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Rating: 8.1 Very Good
Players: 2-5 players
Playing time: 90-150 minutes

Created by: Jeroen Doumen, Joris Wiersinga, Ynze Moedt

Published by: Splotter Spellen


The Mutapa king struts into the village, followed by a bunch of young warriors herding cattle. "Oondabezitha", he addresses the assembly of kings, "I have brought twelve heads of cattle for the ceremony tonight". The others seem to shrink in stature as he speaks.

The star of the king of Mutapa is clearly ascending. They have not brought nearly as much cattle themselves. "Soon, we will all be praying to Obatala", murmurs one of the older Kilwa traders. "The Mutapa will be raising their godless monuments sky-high.

Perhaps it is time for us to resort to some magic of our own". Then the sky breaks into a thunder and a torrential rain pours down on the assembly. The men scramble while the plains fill with water. The ceremony will be wet tonight...

The Great Zimbabwe is a game about building a trade based civilization in ancient Africa. It has been inspired by the old kingdoms surrounding the Great Zimbabwe, a world heritage site in southern Africa.

Far into the previous century, colonial governments denied that a civilization that produced such impressive monuments and beautiful artwork could have been African in origin.

But of course, this civilization was African, and the country of Zimbabwe itself was proudly named after this impressive cultural heritage. As always in our games, we have used this history for inspiration; however, first and foremost we wanted to create a highly playable and replayable Splotter game, so in many cases we took liberties with historical names, periods and artwork.

In the game, players strive to build the most impressive monuments to one god of their choice. They can choose this god themselves-- each of the twelve gods offers a unique blessing, but each also requires a different amount of work to win the game.

Building the monuments is done by developing a logistics network stretching across the region. Through this network, players produce and obtain ritual goods to raise their monuments and bring honour to the god of their choice.

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Each player represents an African kingdom that strives to establish cultural dominance. This is done by placing craftsmen and erecting monuments. Both of these activities score victory points.

The number of victory points required to win the game depends on how many special abilities you choose to acquire: the stronger you want to be, the more points you will need to win.

The game is played in rounds, each one divided in 4 phases. In Phase I and II, players take turns. Phase III and IV are played very quickly. …


Each small square on the map that isn't water is called a land area. At the start of the game, land areas may contain a resource or they may be empty. Land areas are adjacent with up to 8 areas in horizontal, vertical and diagonal directions.


The blue areas on the map are water areas. All water that is horizontally or vertically adjacent forms one large water area. Water areas that are only diagonally adjacent do not form one water area. …

Below is a list of the available gods. They are listed in the order of what phase in the game (I, II, III, IV) they have their main effect. Each god changes the rules for the player choosing him/her in some way.


God of Drunks (I)

If the god Shadipinyi is in play, place his plaque at the front of the queue, before the first player. The plaque functions just like the player plaques, and receives cattle during the generosity of the kings phase. …

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