Review: Honshu

Honshu is a trick-taking, map-building card game set in feudal Japan, fo 2 to 5 players, by designer Kalle Malmioja. His second published game, this city builder reminds me of a bit of Patchistory (2013) in that you are putting down cards and overlaying them so that some portions are shown and some portions are hidden. Honshu combines this elegantly with the trick-taking aspect for card selection, which uses resources produced from your city to set the 'suit' of the 'trick'. Figuring out the best configuration for your city is very satisfying, and the trick-taking portion fits in very nicely. I find trick-taking games to be fairly abstract in general, but I feel Honshu does this very well since the mechanic is very grounded into the theme of the game. It has great spatial awareness, and is definitely one of my favorite small-box city builders.