Publisher: Kosmos/Rio Grande
Go with the flow
Ta YŁ is a nice remake of some of the ideas in games such as Water Works (connecting flow with cards/tiles) and Twixt (connecting opposite sides of the playing area). It rises above those games, however, with a variant on the theme: the game isn't over when someone connects opposite edges. Instead, you are trying to get as many edge connections as you can, on both sides. And your opponent, naturally, is trying to do the same for the other sides.
This game does rely a bit on the luck of the draw, although there are variants (and you could make your own) that reduce this for a more strategic game. As it stands, the mix is just about right for me, and Ta YŁ is very much a tactical game in which the player's standings ebb and flow with the water they are channelling.
Ta YŁ is a very pretty game (although it would have been nice to have a board as satisfyingly solid as the tiles - but imagine the cost!) and it does play quite well. I haven't tried it as a three-player game yet but the idea of one of the threesome playing the flood and thwarting the other two is fascinating.