Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar

In case I have never mentioned it (here, here, here, here or here), my family loves to play board games. I’m not just talking about David, either; my brother, sister, mom and cousins are all equally addicted. When our family is together, games are played.

Don’t be picturing Monopoly or Risk, either. Around my house, even Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne are scoffed at as “gateway games.” We are deep into the whole European-style strategy board game catalog at this point.

David plays a ton, and he plays with a lot of people who like the newest and latest games, so he has a lot of variety in his game play. Mom, Gina and I tend to find a game we like and stick with it for quite a while. First it was Alhambra; then there was the “Summer of Agricola;” then Stone Age, which even the kids got into; and, until quite recently, they were addicted to Grand Austria Hotel. Now, however, the game at the top of the heap is definitely Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar.

Although I have watched it being played on my very own table many times since it came out in 2012, I just played my first game of Tzolk’in. (I like to play games I already know how to play, rather than taking up my time constantly learning new ones.) It was cool, I’ll admit. Quick to learn, with worker placement that reminded me a lot of Stone Age and Agricola. Its cool component, though, is the gears that move your pieces every round. It keeps you on your toes, making you think ahead on all fronts so you maximize your points and (hopefully) keep yourself from getting kicked off any given wheel.

I’m no professional game reviewer, believe me — I just know what I like, and it was fun. I’m not the only one, either. Mom and Gina played three games of it tonight; my cousin, Julie, is buying her own copy to get all the relatives in Reno hooked, too.

Check it out.

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