Keeping Secrets, Are Ye?”- The Last Lighthouse Review

Designed by Scott Almes

Art by Anastasia Khmelevska

Published by Buttonshy Games

Having spent many childhood summers by the seaside, I always saw Lighthouses as an iconic part of the scenery: a bright white tower emitting light into the darkness. However, it was not until my older teens that I began to learn the ‘darker’ sides of Lighthouses. This game forms part of that former understanding – a little less Summer Holiday and more…Cosmic Horror!

So, on this dark and stormy night, let me be your Willam Dafoe or Robert Pattison [Yes, I am referencing the film!] and guide you through this tumultuous night of setting traps and warding off the nightmares – and just maybe…the lighthouse will still be standing come sunrise!

This is another brilliant and tight 18-card wallet game in which you puzzle-solve your way to maintain the lighthouse’s integrity choosing to either set traps or defeat a nightmare.

The game’s simple, defend-the-line play style hides how challenging this game can be for three reasons: 

First, nightmares come at a constant and steady pace, can attack at range in either direction, and have either a ‘when defeated’ or ‘when placed’ condition that usually is not in your favour. In return, traps have the same abilities and effects only slightly balancing the odds. Both traps and nightmares have one to three health, shown through the skull [nightmares] and flame [traps] symbols.

Second, you only get more traps by defeating nightmares … and you can only defeat nightmares with traps, which causes a nice tug and pull that can leave you taking battering after battering to your sturdy 6-health tower of light. Things can get messy quickly if you set traps prematurely and disastrous if you let too many nightmares build up.

Third [and tying nicely in with this ebb and flow theme already established] the tides change, causing traps to get damaged against the rocks and nightmares to drift to the back of the sea line. If there are four nightmares in the row, the nightmares will attack the lighthouse a second time!

I adore the mechanics of this game. The artwork sets a gruelling tone of cosmic horror with eerie occult imagery alongside so many tendrils, teeth, and an overdose of oversized monstrosities. To the point, I do not want to be either sailor on this abandoned rock.


Theme: 9/10 Another unique theme from a master of solo game design.

Game Flow: 9/10 Starts tense, never gives in, and still stays short.

Instructions: 6/10 Take care with the rules as older iterations are out there in how to play videos.

Components: 6/10 Standard card stock with a personalised wallet – perfect size for solo play.

Art: 10/10 A daunting atmosphere from an artist who has sealed the theme.

Replay-Ability: 7/10 Difficulty and short game time are easy reasons to play again right after.

Overall Score: 78% Great Game – will happily play again.

Welcome to Meeple Soup, my name is Stuart! Although board games were a massive pastime as a young child, I started my board game journey in  2018 while at University by running a Tabletop Society. Since then my collection has grown and I have begun to take the plunge into reviewing and previewing these boxes of wonderous joy. The Meeple Soup motto is ‘Keep your friends close, and your tables full