Teotihuacán: City of Gods was a hit almost as soon as it was published. Since its release in 2018, it has racked up 11 different awards, including 5 Golden Geeks. It also smashed its way into the Board Game Geek Top 100 and is still there to this day.
The core game, City of Gods, is a heavy Euro game set in the ancient Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacán before its collapse. And yes, the irony of calling any Mesoamerican-themed game a Euro game is not lost on me, but it is the most apt description. That’s because this 1 – 4 player game has a lot of moving parts with absolutely no rolling of its many dice. More on that later.
The goal of the game is themed around Teotihuacán’s very impressive architecture which is still standing today. Players attempt to outdo one another in constructing the colossal Pyramid of the Sun and smaller structures along the Avenue of the Dead. Both activities are pleasing to the gods and will earn players Victory Points in the game’s final scoring.
These construction projects were massive undertakings in their day, though, and City of the Gods recreates that toil through complex gameplay and player interaction. The core mechanics are resource gathering and worker placement. Workers, represented by six-sided die, move along a circular route through the city gathering familiar resources such as gold, stone, and wood to aid in construction. A fourth, more unique resource, cocoa, can also be obtained to revitalize workers or give them extra energy. Sure, you’re doing back breaking labor, but at least you get chocolate!
Resource gathering is only one piece of the puzzle, though. Players must also make sure to Worship the gods to gain their favor. The gods also appreciate their worshippers going the extra mile, so you’ll have to Decorate those temple pieces as you build them. Then there are different Technologies to unlock if you want to level up your workers and gain bonus abilities. Speaking of your workers, Teotihuacanos had lives very similar to you and I: work at your job until you die… Er, Ascend! Workers who reach their final level Ascend and improve your standing on the Avenue of the Dead. But while racing against each other, players are also racing against the clock. Once an Eclipse occurs, the game is over!
Now 5 years have passed since its original release, and like many aging celebrities, Teotihuacán is getting a facelift. Next month, Board & Dice is bringing Teotihuacán to Kickstarter with some gorgeous updates.
There is no getting around the fact that the Teotihuacán board is busy. This updated version includes new boards and cards with brighter, crisper art that makes each available option stand out cleanly. And not just the core City of Gods board. The base pledge of this campaign comes with every one of Teotihuacán’s expansions, including Late Preclassic Period, Shadow of Xitle, The Expansion Period, and the long-awaited 5th Player Expansion, all with updated art. However, if you prefer the original layout, don’t worry! Each board is double-sided so you can choose which style you prefer
Tokens and dice are also getting an upgrade, so say goodbye to those generic meeples and colored cubes. They’re getting replaced with tokens that are custom cut and heat printed, making them not only more attractive but also easily identifiable. There are also stretch goal rumors of double-layered player boards to better hold your tokens, as well as enlarged tokens with more expansive heat printing. The new edition will also come standard with a massive box and multiple trays tailor-made to hold everything neatly and easily.
If you’ve never played Teotihuacán, this Kickstarter campaign is the perfect time to jump in. If you’re a long-time fan, you can also get on the fun without having to purchase an entirely new game. There is a “Beauty Pack” pledge at just a fraction of the core pledge cost which gets you all the upgraded tokens and cards, plus the bigger box for storage.
The Kickstarter campaign launches next month, April 2023. Surely the gods are pleased.