Memoirs of the Geishas

30-Second Boardgames Reviews Hanamikoji


designed by Koto Nakayama, published by Quick Simple Fun Games

Journey to the mysterious geisha district of Edo in this gorgeously illustrated two-player card game. Seven geishas are lined up between the players, valued between 1 to 7. Each geisha is lured by a specific element: maybe a flute or a fan or some other appropriate item. Players take turns taking one of four actions: saving a card from their hand, discarding two cards from their hand, or more importantly, placing cards matching each geisha to influence her to your side. Two actions let you place cards, but the catch is, they also let your opponent place cards from your hand! Players take turns until they each perform all four actions, and then scoring takes place. Players will lure the geisha if they have the most cards featuring that item on their side of the table. Whoever has either four geishas or 11 points in geisha value wins. If not, repeat until a winner is determined!

With so few actions and the “I split, you choose” mechanism, the gameplay is very tight and strategic. You have to make difficult decisions almost every round trying to anticipate what your opponent will do. Except for a little vagueness in the end of round rules, this is a thrilling little game in a small box.

One Line Verdict: Take this particular trip to the mysterious and ancient Orient and spend some time with these pretty ladies.

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