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Kellia: The Risk of the Desert
Kellia: The Risk of the Desert
by Ateliers et Presses de Taizé (2021)
Player Count
2 to 4

Player Ages

Playing Time
50 minutes
  • Environmental
  • Religious
  • Designers
  • Brothers of the Taizé Community
  • Mechanisms
  • Action Point Allowance System
  • Cooperative Play
  • Dice Rolling
  • Events
  • Pieces as Map
  • Artists
  • Brothers of the Taizé Community
  • Family
  • Theme: Survival
  • Rating: 9/10 from 2 users


    Kellia is a cooperative strategy game for 2 to 4 players.

    Players work together to survive in the Egyptian desert and build their hermitages (kellia). Every turn, they start from their kellion (singular of kellia) at the edge of the board and wander into the desert to explore, build, and gather food and water to survive the night.

    The turns have two phases: day and night. Each day, players have three actions, which they can use to move to an adjacent square (and reveal it, if it is face-down), get 'attention to nature' cubes by contemplating the desert, or spend cubes to either build their kellion, improve a resource square or construct a building or resource in the desert. Furthermore, they can exchange cubes with other players they meet or end their turn prematurely by begging for food or water at the church in the center of the board. Players can buy additional three actions by spending an 'inner life' cube. Due to the limited number of actions, turns have to be as well planned in advance as is possible with the hidden information.

    During the night, players gain 'inner life' cubes and have to give away food and water. The players often need to cooperate: if one player fails to end the day with at least 1 food and 1 water, the game is lost for everybody. Before the next day starts, an incidence card affects the game: either a sand storm, famine or drought destroys or disables a part of the board, which is chosen randomly by rolling a dice, or bandits, fasting, or akedia affect the players.

    The game ends, if one player has no food or water during a night (lost), all players built their kellion and survive the following night (won), or the 9th, 10th, or 11th day is passed without everybody having built their kellion (lost, the number of days depends on the 'difficulty' option).

    Kellia is created and illustrated by the Brothers of the Taizé Community, which is inspired by the lives of the desert fathers and mothers. It combines spirituality, mutual help, and ecology.

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