In pre-Hispanic culture there were as many cultures as there were islands, therefore, seven, with some connecting link and different nuances between one and the other as to choose elements of each one with a certain significance and common aspects of all to create a single one. That is why the game is called Tindaya and it includes, for example, guayotas, demons that live under Mount Teide, the Tibiceans who are the werewolves of Gran Canaria and the moneibas, goddesses of El Hierro. The game spans the 15th century, 100 years after the Conquest, from beginning to end. You can participate from 13 years and older and it is directed from one to four players. There is a lonely mode. González points out that “now, with the pandemic, it has become highly valued that a game is for one or two people.”
It has a collaborative mode where “we all want to save ourselves from the inclemencies of the gods and the conquerors and another competitive one in which a winner is a winner.” One of the objectives of the game is not to lose control of the islands, that is, that the conquerors do not end up covering the entire board and that the gods do not get angry. In each game the islands can be placed in different ways to modify the strategy of the game. Actually, there are eight because one is San Borondón. “We used Mount Tindaya since at that time there were religious mountains on all the islands where the rituals that we used in the game were performed, with the harimaguadas, the fortune tellers of the future who interpreted the smoke from the bonfires or the vahidos of the goats” .
“The game will go on sale in February internationally for 65 or 70 euros,” says its creator
“We have mixed the mythology of the aboriginal people with the real threats of invasion.” At that time, every time an event occurred that could not be explained, it was the fault of the gods who were angry and had to make offerings of milk or animals. Human sacrifices were also made. González points out that «we have tried to incorporate the trades of the aborigines, such as fishing, raising black pigs, goats and the cultivation of cereals or figs. Also gofio production. We have tried to take real elements of culture and their own perception of reality with demons and supernatural phenomena on which the atrocities they faced are forged ».
Competition in the USA
“I finished the game two years ago, just before the pandemic, and we started taking it to trade shows. We were in Valladolid, in two in Madrid and we were finalists in Granada, just when the covid began, so it was postponed and is held in October ». Then, with the crisis, the digital fairs began and “we won the public’s award in November in Barcelona, the most important board game in Spain. Tindaya is liking it a lot because it is an unusual topic little treated. We discovered that in the Peninsula this folklore was very unknown and attracted a lot of attention. It occurred to us to present it to a contest in the US of historical games, where 200 participated worldwide that covered all kinds of themes from the last five centuries and from each continent. We are left alone as a Spanish project ”.
In the United States they are very advanced in the idea that with board games it is possible to educate, to transmit a knowledge, even if it is very subtle, of culture. In fact, part of the judges of the American contest are history professors. “It seemed curious to them because everything that is known about the Conquest is about what happened when they arrived in America, but nothing is known about the peoples that were affected by the way. In fact, another game classified for the contest was the one created for Puerto Rico about how the conquerors also devastated their culture.
According to González, «we have been in that contest for six months now and there are only 30 projects left in competition that will receive a ruling in October. It has opened doors for us to present it also to a San Diego fair of historical games. In October we will also attend the world’s most important board game in Essen, Germany and the second most important event in Europe that brings together some 200,000 people. Our idea will be exhibited in the news section with a stand just for us ».
This type of game is not like Monopoly or Trivial but of strategy, where each player represents a tribe and has to focus on it. It may be up to you to plow the field or generate gofio. Create these resources for the sole purpose of satisfying the gods in offerings. Trades include fishermen, pig farmers, goat herders, and farmers, and each player will place such settlements on the territory. For example, a fisherman will place a fishing settlement on a piece of land and add a couple of villagers (there are seven) that are specified in some tokens. There are also others that represent the guanartemes or nobles (there are two per person). You can start by fishing and then, when developing the saline, you can have salt and then you can smoke the fish or salt the meat. “As you advance you become more sophisticated.”
On the other hand, there are two gods, Acorán, from Gran Canaria, and Moneiba, who, in each era (of the three in the game) will rule over San Borondón or guayota, for example, by the card chosen in that round … they produce many catastrophes and “you will have to move on the board to avoid being killed.” The gods, for their part, will ask for offerings. “They can say: I want pork leg, gofio and figs.” It will be necessary to appease their anger in that era and make them feel happy so that catastrophes are minor and occur in smaller places. «If they get more and more angry, the Tindaya volcano will grow and unite islands and the tsunami will destroy them. They tend to like cooperation a lot, everyone work for a common goal, that is, I can’t pay the offerings alone, but playing with my colleagues we can cover them ». The conquerors (some pieces) arrive in ships and place forts to take the islands. “When you capture one it serves as a wild card, as a human sacrifice to the gods. We also have an option to become a traitor as it happened in history and you will handle the conquerors ».
But it is a survival adventure with a cultural foundation. “What I want is for the player to have a good time in an unfamiliar environment.” The game will go on sale in February for everyone for about 65 or 70 euros. «It seems more informative to the outside world. At least half of the sales we believe will be in the US. ”