The Last Paradise

Game by Reiner Knizia.

Translation by Peter Wotruba (pete@chem.UCSD.EDU), October 25, 1994.

The small island is a true paradise, still natural and undisturbed with the magnificent beach and the environment intact. The ideal place for stress plagued city people! Already the first villa springs into being! and soon the first hotel! Nature is being pushed back piece-by-piece, Paradise is in Danger!

The Players purchase building sites through secret bids, and either build villas or hotels there, or leave the land undeveloped. Buildings are lucrative only if the immediate surrounding area is preserved. The value of nature is appreciated so much more if it is in danger of dissapearing. Correspondingly, the price of virgin land varies widely - either very high, or very low - because preservation of nature does not give you income, but it does get you more recognition for your troubles.

This edge between commerce and nature is rendered even more difficult for the players because at the end (at least in this game) only one pays you money. Who then possesses little at the start, and who has lost in every game, matters little, except who is the richest person at the end.


The game board shows a small island with sixteen building sites. Every four sites are grouped into a vacation district, which are all marked with the same symbol. Four of these building sites (one from each of the four vacation districts) are also included in the center group.

The building counters are printed on both sides. On the front side is the symbol of a vacation district, and shows either a villa or a hotel. The villas can only be placed on the building sites near the beach, and the hotels are built only on the central four building sites. The three building sites near the beaches (for the villas) in each vacation district are all equal.

Hotels are the large buildings, and their symbols (of the vacation districts) are all shaded.

The backside of the counters shows undisturbed land. Whoever places a counter on the board with this side facing up, gives up the opportunity to build on this site. Even if the nature side is facing up, the counter must be placed on one of its allowed sites. (ie Hotels are only permitted in the central area of the correct vacation district, etc.)

Game Preparation

First, take four villas from the four different vacation districts (all should have different symbols). Every villa is placed on any of the three corresponding beach building sites. The other twelve counters are mixed together face-down and put into a pile next to the game board. Every player takes his set of possession markers in his choice of color. Then money is distributed. Depending on the number of people playing, each person recieves:

Out of this ammount, everyone should have 5 one Para coins, 1 five Para coin, and the rest in 10 Para coins. Everyone keeps the ammount of money they have secret. The rest of the money forms the bank. The small trees are not used in the game at first.

Start Phase

The game begins with the auctioning off of the four villas which were just placed on the board. In these first four buying rounds, the youngest player decides which of the four properties will be the first to be auctioned. After every buying round, the person who has purchased the last property decides which villa will be the next one auctioned. Whoever buys a villa, marks it with one of their possession markers.

Buying Round

In a buying round, every player bids in secret. To do this, every person places as much of their money as they want to pay into their hand. An empty hand is also allowed (a bid of zero). Then everyone opens their hands simultaneously. The player with the highest bid wins the bidding. However, he pays the bank only as much Paras as the second highest bid.


Anton bids 10, Birgit and Claus both 7, and Dorte 6 Paras.

Anton wins the bidding, but only pays 7 Paras to the bank.

If more than one player tie for the highest bid, they participate in a second auction. The players with lower bids do not get to bid in this auction. In this second auction, everyone must bid at least as much as the high bid in the first auction. If this auction also ends in a tie, then a third auction is conducted, with the minimum bid being the high bid of the previous auction. If no-one increases their bid however, then it is randomly determined who has bought the property.


Anton and Birgit bid 10 each, Claus 8, and Dorte 7.

Anton and Birgit then participate ina second auction, with a minimum bid of 10. Both now bid 11 Paras, so they go to a third auction. Neither increase their bids, so it is determined randomly who has won the auction, and that person pays 11 Paras to the bank.

If no-one makes a bid for a piece of property in the first auction round, there is a second auction round for everyone. If in this second auction, there still is no bid, a player is chosen randomly, and he gets the counter (either villa or hotel) for free. (Of course if some-one makes a bid, and everyone else has bid nothing, that first player recieves the property for the price of the second-highest bid - in this case nothing).

Subsequent Rounds

After the start phase, there is twelve rounds in which the twelve other counters are brought into the game.

In Every Round

At the End of Every Round

A bonus is paid to the players from the bank. It is also at this time that negotiated bonuses between the players are paid.

Placement of Building Counters

The symbol and building type determine which empty area of the gameboard the building counters can be placed. The purchaser has however the choice on this building site to either:

Preserve Nature (backside of counter) or Construct a Building (frontside of counter)

As soon as a counter is placed onto the board, you may no longer change your mind (what's done is done!).

Preserving Nature

As an acknowledgement for preserving nature, the owner, when he places a counter with the back (nature) side upwards, recieves a tree. Villa and hotel owners profit from this decision. They recieve a bonus of 10 Paras for every hotel of villa they own in the district.

Example 1

Anton and Birgit each own a villa in this (picture goes) district. Birgit buys the third building site on the (here) beach, and leaves it natural. She recieves a tree and also gets a bonus of 10 Paras for her villa. Anton also recieves a bonus of 10 Paras for his villa.

Example 2

A building site in the center is left natural. (picture goes) Every villa owner in this district recieves a bonus of (here) 10 Paras, and also every hotel owner in the center recieves a bonus of 10 Paras (per hotel or villa).

Building Hotels and Villas

When a player constructs a building, he places one of his possession markers ontop the card. For every previously placed Nature Preserve in the same vacation district, the player earns a bonus of 10 Paras from the bank. For every hotel he places, a player earns an additional 10 Paras for every Preserve in the center.


Free building sites may indeed also become Nature Preserves, but for that you do not recieve any bonus from previously placed reserves.


The owner of the hotel recieves a bonus of 20 Paras (10 for the Nature area in the vacation district, and 10 for the Nature are in the center).

(There is a picture here in the original rules which you will need to consult.)


Before a player decides which side of the building counter he will place face-up, he should negotiate with other players. After all, villa and hotel owners will profit if a nature preserve is placed next to their property (and therefore give them a bonus). So the player should try to collect a portion of this bonus.

Negotiation can only be about manitary transactions. Property or trees can not be bought or traded. Agreements about the negotiations must be adhered to. (Deals are binding).

Result Bonuses

Building owners can collect additional bonuses during the game. There are two different types of bonuses: owning the only buildings in a district (exclusive bonus) or owning a building in each of the four vacation districts (island bonus).

Exclusive Bonus

(There is a picture here in the original rules which you will need to consult.)

As soon as a vacation district, or the central area, is fully occupied, a player recieves a bonus of 20 Paras from the bank if he owns all the buildings in that district.

Island Bonus

(There is a picture here in the original rules which you will need to consult.)

As soon as a player has built a villa or hotel in every vacation district, he likewise recieves a 20 Para bonus from the bank.

To reiterate

Every space of the center also belongs to a vacation district.

For this example, villas are in three vacation districts, and in the fourth, if a hotel is built, you would recieve the Island Bonus.

Game End

As soon as the last building counter has been sold and placed on the board (and any resulting bonuses have been paid) the game ends. There still is one final bonus to determine before someone can be declared the winner.

Environmental Prize

Two Nature Preservationists are distinguished with environmental prizes. The player with the most trees recieves the first place environmental prize, and the person with the next highest ammount of trees recieves the second place award.

The ammount of the bonus depends on how many Nature Preserves were placed on the island. The less preserves placed, the higher the prize.

Nature Preserves    1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8 9+
1st Place         200 90 80 60 40 30 20 10 0
2nd Place             90 40 30 20 15 10  5 0
If there is a tie for the most trees, the first and second prizes are split between the tied players. If there are more than one aspirant after the second prize, the bonus is divided between them (rounding down if necessary). If only one player has trees, he recieves both prizes.

Game Appraisal

All players who have less money than at the beginning of the game have lost. The winner is the person with the most money (Paras).

Tactical Tips

This is not a simple game to win. Espacially in the first game, it is easy for everybody to lose because they have paid too much for the building counters. Do not bid so much either, because every purchase diminishes what you are able to do. A purchase price of more than 10 Paras must be made to pay for itself.

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell