Kramer and Kiesling strike again! Earlier in the list we had one of their games - Tikal. Which was part of a trilogy of games called the Mask Trilogy. The games in that trilogy are Tikal, Java, and our number 76 - Mexica. Players will be creating districts and building temples to build up what will become the city of Tenochtitlan.
Similar to their other games on each turn a player will get a certain number of action points, in this case six, to do what they will with them. Some of the actions that are available are to play river tiles on the island to develop different districts. If you can manage to create a district matching one of the size requirements than you put a token into play and score points immediately. In the future the player with the most influence in a district will score some of the other numbers on that chip you just put in play.
Once the districts are completed you can build temples in those regions to increase your influence in them. In the current version of the game these are beautifully crafted step pyramids that really stand out on the board. We can’t deny that might be part of the reason it got so high up on the list. Great games with great production quality always get a little bit higher marks.
Movement around the board is also quite fun as well. You can always do the somewhat mundane stepping onto a space next to you or crossing a bridge (building one of those is also an action). However, you can also go from a bridge to another bridge following the bodies of water. And since the board is an island sometimes that means you can go from a bridge to a bridge on the other side of the map making it somewhat easier to get around the board. But watch out because your opponents can also get you trapped between a rock and a temple based on where you go. And then you will have to spend a lot of action points on your turn to free yourself!
We really enjoy the action point game play that Kramer and Kiesling use in Mexica and other titles and this is one of the better ones. The theming is great and comes through with the production quality. The only thing I would warn people about is the game can become quite cutthroat is you compete for the better scoring districts. So if you are looking for a light hearted game you might want to try one of the other games on the list. But sometimes we really want to get competitive and a little mean - then it might be time to break out Mexica!