OBJECTIVE OF XALAPA: The objective of Xalapa is to be player with the least amount of disfavor.  

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 1 to 6 Players 

MATERIALS: 1 Gameboard, 1 Hourglass, 30 Number Tiles, 1 Day Tile, 6 Shaman Stones, 30 Tiles of Disfavor, 48 Oracle Stones, 9 Position Cards, 27 Oracle Cards, 6 Player Boards, and Instructions 

TYPE OF GAME: Puzzle Board Game 

AUDIENCE: Ages 8 and Up 


The shamans from numerous tribes come together for their joyous reunion. Joy is lost when a vision appears to them, a drought will wreck the land. Only the strongest shaman may prevent this terrible destruction, but who may that be? Throughout Xalapa, the players will compete with one another, completing challenges given to them by the Oracle in order to determine who the strongest shaman truly is. 


Firstly, place the game board in the center of the playing area, ensuring that it is within reach of all players. Place the day tile on the circle in the box found to the left of the game board. Each player will then collect eight oracle stones, a shaman stone in the player’s color, and five tiles of disfavor, which are also in the player’s color.  

Divide the oracle cards depending on the backs. Remove all of the novice cards that have an oracle or two and place them on the third and fourth field, which is found in the top row of the game board. Shuffle the others separately and place them in two different piles beside the game board. The game is then ready to begin! 


Xalapa is played over the course of seven rounds. During each round, the players will complete the following actions: lay oracle cards down, place oracle stones, move shaman stones forward, and end the round. After the first round, the players will move the day tile. The top position card is drawn and laid on the left side of the board, with the oracle stones facing up. This will present the first challenge of the oracle, and players must complete this in order to move forward in the game. The four novice cards are placed on the bottom row of the board, placing them left to right. 

Once the challenges have been chosen, a random player will give the command to begin the challenges. Each player will attempt to complete the challenges that have been presented to them. They will complete these challenges on their own board, using as few stones as they possibly can. Once a player completes a challenge, call “done” to the group and flip the hourglass and put their hands in the air, and the players must attempt to finish theirs before the hourglass empties.  

Once the hourglass empties, the players are not permitted to lay down stones or reorganize them. Each player will then check their board to determine how many challenges they completed. The player who did not complete a challenge must lay one of their disfavor tiles in their points box. The tiles of disfavor are all tallied, and the player’s shaman stones are moved. The round will come to an end after all players retriever their tiles, and the next round can begin. 


After seven rounds of gameplay, the game comes to an end. The players will then tally how much disfavor that they have accumulated. The player with the lowest amount becomes the winner of the game!  

Ellie Phillips
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