Elizabeth Hargrave has developed a new game that will be out this summer. To be more precise: It will be available in the USA in August. But don't worry, because a German version is also planned.

The game's author previously caused a sensation by flapping her wings. The game, which was released in 2019, won the German Games Prize in the same year and was voted Kennerspiel des Jahres. This time she worked with another publisher, Alderac Entertainment Group. The publisher also has, among other things Tiny towns published. In addition, it was announced on Twitter that Mariposas will appear in twelve different languages ​​and that this will probably still be in autumn 2020. German is also included, one can assume that it is relatively safe. (Fingers crossed)

Monarch Butterfly 

The focus of the game are the beautiful orange-black butterflies, so-called monarch butterflies. These are migratory butterflies and cover hundreds to thousands of kilometers every year. Similar to migratory birds, they gather in autumn and fly to warmer climes. But this is only the last generation. A total of four generations of butterflies hatch in the course of the warm seasons, but only the last of them has particularly well-developed flight muscles.

Monarch butterflies on the move. Image rights: Sylvain Cordier / NaturePL

With the game, Elizabeth Hargrave draws attention to a current problem. Pesticides and monocultures have drastically reduced the butterfly population. Their habitat is shrinking and from year to year there is less food available for caterpillars and butterflies. But there are also projects to protect insects. The creation of “waystations”, i.e. butterfly meadows and silk plants, helps the butterflies to survive.

Mariposas: How does the game work?

Mariposas tells the story of the butterfly migration and shows the importance of the “waystations”. In the game, three seasons will pass, in each of which the number of rounds increases by 1. The season cards show round goals that have to be achieved and which earn you victory points. In each turn you play one or two action cards; if a monarch butterfly lands next to a silk plant, it can reproduce there. (I'm curious how the official German translation of the milkweeds will be ...). Then two cards are drawn again and, if necessary, exchanged with other players.

The main mechanisms are therefore grid movement, here the moths first migrate north, then spread and return to the south in autumn, as well Set Collection. The game doesn't seem too complex at first, but the age recommendation (14+) makes you sit up and take notice. Even Spirit Island is 13+ and Mariposas seems a lot easier to me, at least at first glance. But there are several ways to get victory points, which is why it is not enough to drive a strategy. The game therefore requires thinking and rethinking. 

High quality game material. Image rights: @AEGTodd, BGG

Two to five players imitate the hike in this way. Victory points are not only collected by fulfilling the round goals, but also through instant rewards, card collections and flower sets. After each season, the butterflies are exchanged for those of the next generation. A game should last between 45 and 75 minutes and is recommended for ages 14 and up.

The game doesn't have much in common with either Flapping wings, but the game material and design seem to be of equal quality. It remains to be seen whether the game can ultimately be just as convincing. Unfortunately a solo game variant is not included this time, but could perhaps come with an expansion if Mariposas can establish itself on the market.

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