Mottainai

“Mottainai” (pronounced mot/tai/nai or like the English words mote-tie-nigh) means “Don’t waste”, or “Every little thing has a soul”. In the game Mottainai, a successor in the Glory to Rome line, you use your cards for many purposes. Each player is an acolyte in a temple who performs tasks, collects materials, and sells or completes works for visitors. Every card can be each of these three things.

You choose tasks to allow you to perform actions, keeping in mind that other players will get to follow up on your task on their next turn. Clever planning and combining of your works’ special abilities is key, as is managing which materials you sell.

Mottainai is a quick, but deep, game experience.

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Your Introduction to… Carl Chudyk!

Ava: Welcome to an occasional series introducing you to a single, storied game designer. Today I want to tell you about the games of a man called Carl.

Certain designers have a set of obsessions that shine brightly when you put all their work together. There’s a pattern of passions that unite their work. Carl Chudyk is my my board game design crush, and it’s because he ploughs a furrow that nobody else could. His games are relics from a weirder, smarter world. He builds layered puzzle-systems where possibilities multiply at every turn. They’re challenging to learn, but a delight to wrangle.

It’s odd though. I struggle to recommend them to people, even though they’re my favourites. I don’t like to push people into an experience that might feel horrible the first time round. It’s like asking someone to dive into a river that will be cold until they adjust.

But I want to talk about Carl Chudyk anyway. Once you’re swimming with him, you’ll find something you couldn’t get anywhere else.  You’ll open tiny boxes and find yourself tucking ideas under possibilities and watching your table turn into a sea of systems. You’ll still be finding surprises on your hundredth play.

You’ll get stories. Stories of the time a game felt different to anything else.

These aren’t reviews. There’s no time for that.

Instead I’m going to dissect a few games, pull out a few gutsy details, and see if I can read in the entrails why Carl is the way he is. Why he fills me with wonder and what makes me scream. Take a deep breath. It’s a fast river, you might not be able to get out.

Read moreYour Introduction to… Carl Chudyk!

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Tempted by games in shiny little boxes? This week we review 10 Oink games, in just 10* Minutes! How is that even possible? Science remains unsure. youtu.be/2hcqQZWM5Pk pic.twitter.com/7IENcy41cJ

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