Teotihuacan: City of Gods
Standing about 25 miles north-west of modern-day Mexico City, Teotihuacan was one of the great cities in Mesoamerica. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but in its heyday, the city was a location of huge importance to the pre-Colombian Americas. This worker placement game has elements of tile-laying, a rondel with point-to-point movement, and added set collection. So, in other words, Teotihuacan: City of Gods features mechanics to please pretty much everyone who loves Euro-style board games!
Teotihuacan: City of Gods sees up to four players being rival families, looking to gain fortune and favour from the gods, as well as contributing towards constructing (and decorating) the grand Pyramid of the Sun. You’ll start with three dice of your colour, but these are never rolled. Instead, the pips represent the skill level and age of that worker. As they progress in certain tasks you’ll increase this number – so it’s kind of like Teotihuacan: The RPG.
These are D6 dice, so when workers reach six, they immediately die. But death is a positive thing and it’s celebrated here (kind of how it is in Village). Level-six workers ‘ascend’ to the gods and you receive a one-off bonus. The die is then reincarnated back to a Level-one worker.
There are three scoring phases in Teotihuacan (known as eclipses), which means there are many different ways to score points. On their turn, players can move one of their dice up to three places clockwise around the eight different buildings. Some gain you resources; some allow you to spend resources to build (or decorate) the pyramid to score points. Some allow you to ‘worship’, where you lock a die into a location for a while, but you get an immediate reward.
The board is also modular, meaning you can set it up differently each time. For your first few games you might want to stick with the default order of the eight buildings, but experienced players might want to mix them up for variety. Different technologies are available, which, if invested in, can sway players’ strategies. There’s also an array of different rewards available that can be designated towards climbing the three temples.
Again, this means that different strategies might be adopted game to game depending on a random set-up, which leads to superb replay-ability. Dávid Turczi has also created a solo variant, where you play against a Teoti-bot!
If you’ve played Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar (also by same designer, Daniele Tascini), chances are you’re going to love Teotihuacan: City of Gods. Here cocoa is a vital resource that’s also a currency (like the corn in Tzolk’in), which you have to feed to your workers after each eclipse. Both have a looming end-game, and both are of course themed around Mesoamerican culture. They also are on the medium-heavy side of the Euro scale, with a lot of strategy and planning required. However, despite these similarities, Teotihuacan is a very different game, and well worth a spot on your shelf.
- Players 1-4
- Playing time 90-120 minutes
- Ages 14+