Hello friends! Has arrived to my consultation the board game Shikoku. I explain the details of the game and what have been the results of the tests performed by my laboratory.
Shikoku is the smallest of the four main islands of Japan and famous for its 88 buddhist temples pilgrimage route.
The board game is set on he 23rd temple called Yakuoji. To reach this temple pilgrims have to move up a stair of 33 steps. Pilgrims stop on the steps to pray and sing mantras to get spiritual healing and prevent misfortune.
In the game players are pilgrims and in the same way they have to move up the steps to reach the temple. However, and here is the fun of the game, the winner won’t be the first, but the second or the player before the last. A good pilgrim seeks moderation, not the extremes: to be the first or the last one is not welcome!.
Shikoku comes in a 20x20x4cm box.
Inside the box we can found:
- A game board.
- 33 mantra cards.
- 8 pilgrims color player cards.
- 16 meeples (2 of each color).
- 8 player aid cards.
GAME MECHANIC SUMMARY
Players have to play mantra cards to see how many steps they move each turn.
The cards also has a number, which indicates the turn order of the players. This is very important because depend this order, a player has advantage to play his card, choose the steps to move, and even not move that turn. So the core mechanic of Shikoku is the hand management.
ANALYSIS AND RESULTS
If you allready has read my How I made a freak manual, you will know that I love Japan. Any game that has a Japanese theme will have a good initial score of freakism. But I also think that the author Eloi Pujadadas has managed to capture the spirit of the Shikoku pilgrimage in an original and fun way in the game.
Shikoku is game for 3 to 8 players that has a short duration. In my opinion it becomes more exciting when more players are. It is ideal to display on the table when you meet with many friends. In general you still want more and there is usually at least a second game.
At first it takes a bit to establish the order of turn, but when you get used to the system it is very simple and agile. The games are usually fast without interludes between player turns.
To say that the game has many colored meeples would have to be enough, but also the game design is very beautiful. I think the illustrator Amelia Sales has managed to convey the essence of the game in its design using an oriental theme with pastel colors of very nice tones. I would have liked more variety of card illustrations but this is a preference of mine because the game certainly does not require it.
I have already incorporated Shikoku to my list of favorite Japanese-themed games. I you liked Shikoku too, don’t think more. Ask for it at your habitual store!
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