I wasn’t able to get a copy during the initial printing, but during the second print run I was able to grab a copy. The game was cool enough that I wanted to get several plays of it after it was purchased and I have played it with 2, 3, and 4 player counts. I am going to say that it is overall a really cool game, but like most board games it has little things I think it could have done better.
- Players: 1-4
- Play Time: 90-120 minutes
- Publisher: NSKN Games
- Designer: David Turczi
How’s the Game Play?
So in this game, players start the game with 3 workers and can gain a forth. The game is built in a series of rounds with a number of rounds forming a year. After each player completes their action for a round, the time marker advances one space. After three years, the game ends and final points are tallied. As usual, the player with the most points is the winner.
There are eight action spaces around the board that a player can move their meeple to during their turn. Three of the spaces are for collecting resources, wood, stone, and gold. One space is to upgrade players technology capabilities. One space is to build on a temple in the center of the board, and the final space is for build houses in the city of the dead. For each of these actions, you will need to pay corn based on the number of other players are on that space at the time.
In addition, on many of the spaces you can skip the action space and go to a special devotion space where you gain a tile that gives you a bonus and lets you advance on the appropriate temple track (also giving a bonus). A final action that you can do is collect corn. Instead of doing any action on the space that you move to you can collect corn equal to one plus a number of corn equal to the number of different players that are on that space.
Finally, when a year completes, points are scored based on your space on the path of the dead, temple building track, and mask tiles you have. Then you have to feed your workers, reset the time tracker tokens and move with the next year.
What’s all the cool stuff in the box?
The box is full of components and it feels a bit intimidating when you first open the game. The amount of cardboard components that you have to punch out is pretty great, but daunting. However, it’s worth noting that for your first game that a good portion of those tokens won’t be used if you follow the suggestion for your first game. The big draw for me, was the big tiles that are used for construction of the temple and the visual and way that full fills a cool itch. You do really get a feel that you are building a temple as you play the game. The components for corn, wood, gold, and stone that come with the game are rather dull however and really could have used a bit more. Players are constantly grabbing and spending these tokens more then any other, but are the least unique. It’s an immediate item that I would recommend upgrading to enhance the immersion into the game.
Should I go out and buy it?
Overall, this game is pretty cool and the fact that after I bought it I was actively wanted to get it to the table over and over. Writing this, I am thinking about how cool the game play was and it’s getting me excited to get it to the table again. It has pretty good replay value as well, allowing you to change the position of 6 of the action tiles and change out the order that most of the components come up.
The game is easy to score a ton of points and it’s easy to get behind in points to a point that you know fairly early in the game it’s going to be daunting. That said, I have been up well over 30 points of second place when the first eclipse happens and lost the game by 50+ points so it’s not something to get terribly discouraged about if you see your strategy setting things up.
Other then the components, the art is pretty cool and thematic, though the board does get a bit busy. On the opposite side, your player area is pretty empty other then the materials you collect through the game which is cool.
This is a solid game and one that I like having in my collection. It has elements that remind me of Tzolk’in (shares a designer), but is certainly a much different game that plays out much differently. I recommend the game to anyone that is into a worker placement game. Expect it to be about at the same complexity level as say a game of Scythe or Terraforming Mars.