Build Your Own Totem Pole in Wakanda

Wakanda

Build a totem pole worth lots of points, but be sure to claim it before your opponent does, or it might just be whisked out from under you.

Gameplay

In this two player game, each of you is building totems in the village. You each start with three totem toppers of your chosen color. Two of the eight village tiles are randomly removed from the game and the remaining six are laid out in the center of the table, with three rotated ninety degrees to signify that they cannot yet be built on. Each village tile can have one totem on it.

On your turn, if there are any totem pieces left in the bag, you draw one at random. You may then either choose to place a totem piece on any empty available village tile, or on top of any totem that is still under construction. Alternatively, you may choose to complete a totem pole by placing one of your toppers on it. When a pole is completed, a new village tile becomes available for building.

Each totem piece has a picture on it and each village tile on which you complete a pole says how you will score points for all your totem poles at the end of the game. For instance, one village tile will allow you to score points for each tent piece you have in all your totem poles. One will score you points for each sun piece, which ordinarily would score you negative points. Because of this, you have to keep an eye on which totems you complete as well as which village tiles those totems are on.

Play continues until all six totem poles have been completed and then players calculate their scores.

Wakanda Components

Review

Wakanda instantly grabs you with the delightful wooden totem pieces and the idea of building up. There’s something exceptionally satisfying about slotting the pieces together or placing your topper on a particularly tall pole. The components are great and hold the game together neatly.

The gameplay is simple and straightforward, and it’s really easy to both teach and learn. Each game goes by quite quickly and that makes Wakanda a great filler or perfect for when you only have time for a short game.

There are also some really interesting strategic choices to be made as you have to balance between building a pole that will earn you plenty of points while also judging when to claim it before your opponent does. There’s a push-your-luck feel to the game in that respect as you try to read when your opponent is likely to claim a pole. This leads to some great player interaction.

While it’s not a game you are likely going to want to play multiple times in one evening, it’s light and appealing and would make a great start for a two-player game night.

Pros: Great components, quick to play, easy to learn

Cons: Not a game you’ll play multiple times in one evening

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.