As the name suggests, this has a Chinese setting. Players have two ‘artisan’ pawns – a master and an apprentice – and are competing to become Grand Master. They do this by completing projects: ordinary ones that give bonuses towards later projects or masterworks that help them win. However, players can also curry favour with influential townsfolk by giving
them presents – in other words, it’s not enough to be good at what you do, you need a bit of politicking too!
The main mechanism of the game is placing your pawns on actions each turn: buying raw materials, visiting townsfolk, picking up scrolls (which provide bonuses) from the temple or working on a project. The master can do more of each of these than the apprentice and only the master can work on a project. Another neat mechanism is that projects take several turns to complete. Hence you need to think about starting projects, as you know you’ll be deprived of your master for
Players have several strategies open to them, which means there’s plenty of replay value in Zong Shi. The game is gorgeously produced with great artwork and some lovely playing pieces – notably the translucent green Buddha that denotes the first player.
For 3-5 players, aged 13+, playing time 75 minutes: £40.00 (£33.33 outside the EU)