Games: Mai Star Card Game

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Product Brand: Mai Star Card Game

Was: £18.99

Price: £16.99

Games: Mai Star Card Game

30  Mins              3 - 6 players                Ages 10+

Games: Mai Star Card Game

Mai Star brings beauty & guile in the “Floating World”

In the Emerald Empire, a special place is set apart from the often-harsh realities of feudal life. Within the “floating world” of the geisha house, great artists are the centre of attention: beautiful women who are masters of art, music, and conversation. The prettier and more skilled in her arts a geisha might be, the more popularity she gains and the greater her opportunities for success. But to win such a prize is not easy; a successful geisha must find ways to distinguish herself, to promote her own name over her rivals, or even sabotage rivals. Even within the Emerald Empire’s peaceful domain of the “floating world”, enmity between geisha can be as bitter as a samurai feud.

In Mai-Star, 3-6 players take on the roles of different geishas and compete to earn the most prestigious title. They play cards to raise the reputation of their geisha, and take guests to earn money, which is the measure of victory. Playing a card only raises the geisha’s reputation and will not earn any money. But without raising your reputation, you will not be able to serve the finest guests who can reward the most money or serve as powerful allies. Players must choose which customer cards to use as advertisers and who to use as guests. When one player runs out of cards, the round is over, and any cards remaining in hand will serve as penalty points, so it’s also a matter of using up your hand as quickly as possible. The player who has earned the most money after three festivals (rounds), is considered as the most skilful geisha, and will inherit the title of Mai-Star.

Download the Mai-Star Rulebook (3MB PDF)

Download printable scoresheets  Mai-Star Scoresheets (1MB PDF)

Within the “floating world” of the geisha house, great artists are the center of attention: beautiful women who are masters of art, music, and conversation. Meet the six geishas featured in Mai-Star!

Akenoshi, Morning Star


Akenoshi is in many ways the ideal geisha, a beautiful and talented young woman who is the star of her house. Charming and a skilled conversationalist, she can draw a smile from the most sullen and ill-tempered samurai. If she can be said to have a weakness, it is that she has no one special talent that stands out and distinguishes her above all others – she is gifted at every skill a geisha can possess, but does not have that one thing to make herself memorable.

Harukaze, Spring Breeze


Highly intelligent and self-educated to an even higher level than most geisha, Harukaze prides herself on being able to hold a conversation with the most sophisticated samurai scholars and courtiers. While this has earned her a reputation, it also means she can be intimidating to less sophisticated samurai, limiting her potential selection of patrons.

Momiji, Maple Leaf


Although she is among the most beautiful of geisha, Momiji is nonetheless troubled, for she faces the worst fear of every resident of the “floating world”: age. She is already well over 25 years of age, creeping closer to 30 every year. Each morning she checks her face in the mirror, searching for that first fatal wrinkle. If she does not find a patron soon, she fears her career may enter an inevitable decline… at which point the best she can hope for is to became the madam of her own geisha house.

Natsumi, Summer Sea


A young geisha who has only recently come of age, Natsumi still has a certain naïve and innocent element to her character which most of her older fellows have long since shed. Skilled with the tea ceremony, Natsumi also thrives on her sweet-natured enthusiasm, but lacks the ruthless competitive drive which may be needed to secure the best patron. Most of the more experienced geisha do not consider Natsumi to be a real threat to their own designs – which may, in the end, be her strongest advantage.

Oboro, Hazy


Where many geisha seek to look younger than they are, Oboro instead embraces an atmosphere of serene womanly adulthood, a truly timeless beauty. She complements her looks with a soft-spoken, imperturbable character which many samurai find soothing, although her rivals believe there is a soul of steel beneath the gentle exterior. Oboro is particularly skilled at painting and calligraphy, and some rumors claim she is so talented that if she were a samurai, the Crane would welcome her into the legendary Kakita Artisan Academy.

Suzune, Sound of Bell


Although Suzune is a relatively inexperienced newcomer to the “floating world”, she does not share the other girl’s innocence. Despite her youth, Suzune already fully understands the competitive and sometimes cruel nature of a geisha’s life, and is determined to find a wealthy and powerful patron no matter who she must trample on to get there. Skilled with the biwa, she has composed many of her own songs and views her music as another potential route to fame and security.

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Want to know how to play the game?  

Check out this great review courtesy of Tom Vasel: