Osprey Publishing has launched “Sankoré: The Pride of Mansa Musa,” a new dynamic board game designed by Fabio Lopiano and Mandela Fernandez-Grandon, with illustrations by Ian O’Toole. Aimed at players aged 14 and above, this mid-weight eurogame is set in 14th-century Timbuktu and revolves around the prestigious University of Sankoré.
In “Sankoré: The Pride of Mansa Musa,” players are tasked by Emperor Mansa Musa to manage a school within the Sankoré Madrasa as the university develops around them. The game uniquely combines historical themes with strategic gameplay, allowing players to experience the rise in fortunes of one of the most prestigious universities of the ancient world.
Gameplay Mechanics and Educational Elements
Players will engage in enrolling and graduating pupils, teaching classes, expanding their curriculum, and filling the university’s great library with books. The game focuses on advancing knowledge in four main disciplines: theology, law, mathematics, and astronomy. As the construction of the university progresses, the empire’s valuation of each discipline will significantly impact the players’ scoring.
“Sankoré: The Pride of Mansa Musa” also features a dedicated solo mode, where players compete against a distinguished scholar controlled by an automated system. This mode offers a unique challenge, simulating an academic rival who is passionate and ambitious, providing a robust single-player experience.
The game, suitable for 1-4 players, has an estimated playing time of 150-180 minutes. It includes a main board, four player boards, over 260 wooden pieces, more than 190 tokens, and over 25 cards. This extensive array of components ensures a deep and immersive gaming experience.
“Sankoré: The Pride of Mansa Musa” is not just a board game but also an educational journey into a significant period in African history. It offers players a chance to delve into the rich academic tradition of the University of Sankoré under the reign of Mansa Musa, one of the most notable emperors in history.