Elizabeth Hargrave has exploded into the board game scene with her confident debut Wingspan, micro game Tussie Mussie and now follows it up with Mariposas, a beautiful board game about the migration of butterflies from Michoacán across North America.
Mariposas is a sort of race, but a race of freedom. To score points you will not only have to spread out across the map, but hatch new butterfly generations as you go. To do so you will need to land near ‘milkweed’ and hand in flower tokens until you have enough to lay an egg. This is doubly important as your early generations will die off before the end of the game.
When the last round arrives you will want to be near Michoacán with generation four butterflies, to maximise scoring opportunities. If this sounds complicated, in practise it is not. The rules are clear and easy to understand, the complexity comes from understanding how to best score points. Due to a variety of scoring cards this means games play out differently each time.
Movement is done through the use of clearly illustrated cards that let you move up to three of your butterflies. Bonus can be earned through landing on certain spaces and the game does a great job of making you want to push out on the board before returning to Michoacán.
The components are brilliant through out, with five plastic tubs provided to store tokens. Art work is eye poppingly lovely and consistent. Mariposas is a game that is easy to learn but will reward players time and time again with engaging and varied gameplay. Though only linked to Wingspan in it’s nature theme, it is another confident and gorgeous game from designer to watch Elizabeth Hargrave.
Player count: 2-5
Time: 45-75 minutes
Age rating: 45+