One of my gifts was a new board game: Mandala. I came across this review of the game by Quinns, on Shut Up and Sit Down.

I originally enjoyed Azul when I first came across it… but I’ve found it less and less engaging since then.

Mandala seemed in a similar vein, and given Liz still likes Azul a lot… this felt like a good game for us (especially since it’s designed for two players).

The rules were a little tricky at the start, but once we got playing they started to clarify a bit more.

I’d say the rules were similar to Hive: a little time to pick up, but easy to pick up. And once you have things clear in your head, the gameplay options become surprisingly complex surprisingly quickly.

Game in progress. We have a game that Mandala makes me think of: Shobu. Both of these games force you to think a little asymmetrically, with the idea of “forward progress” split across multiple fronts.

Both have rules that are easily/quickly picked up, and a surprisingly rich set of possibilities once the game is in motion.

Here’s the review from Quinns, which I found both helpful and entertaining:

New Game Game Night
New Board Game: Azul
Braveheart Game Night

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