable at any given time.

Rules for playing La Isla

Understanding the rules of La Isla is key to enjoying the game. The game is designed for 2 to 4 players and typically lasts between 40 to 60 minutes. Each player takes on the role of an explorer on the hunt for rare species on the mysterious island of La Isla.

The game consists of several rounds, each with five phases: Draw Cards, Play Cards, Determine Animal Scoring, Move Explorers, and Score Animals. Players draw cards that can be used in multiple ways: to gain resources, to move their explorer, or to influence the scoring of the animals. The cards are the heart of the game, and deciding how to use them is a big part of your strategy.

During the game, players will place cards into their play area, which will allow them to perform certain actions or gain certain benefits. These actions include collecting resources, moving around the island, or capturing animals. The game ends when the animal draw pile is depleted or when a certain number of animals have been captured. At that point, players tally up their points from animals, resources, and bonus cards to determine the winner.

Equipment and Setup for La Isla

To play La Isla, you’ll need the game box which includes a game board, cards, resource cubes, explorer pawns, and animal tokens. The board is made up of different tiles that you’ll arrange randomly to create the island. This means that every game will be a little different, which adds to the fun.

Setting up the game involves placing the board tiles to form the island, shuffling the animal cards, and placing resource cubes within reach of all players. Each player gets an explorer pawn that they will move around the island to capture animals. The setup is pretty straightforward and doesn’t take too long, so you can get to playing quickly.

There are different types of tiles in La Isla, including jungle tiles and water tiles. Each type of tile has its own rules for movement and capturing animals. Understanding the tiles is important for planning your moves around the island.

How to Play La Isla and Game Mechanics

Playing La Isla involves a mix of card management, resource gathering, and strategic movement. Here’s a breakdown of the key game mechanics:

  1. Setup: Arrange the board, shuffle the cards, place resource cubes, and give each player their starting materials.
  2. Gameplay: Each round consists of drawing cards, playing cards for their various uses, moving explorers, and scoring points for animals.
  3. End of the Game: The game ends when the animal draw pile is empty or a set number of animals have been captured. Players then count their points to find the winner.

During gameplay, you’ll go through several phases:

  1. Draw Cards: Players draw three cards each round.
  2. Play Cards: Decide how to use each of the three cards for their A, B, or D action.
  3. Determine Animal Scoring: Adjust the animal scoring track based on the cards played.
  4. Move Explorers: Use cards to move your explorer pawn on the island.
  5. Score Animals: Capture animals and score points based on the current value on the animal scoring track.

How to Win at La Isla

To win at La Isla, you need to score the most points. Points come from capturing animals, collecting sets of resources, and moving your explorer effectively. A good beginner strategy is to focus on capturing animals that are high in value on the scoring track. As you get more comfortable with the game, you can start to plan more complex strategies, like collecting certain resources to gain bonus points or using your cards to manipulate the scoring track in your favor.

Intermediate strategies involve balancing your card plays to maximize your actions each turn. You’ll want to keep an eye on what animals other players are going for and try to capture animals that are contested to prevent others from scoring too many points.

Advanced players will need to think several turns ahead, predicting how the animal values will change and planning their explorer movement accordingly. They’ll also need to manage their resources carefully to make sure they can take the actions they need to when the time comes.

Best Strategies for playing La Isla game

Some of the best strategies for La Isla involve a mix of flexibility and planning. Here are some strategic plays to aim for:

  • Adapt your strategy based on the animal scoring track and the actions of other players.
  • Use your cards to control the scoring track, increasing the value of animals you are about to capture.
  • Plan your explorer movement to capture multiple animals in a single turn.
  • Collect resources strategically to take advantage of bonus points.

Sneaky tactics can also come into play. For example, you might pretend to go after one type of animal to mislead other players, then switch to another at the last minute. Or you might hoard certain resources to make it harder for other players to get the bonuses they need.


Here are some common scenarios you might find yourself in while playing La Isla:

  • If you’re behind on points, focus on capturing high-value animals and using your cards to boost their value even more.
  • If you’re ahead, you might want to play more defensively, blocking other players from capturing animals or taking resources they need.
  • If you’re low on resources, use your cards to stock up so you can take more actions in future turns.

In any scenario, always be ready to change your plans based on the changing game state. Flexibility is key in La Isla.

Frequently Asked Questions about playing La Isla game

Here are some common questions and answers:

  1. Q: How many players can play La Isla?
    A: La Isla is designed for 2 to 4 players.
  2. Q: How long does a game of La Isla typically last?
    A: A game usually lasts between 40 to 60 minutes.
  3. Q: Can I change the value of an animal on the scoring track?
    A: Yes, using the D action on your cards, you can influence the scoring track.
  4. Q: What happens if two players want to capture the same animal?
    A: If two explorers are on the same space, the player who is currently taking their turn gets to capture the animal.
  5. Q: Is there a way to get more resources?
    A: You can use the B action on your cards to gain more resources.

For more information about La Isla, check out these links: