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Number of Players 1-4
Playtime 60-75 Min
Suggested Ages 12+
Designer(s) Fabio Lopiano
Publisher Board&Dice

The Zapotec were a pre-Columbian civilization that thrived in the Valley of Oaxaca in Mesoamerica. Archaeological evidence has revealed that their culture goes back at least 2,500 years. Remnants of the ancient city of Monte Albán in the form of buildings, ball courts, magnificent tombs, and finely worked gold jewelry testify of this once mighty civilization. Monte Albán was one of the first major cities in Mesoamerica and the centre of the Zapotec state that dominated much of the territory that today belongs to the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

In a game of Zapotec, you construct temples, cornfields and villages in the three valleys surrounding the capital to generate resources needed for building pyramids, making sacrifices to the gods, and performing rituals.

Each round, players will simultaneously pick a card from their hand to determine their turn order and the resources they collect. Players will then perform individual turns and spend resources to build new houses, gain access to special abilities, make sacrifices to the gods and build pyramids. The played action card will determine three important aspects of each player's turn:

  • The resource printed at the top of the card will determine the row or column to activate on the resource grid to collect income.
  • The icon in the middle of the card will match one of the nine properties of the building spaces on the map (one of three building types, one of three regions, or one of three terrain types). On their turn, players can build only on spaces that match that icon.
  • The number at the bottom of the card determines the turn order for the round when the card is played.

At the end of the round, players will draft new cards from the central offer, with the final undrafted card becoming the scoring bonus card for the following round.

After five rounds, players will score points for pyramids, for their position on the sacrifice track, and for their ritual cards. The player with the most victory points wins the game.

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