Mottainai card game Review

 Game: Mottainai Players: 2-5
 Publisher: Asmadi Games Age: 13+
 Time: 45 minutes Replayability: 8.5/10

Mottainai card game Review

If you can’t tell already I’m a big fan of Asmadi Games. I enjoy their big games in little boxes. Each game has a rarity to them. What I mean by that is each game published by Asmadi Games isn’t like anything I’ve played before. From Flower Fall’s incorporation of literally dropping cards onto the floor to games that are releasing which have not been play tested. The experience of these games(good or bad) will be like no other. The Mottainai card game, is no exception. With developer Carl Chudyk at work, Mottainai is nothing out of the ordinary for this brand of out of the ordinary games.

Mottainai card gameMottainai has each player as an acolyte for a Buddhist temple creating works to display and sell to visitors. These works are completed through collecting material. Once a work is completed they will then be placed in your gallery in order to inspire new helpers for your tasks or will be placed in your gift shop to make some sales. To win the game, be the first player to pace down 5 works in either your gallery or your gift shop.

As a disclaimer, I have to say that the learning curve for this game is steep. In fact, after reading the rules three times over, I had to watch a few tutorials on youtube in order to really figure the game out. In total I’ve spent over 2 hours getting down the games rules (I’ll blame it on my ADD). But from what I gathered, The “temple” is your player mat which has 4 locations on them (I’ll talk about these later), the space between each players “temple” is the floor (for discarded tasks). At the end of the morning phase, you will be using cards from your hand to employ a task (on the top of the temple). This will begin your noon phase, where you will begin by performing each opponents task clockwise A few things:
1: Instead of performing a task, you can instead pray. This will let you draw a card from the deck–which you can’t place in your hand yet, so put it into a waiting area next to the deck face down.
2: Each task has 2 options, either craft (bottom of your temple) using the listed material or perform the material’s unique task. Also,Mottainai card game
3: each matching helper, which will be on the left of your temple, acts as a bonus action per task).

You will then perform your own task, using helpers respectively. Once the night phase begins (which is now), draw cards from your waiting area (which can be triggered through prayer or tasks). Then after your opponent follows suit; you will being your morning phase again–this time by discarding your old task and placing a new (repeat the steps after “as a disclaimer”). I know it’s a lot to absorb but I hope that helps in case you are looking for a quick guide.

Final Thoughts

Now, aside from the steep learning curve the game is actually really good. It’s a beautifully fluent card game that ties in tactical actions with friendly competition. Every task played by you can and will be mimicked by your opponents before they perform their own. The decision of placing your completed works in your gallery or gift shop can be the difference between bonus points or bonus turns. It’s a smart card game with sophisticated game play for  2- 5 players.

Buy the Mottainai card game below.

Mottainai card game


Joseph Nicholas

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Indietabletop. Communication major. Favorite mechanics include: Bluffing and Deduction, modular boards, and action point allowance. Favorite video game genres are Rpgs, Puzzles games, and Sim/Tycoons.

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