It is a well-known fact, that in the Amazon jungle, in the shadow of the vast mountains, there is a bunch of unknown tribes. Most of them are unusual – they have their gods, primitive instruments and never saw any marks of civilization. But one village is really unique. It is a village, where evolution has advanced in a different direction. Very intelligent cats live there.
Exactly this place has been chosen as setting for board game by three designers: Eros Lin, Wei-Min Ling and Cahu-Hsin Chou. It’s called Meowtopia, but was originally released in 2013 as Jungle Rumble. EmperorS4 was originally signed under the box as publisher, but a new version with a new name was created in the French company Runes Editions with the help of new illustrations by Loreine.
On the lid, player sees a preview of the cat’s village, but to become a real resident, he has to open the lid and find one common scoring board under it. He immediately puts it in the center of the table together with four player cards. Every participant must now choose one of these plans and it will only depend on taste, because families differ only by a picture.
Depending on the number of players, they will prepare enough stock with tiles and cats, but also with wooden water channels. From this offer, players get their starting gear (two helpers, one canal and two fields), but also four tokens of food and one piece of gold. Each player puts his field in front of him and separate them with a piece of water.
Whole game is then divided into turns, in which all players progressively move in the role of active player. Player picks up five action tiles and chooses one of them to activate. He follows the icons displayed, and then all opponents have the opportunity to use the same action for themselves, but always limited to only one worker. Yes, for all available actions, players will need their workers, who are represented by cubes. With their help, they can obtain food (tiger), gold (raccoon), dig water channels (beaver), plow field (bull) and above all get more workers (monkey).
In addition, two helpers pieces can become either other workers or vendors in each round. The first option is clear to use. However, if the assistant is to become a trader, he is tagged with a token, and then at the start of each subsequent round, player can sell one type of goods.
Each action card can only be selected once per round, then it becomes unavailable. Those pieces that no one has chosen in the previous round are favored by placement of one token of food. At the end of his turn, player must feed all his workers, including assistants. For those, who are not fed, player gets penalty points.
Useful workers are asleep after work. At the beginning of each round, players can wake up one of them free of charge and everyone else needs to be motivated with a food token. Players not only get raw materials, they buy squares and connect them with water channels. In order to have enough points at the end of the game. Match culminates, when stocks or water canals resources in bank are empty. Points can be earned for workers, items sold to the merchant, fields, water, and unused gold. Who has the most points of all these becomes the winner.
Meowtopia itself is a game of gathering victory points. It does not have complicated rules and looks friendly, making it especially suited for children and inexperienced players – parents. It all goes a lot simple, which is a good weapon just for those who are not looking for an exaggerated challenge.
The game is simply about creating enough stock of workers, making good choices of actions and organizing your workforce as best as possible. It is the last activity mentioned that is the basis of success because the tired workers will not be available in the next round. And here is absolutely essential to get enough food, but you can only use one of the tiles in every round. Other players can join the action, but they get much weaker profits.
Despite the simplicity of principles described, there are plenty of interesting and meaningful choices in the game. There are more options for gaining points, including turning raw materials into one of your helpers. Thanks to this combination, game is a very good gateway to the world of more complex euro games. At the same time, less experienced players will probably not be able to offer it, because of course it can not be measured with the tips of this thoughtful and purely unimaginable genre.
With multiple players, there is a better selection of actions in each round. The length of the game is determined by the achievement of the tiles, which are fewer in the offer. This allows players to always count with thirty minutes to complete the match. Entertainment is better in higher numbers, because it is more choice. Waiting for turn is not that long.
Processing is interesting. The illustrations are playful and colorful. Theme of cats is chosen well, entertaining and certainly not offending in any way. Of course, with the game itself, the pictures have no connection.
Meowtopia is a game aimed primarily at children. This is clear from both graphics and theme. At the same time, it offers a solid level of tactics, so you can not sit and play it with eight-year-olds. On the other hand, game market for past ten years has quite a large choice.
Meowtopia is a game for which we can not have entirely warm words of praise. The game is simple, and because it is about farming, name Agricola for juniors comes into mind. And it just sits. The game offers enough options to collect points, some nice choices and is not unnecessarily long. Meowtopia is not a challenge for experienced players, but its amount of strategy can certainly work, when children are playing.
Reader Rating0 Votes
suitable for older children (from ten years of age)