Rainy Day Game's Board Game Review of Tikal:
Tikal in Summary
Imagine you're Indiana Jones: directing the excavation of an important Mayan site. But, there are others who want to steal away the treasure and fame for themselves! In the Tikal board game, you'll explore into the jungle, finding temples and treasure. You have to claim them for yourself and guard them well.
The Tikal board game is one of the best themed strategy games we've played. The graphics and game pieces suck you in and you're in the jungle. Get ready for 90 minutes of great game play that will leave you satisfied and looking forward to your next gaming session.
In the Tikal board game, the game board starts a blank mass of Jungle. Each turn, players draw terrain tiles and add them to the board. These tiles can be wild jungle, temples, treasure hoards, or volcanoes. As the terrain map extends outward, more temples and treasure is revealed.
A player turn starts by drawing a terrain tile and adding in onto the explored section of the map. After laying your tile, you have 10 "action points" to move your men around the Tikal board and perform actions. If you find treasure, you can spend AP's collecting the treasure and returning it to your base camp. If you're exploring a temple square you can excavate it, making it score higher, or post a guard, making it impossible for your opponents to take over the site.
The players all continue growing the map, excavating temples and collecting treasure until one of the three volcano terrain hexagons is drawn. That indicated a scoring round and everyone adds up the value of the temples they control and the treasures they've recovered, and adds it to their total.
The Tikal board game ends when the last terrain hex is added to the board. A final scoring round is held and the player finishing with the most points wins the game!
Note: For players who don't like the randomness of drawing the tiles to be layed, Tikal offers an auction version, where players bid for which terrain tiles they receive. This version greatly reduces the luck factor and adds a much deeper level of strategy.
Who should buy Tikal?
The Tikal board game is a strategy game, but it's level makes it accessible to a wide range of gamers, even casual ones. We've found that we can introduce people to this game and having them playing in less than 20 minutes of prep time. And younger players can enjoy it too, starting at around 10.
We recommend the Tikal board game to those who want a strategy game of moderate difficulty, a solid theme, and accessable to range of players. In our games cabinet, Tikal rates as a good backup plan to Settlers of Catan.
The Manufacturer's Board Game Review of Tikal:
Each player is the director of an expedition intent on exploring Tikal in search of the secret paths that lead to the temples and precious treasures that have remained hidden for over 1000 years. A player receives points during four scoring rounds for eac h recovered treasure and for each temple that he controls. But, both temples and treasures can change hands. The expedition that earns the most points exploring Tikal wins the game.
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