Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar Reviews

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar has 302 reviews with an average rating of 3.88 / 5.

Rating Summary (302 Total)


2015 Rating: 8.40 Rank: 45 Plays: 12014 Rating: 8.25 Rank: - Plays: 52013 Rating: 8.50 Rank: - Plays: 5


A beautiful, fascinating puzzle of a game that keeps getting better the more I play it. Full review here:


Tascini has been hit-or-miss with me, so it took me a while to play this, his first big splash. I think I liked it, excruciating footguns and all.


First play was very interesting. Clearer than I thought it would be even if strategy was a little lost on me. Would like to play this again. I was impressed.




(Rating based on 1 online play)I can appreciate its design. Rules are nicely laid out and gears are innovative. Problems: 1. all options are all laid out at the very beginning, overwhelming (although they are grouped in 5 cohesive tracks); 2. gears/mechanisms don't make much thematic sense.Almost no tactics, pure strategy.


Enjoyable medium weight strategy game. It has a very good graphic design, which really helped me put the special rules together with where they affected play. Of course it also has this great gimmick of turning gears. (Which inspired us to call it "Corn on the Cog".


BW4. 2-4.


Top notch and brilliant Worker Placement game. The Aztec Indian gear wheel / time mechanic is an outstanding and refreshing twist on this style of game. Highly recommend. Love this designers games!


+ Tribes & PropheciesOne of the most unique (even today) worker placement games.


The timing of the gears is a great mechanic! Puts a great twist on worker placement.


3.5 game weight




YAQE (Yet Another Quintessential Euro) The more exasperated I feel by having an inefficient turn, the better the Euro I think. And the exasperation of inefficiency is HIGH in Tzolk'in.


One of the best worker placement games out there. If not the best.


This game has a fantastic theme perfectly integrated with innovative mechanics. Basically, you place your workers on a number of gears that all move in step with a central gear; the longer the worker stays on the gear, the better the action you'll get when you remove him (generally). The catch is that, on your turn, you can either place or remove workers--never both and never neither. Planning becomes essential in this game, as you don't want to get stuck needing resources from removing a worker the same turn you want to place, or run out of workers to place when you need your workers to keep going around. If you plan it out right, you can truly have some amazing turns though (and conversely, it feels positively suboptimal to only do one thing on your turn sometimes). This is an excellent planning game that rewards long-term thinking; definitely one of my favorites of the year.(5+ plays)


Gears not just a gimmick and integrate with the rest of the game nicely. Enough ways to score points to allow for different strategy. Pretty and fun.


2013-12-24 : Excellent game - but the spatial component makes me suck at it


Received: December 20128 - 9, W1


--Jan2013-- Lovely cool game; the worker placement thing (which I'd thought might dominate my thinking) was subservient to some very cool timing decisions. I suspect it'll get the occasional play.


God it's beautiful. Took more than several plays online before I even learned how to not suffer (in-game, I mean. I still had fun, just never employed any real strategy and consistently took last place) but even then I still am not getting "good" scores. One of those games where even accomplishing things is an acquired skill, which is a damn shame since the one thing that makes me hesitate to buy it is how hard it might be to get friends into it. The expansion is brilliant and I actually scored higher with it than I have without it... it just feels right playing with tribes, which give players choice in direction from the start, and prophecies, which encourage more creative, versatile, and flexible strategies. If I buy this, it will be with the expansion. And now that I've tried that, there's a chance I will. Still, as of right now, as much as I like about it, it's more of a begrudging respect, the kind you reserve for chess or go, than an active passion for the game. It's brilliant, but I don't know that I am.


One of my favorites. Excellent worker placement game, with a cool time feature for your workers.


Good worker placement-- but needs 4 and I don't have them:/


Fast-moving resource conversion that is all about timing. Bite-sized but satisfying actions when a plan comes together.


I really enjoy the gears and how they actually work as a time mechanism - not a gimmick! A great game with lots of options. Somewhat restricting though.


On order...


Lots to wrap my mind around with this - it's definitely one of my favorite worker placement game and I absolutely love that the moving gears aren't a gimmick. This is a wonderful game for anyone looking to venture into slightly more heavy mid-weight euros.


Lots to wrap my mind around with this - it's definitely one of my favorite worker placement game and I absolutely love that the moving gears aren't a gimmick. This is a wonderful game for anyone looking to venture into slightly more heavy mid-weight euros.


Seems to be just another worker placement game of which there are plenty. This one does stand out with an interesting timing mechanic of placing your workers and deciding to let them ride to more powerful actions or pull them off and get them on other things.It was alright, but I didn't see anything in it that made it mind blowing. I'd play it again, but I wouldn't seek it out.


just don't like itbut can see why other do


Weight: 3.63 / 5Includes Folded Space insertTraded 1 copy for Camel Up + $10Traded 2nd copy for $35


Designer: Simone Luciani, Daniele Tascini Artist: Milan VavroňPublisher: CGE (Czech games Edition)Player count: 2-4 (best with 4)Weight: heavyMechanics: worker placementSetting: Players are different Mayan tribes Theme: fairPlay time: 90-120 minutesThe game looks great, has a cool theme and adds something to the worker-placement genre through the introduction of the cart wheel which turns all the other wheels, so you have to pay attention when you place and take off your meeples. As you're only allowed to either place or take off meeples in your turn, timing is probably more important here than in any other game I know. An additional factor too add some complexity is the starting player space. When you claim this you receive all the food (corn) which was placed there in previous turns, but also you have the opportunity to turn the wheels twice instead of once, which can seriously mess with other players plans.Every cart wheel has it's own purpose: food and wood, resources, development and buildings, trade and workers and lastly offerings to the gods. Basically, you need everything and can't neglect any wheel, but the number of workers is very limited and like I said, you can only put workers on one or more wheels or take them off. As the longer they remain on the wheel, the better the reward, so you'd like to keep all of them on as long as possible, which you can't. This part is soooo hard to master, and I'm still learning with every game.To summarize, this game is highly recommended and has been in my top 10 for a couple of years now.Can't wait to play again


Started tracking games late. Add about 3 to the number of plays. I like this game well enough, but man am I terrible at it. I've since found better worker placement games for my play style, but I probably wouldn't turn down a game of this.


I give it a 6 only for the originality of the board design. Otherwise it would be a 4 based on 1 play of a 4 player game. I was able to win the game while ignoring large portions of the game the entire time.


I love the wheel mechanic with the worker placement.... incredible.


The standard billion options that all end up in roughly the same place kind of worker placement game. Not a huge knock, to be sure, but I have pretty settled preferences in that most crowded of genres (Tribune all the way).


Excellent game with lots to think about. Lovely board and artwork.


Place one or more of you workers on the gears, at the earliest available space(s). Or take one or more of your previously placed workers back and take the appropriate action(s). Apart from the details of the actions and the feeding that's basically the game. I continue to score poorly compared to my opponents usually. Not struggling to feed normally, but scoring well, from temples especially, eludes me.


Typical worker placement game with an interesting, albeit gimmicky gears mechanic.


Okay, so the gears are a bit of a gimmick but they work. There's so much strategy and planning and tension in this game. ALWAYS play with the Tribes and Prophecies expansion.


Another game that throws a wrench in my brain. I really want to explore this more just to understand it.


Garritt's game


Brilliant design. I enjoy worker placement and the pay-me-now-or-pay-me-later mechanism in this game is excellent. A worker placement where getting more workers is NOT a primary objective? Nice! Of course, the theme is A+++ for me. The only problem is that the game is prone to analysis paralysis, specially in the later rounds. INCLUDED: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar – Tribes & Prophecies


With [thing=143065][/thing]


4.11.18 Tzolkin is a worker placement game, the catch being that workers go on the teeth of various cogs and, as the main cog signifying the calendar rotates, the actions you can take become increasingly better. This game reminded me of a more complex Stone Age that has removed the dice. There are different resources that need converting, buildings to build, and grunts to feed. I have a few hesitations about how the currency (i.e., corn) affect game play, which is why I rated this a 7, but I could see raising the score to an 8 after exploring the game more. Thoughts after the first play. PROS -The board, with its moving gears, is incredibly unique. It’s hard to think of a regular board game with a more interesting presence. In terms of components, the crystal skulls stand out while the other cube resources are satisfactory. -Big, big fan of the artistic style of the game. -The different paths to explore—corn, skulls, buildings, monuments, temples, and technology—keep the game from getting stale and let advanced players explore untried strategies while playing with inexperienced players. -The starting tiles are excellent! I love the idea that these aid your decision in which strategy you will take. CONS -Corn is a constant and sometimes insurmountable problem. In our game, not one player got another worker for fear of having to feed him. I managed to grab the farm tile that allows a player to feed three of workers and I believe this is the reason I won. In order to stay afloat, it seems that you have to have a worker on the corn wheel at all times and you have to have the tech that allows you to harvest from exhausted fields. I could see gathering sufficient corn limiting a player’s enjoyment of the game as it is such a central focus but also a boring chore when compared with all of the other interesting actions you want to be taking. -While focusing on corn, you also need to be amassing cube resources but the wheel where you do this offers infuriatingly few cubes. This seemingly means you need to decide if you want to go for buildings OR monuments but I would be hard pressed to see how you could do both as monuments are incredibly exorbitant. Again, not one player was able to purchase a monument.


Gift from Sam, Nov. 2014.


2-4 Players 90 Minutes


The gears in this game add some complexity to a worker placement game. I enjoyed the second game a lot more once we got to grips with the rules. The gears provide a timed strategy to work towards and therefore you didn't feel that the game outlived its welcome.


No need to sleeve


Need to play more, but seems solid so far.


Very tense euro that transcends the silly toy on the board. I really want to play with the expansion.


The worker placement & gear mechanic provides for some good strategy and required forethought. The game is really enjoyable at two players, but at four players it takes a little too long between turns. The production quality of the gears and the components as well as the illustration is all fantastic.


The worker placement & gear mechanic provides for some good strategy and required forethought. The game is really enjoyable at two players, but at four players it takes a little too long between turns. The production quality of the gears and the components as well as the illustration is all fantastic.


Interesting timing element added to what is otherwise a paint-by-numbers worker placement resource conversion engine builder. Very restrictive in terms of resource collection and moderately punishing thanks to the asinine "feed your people" mechanic, which I rarely like. The gears are interesting and do call attention the fact that your turns are actually resources (which is true for many games, but here it's codified by the movement of your workers).


2-4, 90m


love the gears.


2016-12-10 - Gift Like caylus with gears. 2019-01-13 - Sold; Richmond gamer


[Draw bags for randomize some tiles]


Sure, the gears are good fun, but there's actually really interesting things happening too.


I'm not sure I am smart enough to be good at this game. But spinning the wheel is fun! :P If you and your friends aren't super hardcore gamers, maybe stick to a worker placement that's easier to wrap your head around and doesn't involve planning out everything 10 moves ahead (like Agricola).


The rotation of the worker gears, really separates this from the crowd, and despite the plethora of worker placement games on the market, this one has held onto its high position, and for good reason. Calculating how to place and pull the optimal number of workers each turn, and establishing a good rhythm is crucial to victory, but not easily mastered. There seem to be about three dominant strategies to utilize and combat, but mastery is not easily attained. Whether a player goes big on corn, building, or theology, it'll take a few plays to iron out the kinks, and this will lure the optimizers of the world, myself included, into several plays. Perhaps it is my Puerto Rico bias leaking through, but the Big Corn strategy is wicked fun.


Theme/Art: I like the theme a lot, I was always interested in Aztec and Mayan culture. The theme also fits the game and the game looks great and colourful. The art is great too, especially the box art. Production quality: Very good, the board itself is very unique and the gears work very smoothly. Resources are basic wooden cubes, aside from wood and corn, which are cardboard tiles, and crystal skulls, which are little plastic skulls. Everything else is cardboard. Replayability: Since Tzolk'in has a lot going on and quite a few ways to score points, replayability is given. Additionally the order of buildings and the available monuments are different every game. The expansions adds even more replayability with different tribes and prophecies. Depth/Difficulty: The core mechanic of the game can be explained in one sentence: On your turn you either place workers on gears or take workers off gears to receive the benefit of the gear space you took them from. However, there are a lot of different gear spaces to learn and there are also gods, technologies, and harvest festivals. I weight it 4/5. Strategy: You need to think ahead, manage your resources, keep workers on gears as short as possible, but as long as needed to get the best benefits. It plays very fluid though, because turns are very short. Luck: Pretty much non existent. Aside from starting tiles, buildings, and monuments nothing in this game is random. Tzolk'in is an amazing game and depending on player count it takes 60-150 minutes to play. I think the gears are a great and unique way to implement a worker placement mechanic and I can't wait to get the expansion.


Took a couple of plays to get in to, but it is currently my personal favorite. Different paths to victory, different strategies. Going to have fun playing as many times as possible to try out as many strategies as possible.


Interesting mechanics in this game definitely save it from being extremely boring. Still takes too long for what it is though in my opinion.


(11/17) 8. Really, really interesting worker placement game where timing is everything. You don't just need to know when to place your workers, but when to take them off as well and when to do both efficiently. Loved playing and would definitely play again soon!


Complicated game with alot of movement. Worker placement done right. The rule that you have to either put out or take one of your workers really does wonders


Love this game! The workers upgrading each turn and only being able to place or retrieve workers makes so many interesting decisions while not outstaying its welcome.