Zipang Card Game Review

Game: Zipang Portable
Publisher: Engine ID
Designer: Ko Sasahara
Price: $19

Players: 2-6
Duration: 10-20 minutes
Age: 8+
Time to Learn: 5 minutes

Zipang Card Game Review




Zipang Portable is a fact-paced draw and play card game. The story takes place in Zipang during the Sengoku Period. Today this region is called Japan. In this period, military conflict tore the country apart and effected everyone. Monks, peasants, princesses, aristocrats, military strategies and even the Emperor scrambled to show great honor. Those who showed the greatest honor would be remembered forever in Japanese history.

Game Play



Players are dealt two cards and five Mongoku tokens. Each player puts one Mongoku coin in the center of the table. On each turn, the active player draws a third card and chooses one card to play. The effect of the card is carried out. There are fourteen different cards of varied quantities totaling thirty cards in a full deck. Certain cards are taken out of the game depending on the number of players to balance the play.

Some cards instigate a battle. Battle is carried out by comparing the battle number of the card played and the combined battle points on the attacked player. If the battle points are matched or beat, the battle if over and no effects take place. If the battle points of the active players card are higher, than the attacked player’s cards their hand, they discard their cards and are removed from the remainder of this campaign.

Other cards have various effects, such as look at another players hand, or add a Mongoku coin to the pot, or taking and playing a card from the discard pile. Play continues until only one person remains. This is the end of the campaign. Campaigns are repeated until one player runs out of Mongoku coins and that campaign ends. The player with the most Mongoku coins is the winner.


Zipang is like Love Letter crossed with poker, with samurai swords! Gameplay is easy to understand and fast-paced so players are always engaged and waiting to see what happens next. The betting dynamics add a new layer of strategy to the familiar deduction mechanics.

I can’t wait to play this game again. This game is fun regardless of the number of players, and I love that it’s easy to grab on the way out to our favorite restaurant (very murseable). I would definitely recommend picking this up on Kickstarter today!

Gateway Game Score: 8/10
Overall Rating: 9/10


  • Easy to learn
  • Purse/murse friendly
  • Well-balanced
  • Interesting theme
  • Players stay involved through multiple fast-paced campaigns
  • Intriguing artwork


  • Only comes with 3 reference cards to tell the effect of each card

Board Game Review by Princess Annamous