OBJECTIVE OF CACAO: The objective of Cacao is for the player to lead their people to prosperity and glory by earning the most gold and winning the game.  

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 4 Players  

MATERIALS:  1 Overview Sheet, 1 Rulebook, 48 Golden Coins, 12 Sun Tokens, 20 Cacao Fruits, 5 Temples, 2 Sun Worshippers, 3 Waters, 3 Gold Mines, 7 Markets, 8 Plantations, 28 Jungle Tiles, 4 Village Boards, 4 Water Carriers, and 44 Worker Tiles 

TYPE OF GAME: Tile-placement Board Game 

AUDIENCE: Ages 8 and Up 


In Cacao, players are quickly immersed into the world of the “fruit of the Gods”. Each player will act as a chief of their tribe, leading their people to prosperity by cultivating and trading of cacao. Players will attempt to place their workers in the right spot to make the most of their efforts. Will they succeed in collecting the most cocoa and earning the most gold? 


To begin setup, every player will choose a color to represent them throughout the game. They will then gather a water carrier, the worker tiles, and the Village board that match their chosen color. Village boards are placed directly in front of each player and the water carriers are placed on the water field on the -10. 

Players will then shuffle their Worker tiles, creating a face down pile beside their board. Each player will draw three cards from their pile. Two of the jungle tiles are then placed in the center of the table, across from one another. The rest of the jungle cards are then shuffled and placed face down to create a draw pile. The top cards are placed beside them, creating the draw pile.  

The other assets, including coins, cacao, and sun tokens are divided and placed into piles in the middle of the playing area. They should be within reach of all players. The game is then ready to begin. 


The game consists of numerous rounds that are played clockwise around the group. The oldest player will begin the game. Players will progress through the game by adding tiles to the board. Worker tiles cannot border other worker tiles. A jungle tile cannot border another either. This causes a checkerboard like pattern to be formed as the game continues.  

During their turn, a player must place a worker tile, fill jungle spaces, and perform actions associated with the jungle tiles. To place a worker tile, the player will choose a worker tile from their hand and position it beside one or more jungle tiles. It can be oriented in any way. When a worker tile is placed, if it leaves an empty space boarded by more than one worker tile, then it must be filled by a jungle tile. This must be done next by choosing a tile from the jungle display and placing it in the space.  

Every worker that is on the worker tile placed beside a jungle tile becomes active. They must then perform the action of the jungle tile. The action is described on the overview sheet. This occurs any time a new jungle tile is placed beside a worker tile. After a player has completed all three steps in order, they may draw a tile from their draw pile, adding it to their hand. Their turn then comes to an end.  


The game comes to an end after all players have placed their final worker tile. The players will then tally their scores. Each temple is scored, and the first and second player with the highest points earn gold. Each player that has a Sun token will earn one gold for each one that they have. Finally, the players will tally their gold and then subtract the water field that their water carrier is on. The player who has collected the most gold wins the game! 

Ellie Phillips
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