Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar review
We survived 2012 just in time for Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar by designers Simone Luciani, Daniele Tascini and published by Czech Games Edition. Immediately you are drawn into this rich worker placement game... with a literal twist.
Through its most interesting eye catching component and by extension unique mechanic, this game is set above others in the genre. Sitting in the middle of its glossy jigsaw-like board are giant detailed gears depicting the Mayan calendar. The gameplay itself is pretty straightforward and easy to grasp with tons of depth below its surface. This really shines through making it one of those games that will take a few plays to truly get the hang of. Tzolk'in is all about making the right decisions and timing, carrying out actions and letting others to ride the wheel. Definitely something you will end up playing on a regular basis.
The game is measured in turns of the central wheel and with each turn the players place or remove their Mayan villagers on or from several of the outer gears. Each gear has a specific purpose generally granting the players a resource or an action that can be performed at a given location. Once the two years have passed represented by one full revolution of the central Tzolk'in gear, you are left feeling that you should likely play this again to try new and interesting strategies regardless of who won. Whether you decide to focus on pleasing the gods by placing crystal skulls in caves or building many temples, in the end they are just two of the many paths to victory available. Tzolk’in is absolutely something new in the strategic worker placement game line-up with a fresh new innovative component.
- Dan Legault