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(Dec 2015) Wow! Definitely at or near the top of my "best bang for your buck" games! For $15 MSRP, you get a really great, deep, flexible game in about 30 minutes. Plus the mini version is super portable. The only thing that keeps this from a 10 for me is that the rules are a touch tough to learn and teach. But once grasped, they're not too bad, and the game is so great that it doesn't bring it down too much.
Not as good as GtR, but what is? I do think it's a good implementation of a quicker, lighter version. Except I dislike the Impulse-style role selection; it leads to too much downtime and doesn't scale as well.
This is a small card game about running a gift shop out of a Buddhist temple. As far as game play goes, the turns are a bit convoluted, but the game is short and there are several viable strategies to win. All of the cards have a unique power and there is a lot of tension between increasing the strength of your turn and scoring end game points. In terms of components, the cards are pretty plain, mostly a color and a unique piece of clip art on each one. I have the mini version so the player mat a bit small. Overall, this is an interesting little card game that provides for a pretty unique strategic experience. I expect this score to go up as I get more plays in. It provides a lot of game in a small box with a $10 price point.
GAMEPLAY Mottainai is a multi-use card game where players can follow others’ actions and build tableaus that create unique powers. A player first takes any actions his opponents have chosen as their tasks. Then, the player chooses a task for himself to perform. The goal of the game is to score VP through your tableaus that are your gift shop and your gallery. Cards can be moved to your tableaus and become works through choosing tasks that either allow you to use materials in your workshop or use materials in your hand. The first player with five works in either wing, triggers the end of the game. THOUGHTS Mottainai is beautiful both in its art and gameplay, and it could become that go-to game that two people get really comfortable with and enjoy in a quiet 15 minutes when they have some downtime. However, the shame of it is the barrier to entry seems too high for most, which is weird considering that Mottainai is very like Glory to Rome, and people worship GtR. I would love to find the opponent who wants nothing more than to learn all the ins and outs, turns and twists of Mottainai. PROS -Art is gorgeous and cards have a nice linen finish. -Card powers are intriguing as are the comboing effects. -The system has a fantastic way of interlocking and making sense once you’ve wrapped your head around it. CONS -The backs of the card are black, which means there is some fading. -The barrier to entry seems too high for most.
A wonderfully deep, if non-intuitive game. The learning curve is steep but absolutely worth the effort. Every card being unique gives the game a tremendous amount of replayability. It may be a largely tactical game, but you have such a wide breadth of options at any given moment that you'll never feel railroaded. Better the more you play it with the same people, and best with two which makes it a bit niche, but it's one of the best two player card games I've ever played.
Out of an hour long first game, I spent 20 minutes trying to get my head around what the rules are and how you play it (unsuccessfully, mind you), 15 minutes looking back and forth between the card and player aid trying to understand what the cards actually did, and about 10 minutes playing. It feel like the complexity of a middle weight game with the depth of beer and pretzels.
Hey! A streamlined Glory to Rome that's still available to buy for under $20. How about that? The intricate design of gameplay using just 54 cards is incredible. Covering and backorders add rich strategic and tactical choices to a very tight game. While Glory to Rome can really drag and outstay its welcome, Mottainai plays in 15-20 minutes, and yet feels rich and dense. The biggest knock is that it's only a 2-3p game, which doesn't bother me since the short playtime makes it an excellent filler. This game has chiseled away all the fat from GtR and it's just a better game all around.
Very interested in playing this more and trying to master the deck. Although there is a strong random factor, and the card abilities are subtle, this feels like a game that could grow on me. I just need more exposure.
Great little card game that's hard to teach, but easy to play. Definitely rewards multiple plays and will probably take you a couple to even get the game down! Beautiful successor to Glory to Rome and it's one that I take with me everywhere. Kickstarter I've got two copies of this and am more than happy to trade one away so someone else can enjoy the magic that is Mottainai!