Home Game Review Mottainai Review – with Zee Garcia

Mottainai Review – with Zee Garcia


Zee takes a look at this card game that is a sequel of sorts to Glory to Rome

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  1. Mottainai (勿体無い) is a Japanese word that kinda means something like "wasteful."  The stress is mostly on the first syllable: MOTT-ainai…

  2. Good review Zee! I really enjoy the game but I have not been able to find any other fan of it yet. You are right that it can take some time to wrap your head around how to play but, after a few turns its all so simple. BTW when you were explaining crafting instead of doing the cards task you made it sound like you could craft any card. You can only craft a card based on the tasks type so instead of taking the smith action you could have only crafted a metal card.

  3. Been waiting for someone to review Mottainai. It truly is an underrated, hidden gem. For $16 this is one of the best!

  4. The second player should have a smith card in his hand, to build a paper craft. The first player craft blocks the action otherwise.

  5. Rules Clarification: If you do a Craft Action that replaces a particular normal action, the work you craft must match the material type that correlates with the normal action you are replacing.

  6. It's my first Chudyk multi-use card game, and I like it a lot. Took 3 plays before my wife got her head around it all, and she got really mad when she thought I didn't properly explain craft vs smith and the intricacies… but tried again later and was OK with it. And JUST asked to play it again right now. 😀 Success!

  7. Man, I still need to try this game, but every time I try cracking open the rulebook I'm like "I think I'll try something simpler like TI3 first."

  8. The graphic design is so ugly on this game. There is also way too much text on these cards. $16 is a good deal for any game, but I was disappointed in this one; I felt like I understood Glory to Rome better and more quickly.

  9. Thanks Zee – Great & clear review.

    The Reviews I've seen of Mottainai seem to say that it isn't as good as the now out of print "Glory to Rome", and yet the two games look superficially similar. I've been wondering what gives — People don't like the craft theme of Mottainai? Building vases or vomitoriums – it's all the same to to me if the game is solid… lol.

    Thanks to you – I now understand the difference: Similar mechanism with fewer options & cards. But as you say, less can be more if it tightens and balances a game. I hear you. Some of my favorite fillers are small balanced engine and trick-taking games… Jaipur, Morels, Splendor, Trambahn… Time to pick up Mottainai!

  10. I cut my teeth on Glory to Rome so the transition to Mottainai was pretty smooth. I have to say that I believe it is a slightly better game for two main reasons; the smaller deck size centers the game a bit more and allows the game to flow incredibly smoothly, and it is easier to teach than Glory to Rome. I've had a lot of success with Mottainai in my game group but ironically, I can't get veterans of Glory to Rome to play it lol. One in particular dismisses it as "Diet-Glory" haha.

  11. Anyone have an idea on the replayability of this game? Once you know the cards, is it pretty much a one-trick pony, or does game play still offer variety after that? Thanks!

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