Reviewing board games that shed a tear.

Teotihuacan - Board Game Review | The Tabletop Crier

Teotihuacan Boardgame Box

a review of the board game Designed by Daniele Tascini

Players: 1-4, Time Investment: 90-120 mins


I'm Blubbering!

Game Aesthetic 


I love the bird's eye view of the temple and the buildings, it gives you the feel of flying or being one of the gods that are worshipped in the game. I even took a little time to check out the little people during their busy days.

Artwork by Odysseas Stamoglou:

The artwork on the player board itself is nice but the tiles that are used to help build the temple are a little lackluster. I do like the continued authentic feel of the art throughout, most especially the masks set collection portion of the game.

The First Turn


Teotihuacan Partial Main Board and Temple
This is only 2/3 of the board. There are 8 spots to run around on.
This main area is to track the rounds and the progress on the temple.

Oh my god this game has a ton of things to think about and the player interaction is intense and punishing. There's quite a bit of traffic control to think about because areas to do actions are more expensive (i.e. cost more cocoa) to activate if you're not the first one there. You'll need to do a majority of these actions throughout the game so unless you have some level of foresight you'll need to make sure you have currency to spend. The issue here is, in order to keep your workers after the first eclipse, you need to also have that same currency type to feed the workers. Workers that have "been around the block" are more experienced or... bigger? Buff? Hulking out? Regardless they need more resources to keep alive, otherwise you suffer point penalties. But based on the value of your workers, the power of the actions you take is augmented. So... now you have a circular dependency puzzle you need to solve, especially because there's no easy, consistent, surefire way to get cocoa.

What's funny about this game is that the spaces themselves are easy to understand. You can lock a worker in place to worship in the temple for a bit, and that is "free" ish (i.e. doesn't care about how many different people are there) and just costs some resource -- or if also calling out to deities, costs cocoa. Problem: this can't unlock and move around the block again until you pass. So not really a great thing to do right away despite there being immediate rewards for making gods happy.

Your dice are separated at the beginning but work best when together. However that means you make tiny steps with everything else for the one awesome action. Turn order doesn't change in this game so you're just hosed if everyone else wants to do what you want to do until they move. And you can't force them to move. They could just sit there, block you for a while and force you to do something else (i.e. CHANGE YOUR PLANS CUZ I SAY SO). Of course, like all things in life you can buy out the action. It's not like the door is really shut, you're just needing to buy your way into the VIP circle first.

Teotihuacan Cocoa Chits
Cocoa: the Currency of Pain.

Rewards and Objectives:

You could just run the one guy around, push it to ascension (i.e. 6 pips) -- which gives you immediate resources -- but you've denied yourself a partner in crime as it goes out on its own and then floats back down as a 1 pip. So there's that.

Teotihuacan Gods Tracks
God Tracks, which provide tiny boosts during the game and
guidance for an end game scoring condition.
There are various ways to go up on these.

Ability to Pivot:

I would say that it's reasonable to change what you're doing since what you do affects what others do and so on, so it's not one of those games that says, "Oh, your engine failed on turn one or two, time to give up".

Game End

It's somewhat easy to tell, since it's based on number of turns taken but it does accelerate when players take specific actions. Then you just look at any relevant end game scoring from the deity tracks. Most of your score accumulates in game. I ended up victorious the first time I played because I checked the top of the deity tracks for fun things to work towards.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Shed some tears with me!