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October 4, 2009

Mexica – Review

Published in 2002, Mexica is the third game in the “Mask Trilogy” utilizing the action-point mechanism.


  • Designed by: Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling
  • Published by: Rio Grande Games
  • Number of players: 2-4
  • Playing time: 75 minutes
  • Player ages: 10+

As a publisher, Rio Grande Games makes excellent board games. This game is no exception!

The box has a beautiful design and inside you will find inside a gorgeous and beautiful game board.

A Quick Overview

Mexica is the name that the Aztecs used to refer to themselves. The board game is about creating the home of the Aztecs on the island on Lake Texcoco.

As one of four leaders of the Aztecs, you will spend action points on your turn to wander about the island, building canals, dams, bridges and temples to create the magnificent city of Tenochtitlan.

Players score points depending on how great their temples are in built city districts. Use your action points cleverly to establish your presence and win!

Now the game begins…

mexica-1Game Play

The game is divided into two phases. In each of the phases, every player gets a certain number of temples in various sizes from 1-4 points. The bigger the temple, the more action points it will require be built.

Any unused temples from the first phase can be added to the temples in the second phase.

In the first phase, players are required to found and create 8 different districts of various sizes.

The first phase ends when:

  • all 8 districts are founded and
  • at least one player has no more temples remaining

When this happens, players play until all have had the same number of turns. Then the scoring of all founded districts will occur.

In the second phase, players are required to found and create 7 more districts.

The second scoring is triggered in the same way as the first scoring round. This time, however, all land areas are scored as well.

On your turn during the game, you have six action points to spend. With these action points, you are able to traverse around the island, build temples, found districts, create canals and dams and build bridges.

A district is created when a section of land is bounded by canal tiles. A player founds a district only if the player marker, the Mexica token, is present in the district.

Temples can be built only in areas where a player’s Mexica token is present.

Scoring is done on a majority basis.

The player who has the temples of the most value scores the highest points. The second place player scores half of the 1st player’s score.

The third place player scores half of the 2nd player’s score. All scores are rounded up.

mexica-4During the game, players will have a general idea of strategy but will need to be able to quickly react to other players’ placements that may affect their plans.


Mexica is an excellent introduction to the action point mechanism developed in Kramer’s and Kiesling’s previous “Mask Games”.

It is fun and interactive and plays in about 75 minutes. It is quite strategic and there are many ways for creative plays.

The other aspect of this game is the visual and tactile nature of the board and playing pieces! At the end of the game, it is breathtaking to take a step back and just look at the board!

Happy gaming!

About the Author

Monsieur Lapin

I discovered the "new" world of boardgaming way back in '06! Now those were the days. Since then, I found out that there were over 500 boardgames being published every year. This site is a way for me to share with you this wonderful hobby that transcends generations and allows you to spend more quality time with your family!

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