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Tikal Board Game
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- For 2-4 players
- Ages 10 years and up
- Length: 75-90 minutes
- GAMES Magazine Best Family Strategy Game 2000
- International Gamers Awards Best Strategy Game 2000
- Deutscher SpielePreis 1st place 1999
- Spiel Des Jahres Game of the Year 1999
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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 each 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.
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."Germany’s Game of the Year is a brilliant production that fits its theme extraordinarily well." - Games Magazine.
Theme : The game mechanics and the theme of exploration fit together very well.
Components : There is a lot in the box, the playing pieces are made of wood, tiles and treasure counters are made of thick card and the large game board is good quality. Illustrations and production throughout are excellent.
Attitude : This is quite a serious game that needs some thought, so there isn't much humour. Tension : Tikal can get quite tense if there is competition for temples, especially towards the end of the game. And every time treasure is found their is always a rush to get there first. Complexity : The rules would take about 20 minutes to teach. Each player has a reference card which lists all the actions you can do during your turn. Once you have learnt these actions, the mechanics aren't difficult. The recommended age is 10 and up, which is about right. Children 7 and up could play the game but may need some help. Strategy : Tikal comes with 2 sets of rules. Players can either draw tiles or bid for them in auctions. The auction version of the game reduces the luck involved in getting good or bad tiles. In either case the of strategy involved to play well is significant. Education : This is an excellent thinking game. It also requires basic math skills in scoring your points. If you are looking for educational activities for young students studying ancient civilizations, archeology and excavation, Tikal would be a fun and interesting introduction. Number of Players : Tikal plays well with 2, 3 and 4 players. It's optimum depends on your personal preference. Two player games tend to be easier with each player developing their own areas while a game with 4 players will be a lot more competitive. Conflict : There's no direct conflict, and you can't attack other players. But you can take over their temples and force a swap of treasures.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I will start with the finish. When the game ends, the whole board is filled with temples, pastures, treasures, volcanoes. It's a lush, green jungle and your explorers are dotted all over. It looks just fantastic. You didn't know a board game could look so tasty!
And it plays so well too. On your turn, you add a tile to the board, and then spend action points to explore what you can see. Doing different things costs points; 1 point to bring an explorer in (little cubes for people); 1 point for each stone they cross (how you get from tile to tile); 2 points to uncover a layer of a temple (gets you more victory points), 3 points to dug up a treasure and so on. You spend your points doing what you want, but each turn, you have only 10 action points to spend.
And that's the tricky bit. You will want to do several moves, but you're limited to doing what's best, what is most efficient. Because when a volcano tile is turned up, the game pauses and the players do a scoring round. If you have more explorers around a temple, you get the victory points. If you have matching sets of treasures, you get more points than singles. So all the time, you are trying to build up your game, explore richer temples, but you can't spread too thin, or the other players will block you out.
It's all quite tactical but really easy to learn and play. A bit harder than old roll and move games like Monopoly. In Tikal, you do have to think and make some decisions, but you can recover from mistakes and still win. I'd say it's a game for older children, aged 10+, but your adult friends will really enjoy Tikal too.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Tikal is one of the best Eurogames out there. It was one of the first games I acquired after discovering board games again as an adult. Now, 4 years into my new hobby and more than 150 games later, Tikal still remains one of the best games in my collection.
Tikal uses an economy of actions whereby each player on his turn can spend 10 points doing various activites on the board. There are plenty of choices but players have to make the tough decision of assessing what actions will provide them with the best payoff. Payoff comes by way of victory points -- scored in 4 quarters spread over the course of the game.
Players deploy their expedition members to the board and direct them to
* discover and excavate temple ruins,
* discover and dig up treasure,
* gain control of the most valuable temples esp. on scoring rounds,
* and steal temples from other players.
Additionally, players may create up to 2 camp sites during the course of the game. The idea behind this is to snatch up prime locations near goodies like temples and treasures. Remember, the game is about an economy of action. The players who are most efficient in spending their actions and most effective in choosing which actions will have the most profitable payoffs will get the most points. Cleverly placed camps will provide one player (hopefully) with more efficient access to contested temples. As temples can only be scored (on scoring rounds) by a player who has greater presence (more party members) at temple sites than any other player, efficient access will lend an edge to capturing these valuable temples.
Tikal is a truly marvelous game. It's a prime example of what games aspire to be. People think Monopoly because that's all they know. They have yet to try games that teach us to be efficient and effective, not merely lucky. Kids will be turned on by using their brains, and -- believe it or not -- so will adults. I play Tikal with my adult friends all the time -- they love it! After playing the basic version, adults should move on to the auction version for an even more exciting game.
Invest a little time in Tikal. You'll learn subtle nuances of play every time and develop better tactics. After exploring the temple ruins of an ancient civilization and vying for control of temples and treasure and you'll forget all about Boardwalk and Park Place.
I have been playing this game off and on for four years now - and it, too, was one of the earlier games I "discovered" as an adult. The others in this "series" (similar styles), such as Mexica, are also fun, but having played all of them, this is still my favorite.
There are multiple approaches to winning, and you can cooperate, screw your opponents, get lucky digging for treasure or use pure military-style strategy in attempting to win. All can work and all can be overcome by other combinations - keeps the game quite interesting.
We've played this with people ranging from 12 to 72 years old, average to very high intelligence, and serious to "just in it for the fun and to be social" attitudes - everybody enjoys it.
The production values are very high - the pieces are well made and the game, given it is a board game and hence made of sturdy cardboard with wooden game pieces, is quite durable.
Rediscover games. It's a blast, and you can't go wrong by trying this one out first (though I also recommend the original Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, or the two-player card game "Odin's Ravens" as a "first" game).
Tikal is beautifully produced, has excellent, easy to read instructions, and is lots of fun to play for 2, 3, or 4 players with great scalability. The game components are of decent quality, but be careful when punching them out as to not tear away the backing.
Learning the game: Easy. I tried this first with two other friends who had never played. We read through the rules out loud and then played the game. It wasn't tough to understand, and the rulebook had excellent examples and pictures to aid understanding. Reading the rules took 20+ minutes, but after that we only had to reference them a couple times. Once we had finished the first game, we had a great understanding of it and even determined a few variations we could try in the future.
Wifability (Non-gamer friendliness): High. My wife doesn't typically enjoy games that require much thought, preferring to spend time just interacting with people in games like Apples-to-Apples. However when the two of us played Tikal, she warmed up to gaming and realized it didn't all have to be boring. If there is one thing I can say about Tikal it's that not only does my wife like to play with me (great two-player game), but it changed her opinion of board games in general and opened her up to trying and enjoying many more. This is the single greatest thing I can say about it.
Game Play / Scalability: High. The game is equally fun (but different) with 2, 3, and 4 players. There's a good bit of replay value, and if you get tired of the fairly predictable tile groupings, you can do what we did and shuffle all the tiles together, interspersing the volcanoes at the appropriate interval. Every friend we've introduced this to has thoroughly enjoyed it.
Cautions: As others have noted, this game (like many strategy games) can be problematic for those prone to Analysis Paralysis. On your turn you have 10 action points to use however you see fit. However there are many different things you could do with them, and if you are playing with a slow-thinking gamer, it could get boring for the others. We've remedied this by setting the expectation early on that you just have to make a decision and move on, by harassing the slow player for being slow, and as a last resort, selectively inviting people to play. All that to say, if you play with a slow person, your enjoyment of this game may be directly tied to your level of patience.
On the whole, Tikal is a great game that will be in our game closet for years to come. Feel free to ask questions in the review comments and I'll do my best to respond.
Euro games originated in Europe as an alternative to the Monopoly-style games and the hard-core-geek games that Avalon Hill came out with in the 70's and 80's. They don't take all day to play, they don't eliminate players during the game so everyone can enjoy them until the end, and they are a whole lotta fun!
Tikal is a great game that fits this new category. Players explore the jungle of Central America by drawing random tiles from a stack and putting them on the board. Then they get 10 actions to place and move explorers into the jungle where they discover Mayan temples and uncover them, and grab treasure which you can trade with other players to maximize your points. You score points by being in the majority around the temples (the more they are uncovered the higher their value), and having lots of treasure (especially of the same type).
Tikal is easy to learn and teach to others, and it is lots of fun. Try it and other great Euro games such as Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Stone Age, and Settlers of Catan. There is a lot going on in this great hobby of board gaming.