Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar Review


  • Fun factor – 4/10
  • Replay value – 3/10
  • Components – 4/10
  • Learning Curve – 4/10

My group played this game during our last game night and for one member of the group it was a first play through while my wife and I have played a few times in the past. Just enough to know the rules pretty well but not enough at all to really have a grasp on the game. Game ended up with me winning by a large margin namely due to a very poorly understood rule. Though the consensus was that I would have squeaked out a win over the 2nd place player either way.

So lets start with something I like about the game, it’s pretty to look at. Every part of the game really fits with the theme here and the parts are all solid. I love that the game just feels Mayan with every little detail.

Sadly, for me personally that’s where the good times end. Since I was just saying how nice the parts were I am going to talk about why I only gave it 4 out of 10, it’s the board. I enjoy spinning the wheel but the way you have to put this game back in the box is horrible. The pieces do not fit good in the box at all. With the spinners permanently attached instead of being removable it means that the board takes up a huge amount of space in the box. Also, we found out when playing this time the other evil of having them permanently attached, the board warps under its own folded up weight. In our game in order to not damage the game board (further) we had to prop one corner up with a pencil under it, otherwise you could not spin the gears without it bumping another section of the board. This is just bad, whoever designed how this game would be stored utterly failed at it.

As for the gameplay itself, I find it more frustrating than fun. Everytime I play this game I find myself extremely frustrated at the beginning because I just can not wrap my head around the way that the dial spins and changes what I want my action to be. Please understand that this is not necessarily a failing of the game more of my ability to wrap my head around it. Though my wife also was frustrated with this process throughout the game and we have both played in the past. The new member didn’t seem to be bothered by it. Beyond that the game is okay, I really dislike games with a food requirement personally because it makes me feel very trapped into taking my actions because “**** I MUST get this” instead of “oh man I want/need this for my strategy”. This game really builds on that trapped feeling, I never put a worker down going “this is what I really wanted to do here”, its always “well I guess I have to do this thing because otherwise I am screwed”. It’s not a good feeling for me.

As for replay value and learning curve for me they go hand in hand. I end up feeling like I am relearning the spinning gears every time I play and thus never feel like I am improving at the game. Making me not really want to replay it, which in turn means that we go longer without a replay, which makes it harder to pick up again….it’s a bad cycle.

All in all, While this game has a great theme and can have moments where it’s amusing, I just am not a big fan. If my wife wants to pull it out I will play but it’s never going to be my personal choice for a game night.


2 thoughts on “Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar Review

  1. Pingback: Russian Railroads Review | mythosgaming

    1. tiger8380 Post author

      Hi there, thanks for the reply! I have not updated this site in a while now because I have moved to a new site! This particular review is going to be posted on that site very shortly and would love to see your comment there as well! I think that it would make for a good discussion. The new site was created so that I could have a place to host my new podcast, I hope that you will give it a listen and enjoy. Based on your comment here I think that a couple of the topics we discuss will be of interest. Thanks!

      My new site is



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