In Mexica the players take turn placing canals and temples on an island: creating areas surrounded by water score points both upon being created, and again during two scoring rounds, when the amount of temples in each area define who controls it.
Its a simple rule-set but with depth in play. There are only a few thingsyou can do on your turn – place canals, move your Mexica (the guy who lets you do stuff on the board), or place bridges. You have six action points you can use up in any way you choose – you can even keep one or two actions back for a subsequent turn (there are chips to keep track of these). If you create an area that scores points your Mexica must be present in the area to score the points.
It sounds simple and it is. But because every player wants to score points, the game is something like a strategic version of the Wacky Races: it’s a dash to get the most points, but each player needs to do their utmost to hamper each others plans too – it’s possible to trap a Mexica in an unwanted position, or make it more expensive to move. And the Mexicas themselves offer opportunity for canny thinking – they move slowly across land and bridges, but extremely fast through the water – even right around the island! And as the Island fills up with canals and temples the board gets both prettier, and harder to wring rewarding moves out of!
Players who enjoy a puzzle and don’t mind a bit of Take That in their games will enjoy Mexica a good deal.
The theme of Mexica is so gossamer-light it’s barely there, but in terms of the play it’s fun, fast, and in your face! Lots of room to throw a spanner in other players plans so if you like interaction in that sense, Mexica is great.
Mexica definitely offers opportunities to mess with each other. There is no combat but best-laid plans are often harpooned by your opponents.
As you can never be 100% sure what youll do on your turn until it arrives, Mexica can pause for thought. Best played with each player playing at the same rate, rather than one either rushing or agonising over a turn.
There's a bit of thought required, and it needs to be reactive as your options constantly change.
For a game that requires tactical thought, Mexica doesnt take too long and is different with every play.