Corin Anderson (magellanic) wrote,
Corin Anderson
magellanic

Māori

davidturtle gave owens888 the game Māori for Christmas(?) and she and I had a chance to play it the other night. It's most concisely described as a variant of Carcassonne where you play tiles on your own, private board and you have a bit of control in selecting a tile to play. Your private board is ostensibly a patch of ocean and the tiles are open ocean or parts of islands. Your goal is to create islands that span multiple tiles and have palm trees and huts. Drawing tiles in Carcassonne is entirely random -- take one from the face-down pile. In Māori 16 tiles are always face-up and you can choose basically any of them, for a price (there's a marker you move around the 4x4 grid, you can take the adjacent tile for free or pay for a non-adjacent tile, and you can pay to move the marker more).

The key improvement over Carcassonne IMHO is that a game finishes in 20-30 minutes, with each player placing about 16 tiles. (In Carcassonne the game ends when all ~100 tiles have been placed). You can also put a minute bit of strategy into your Māori game as only you are placing tiles on your board. On the other hand this means there's less interaction between players, and the potential for a lot more analysis paralysis as a player may pause to examine every other players' boards before deciding what move to make.

Overall the game feels a bit flat -- not much complexity, need for deep thinking, or interesting interactions with players or the game. Worth a try for someone who loves Carcasssonne and wants to try something different but I expect you would stick with Carcassonne.
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