As a disciple, I have the unique opportunity to carry water for tribal shamans. One of them woke up from the trance and started shouting things about long drought and other disasters. But he learned nothing more about this from his vision. All seers are trying to connect with her right now. And I had to swear, that I would tell no villager about this.
Shamanic session is happening in the Xalapa board game created by designer Lauge Luchau, who made his new game with help of Huch & Friends company. This is a game that first appeared in 2014 with Antje Stephan’s illustrations.
Players will not surprised by classic square dimensions of this game and should expect Indian illustrations with the all-seeing eye in the middle. At the beginning of the game, player place a common longitudinal game board in the center of the table. The game takes place in seven days, each represented by one column. Orange position of the first day (the leftmost) is marked with a gray stone.
There are two rows at the bottom of the plan. Top one is filled with cards of the prophecy stones. Their number at the same time determines the difficulty of the tasks. At the specified position, players place the position cards (nine randomly shuffled) and create inventory of the remaining oracle tasks next to the board. Then each of the opponents gets one shaman’s stone (puts it on zero position on the winning scale around the plan), eight stones of prophecy and five tokens of ruthlessness.
Individual round starts by moving day token one way forward and revealing top card of position deck on first free position. He then reveals four assignment cards into the bottom line.This combination creates task for one round together with position card (placement of stones). All tasks are related to player’s board. They specify, where the stones must be located on the board to complete whole mission, using color or symbol matching and other assignments.
All players are trying to meet conditions at the same time. Once one of them succeeds, he reports this to others and turn the hourglass. Now, the opponents have just that amount of time to complete their efforts. Its measured by narrow throat of the clock. Then everyone checks how they were successful in placing stones. If someone has not accomplished a task, they must place one of his stones on the task card as a penalty. To this, all placed stones are counted and the total sum represents the penalty value. All participants will move their pointer on the scale by that many steps. This way players will play all seven days and at the end of last round, the winner will be the one, who has the least points of displeasure.
Xalapa is a continuation of Uluru and Dimension deduction games. Even this one belongs to the same author’s line and once again let you face a difficult task – to accomplish all the tasks. This is sometimes very difficult, if not impossible. And finding the right positions is about observation, overview and speed. First place in getting it done is not important, because others have a chance to fine-tune their stones as well. Hence, the pursuit itself is not as hectic as in other games of this type.
Thanks to the combination of lines, colors and stones positions, tasks are extremely difficult. Adjusting difficulty is solved this time by gradually adding more complex cards. Some cards are used for the whole match, which creates really changing conditions. Individual tasks (combination of cards) will hardly repeat in the foreseeable future, so the game’s variability is very high.
The number of players does not affect the game. Everyone is trying for himself and the order does not play any role, so it is not at all important, how many friends you get. The game lasts for at least 45 minutes, but it is very individual because rounds are not limited in time.
Xalapa is an interesting variation of multi-task games played at the same time. Compared to the others, however, Uluru still leads for us using bird seating. In this game, the graphics are very confusing and do not give players anything for free. Sometimes you simply can not see the best possible chance without much effort. Moreover, the rules themselves are not easily explained in the English section. Maybe it’s just a layout, but you will need more than a moment for the first read.
Xalapa, however, is a good entertainment for all who like to bother their eyes and brain cells. The greatest feature of this new variant of abstract entertainment is the freedom that players get. Due to the large number of possibilities, the problems can be quite different. And getting the penalty points according to used stones is great. Xalapa is not entirely original and does not offer clear, original graphics, but it does its job very well.
+ variable difficulty
+ good playing time
+ each set of tasks is completely different
+ will thoroughly check you
+ more paths to success
- just develops already used thoughts from other games
- processing can cause confusion