The Great Zimbabwe board game
The Mutapa king struts into the village, followed by a bunch of young warriors herding cattle. "Oondabezitha ", he addresses the assembly of kings, "I have brought twelve heads of cattle for the ceremony tonight". The others seem to shrink in stature as he speaks. The star of the king of Mutapa is clearly ascending. They have not brought nearly as much cattle themselves. "Soon, we will all be praying to Obatala", murmurs one of the older Kilwa traders. "The Mutapa will be raising their godless monuments sky-high. Perhaps it is time for us to resort to some magic of our own". Then the sky breaks into a thunder and a torrential rain pours down on the assembly. The men scramble while the plains fill with water. The ceremony will be wet tonight...

The Great Zimbabwe is a game about building a trade based civilization in ancient Africa. It has been inspired by the old kingdoms surrounding the Great Zimbabwe, a world heritage site in southern Africa. Far into the previous century, colonial governments denied that a civilization that produced such impressive monuments and beautiful artwork could have been African in origin. But of course, this civilization was African, and the country of Zimbabwe itself was proudly named after this impressive cultural heritage. As always in our games, we have used this history for inspiration; however, first and foremost we wanted to create a highly playable and replayable Splotter game, so in many cases we took liberties with historical names, periods and artwork.

In the game, players strive to build the most impressive monuments to one god of their choice. They can choose this god themselves-- each of the twelve gods offers a unique blessing, but each also requires a different amount of work to win the game. Building the monuments is done by developing a logistics network stretching across the region. Through this network, players produce and obtain ritual goods to raise their monuments and bring honour to the god of their choice.


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User Reviews

  • The absolute epitome of elegant design. Accessible for a Splotter but still not for the faint of heart or general casual population of the board game hobby, but for those who like to go a little deeper in game mechanics, this one comes together like nothing else.
  • The Great Zimbabwe is the type of game that will heavily reward repeated plays. Unfortunately I would rather invest the required time and energy on another game that reciprocates similarly. My foundational issue with The Great Zimbabwe is that it presents a game state that is intentionally difficult to read. Analyzing your options is laborious and takes a great deal of time. I have a greater respect for designs that plague players with difficult decisions, but unlike The Great Zimbabwe, can communicate it's decision tree simply and clearly.
  • Interesting part is the decisions allowed for players to determine their abilities at the cost of increasing victory requirements. unfortunately for me, I had a terrible time making sense of the spatial goods transfer portion of the game. Turn order seems too critical in end game. Another BGGer commented best:"The game starts off with plenty of open ground for a variety of decisions - setting prices to dictate the economy and selecting which power(s) you will use (or not) - but once that phase ends, the game bogs down into jockeying for turn order and a logistical efficiency puzzle. “Can you use up the goods on the board before the other players” is now the game space for clever moves, so you have to be delighted in puzzling that out and watching other players go through that process while you wait and wait for your turn."
  • This one was fine, but it was almost too disconnected from the theme for me to enjoy it as much as some of the other Splotter games. I'd like to play it again or even more than once. But I'm just not sure it's the kind of game I'll seek out, which is how I am with most splotter stuff I've played.
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Hahahah thank you :)

Good lighting always helps make something look good even though I'm not particularly skilled with taking pictures. The game does look better in person though, and so does #Tapestry.

Are you thinking of playing #The Great Zimbabwe with a group? Or is there a great solo variant for it?

Phil, you are a wonder, I didn't really like the look of #Pendulum, but you make it look pretty sharp.

If I were too win again, I might put it towards a preorder of #The Great Zimbabwe.

I do have several on my wish list.

#The Great Zimbabwe

#Indonesia

#An Infamous Traffic

#Ortus Regni

#Renegade (this was supposed to come back into print. But with the changes at Victory Point games I don't know what is going on.)

I currently have #John Company, but there is a second edition coming up that I will probably get.

 

In addition to these, There are a number of OOP games that I would pick up in a heartbeat if I could,, but they are so far out of my reach that they haven't made it to my wishlist. These are games like:

#Glory To Rome

#Ginkgopolis

 

 

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