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Store:  Strategy Games
Edition:  Morisi / Netzwerk
Series:  Isi
Genre:  Rail & Network
Format:  Board Games


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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 45 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Corne van Moorsel

Publisher(s): Cwali

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Product Description

Long-awaited update to the amazing original 2-player version, Isi. With better production and a rules update, Morisi now accomodates 2, 3 or 4 players.

In the land 'Morisi' the players try to connect cities (tiles) by their trade routes. These routes go through 5 types of land (tiles). Before players can build trade routes, they must acquire knowledge about the trade in the different types of land (symbolized by coloured blocks). To get that knowledge, the players travel through Morisi. Players can use this knowledge to build trade routes (symbolized by sticks in your colour). By connecting cities by trade routes players get more power in these cities (symbolized by the player's colour houses). The goal is to get the most houses in the biggest cities and to have houses in many different cities."

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Best Abstract Strategy Game, 2002
International Gamers Awards
Best Strategy Game Nominee, 2001

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Corne van Moorsel

  • Publisher(s): Cwali

  • Year: 2000

  • Players: 2 - 4

  • Time: 45 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 565 grams

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.7 in 3 reviews

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by Joe G
Three and a half
March 20, 2002

At a glance, Morisi looks like a simplified, abstract version of Settlers of Catan. There is a variable board of hexagons of six different colors, the colors representing five kinds of countryside plus cities. Unlike Settlers, the overall configuration of the land does not have to be a hexagon. Players' pawns race around the board acquiring knowledge of the land, represented by colored wooden cubes placed on the hexes during setup. With that knowledge the players build trade routes between cities, and in doing so earn houses within the cities. The trade routes are little wooden sticks similar to the road pieces in Settlers, though in Morisi the routes go through the centers of hexes, not on the edges. It is with the houses that the winner is determined at the end of the game.

The game play is an interesting mix of racing and building. It also has a puzzle-like aspect to it: you must plan out your pawn's career so as to get the appropriately-colored cubes for your routes more efficiently than your opponents. It is in one's best interest to act quickly, because the person who lays his trade routes down first has an advantage--in the 3- and 4-player game, it is more expensive to lay down parallel trade routes, and in the 2-player game it is forbidden.

The variable board is a good feature, though it can be a drawback too. It is certainly possible for all the cities to end up clumped together in a corner. It can also happen that routes through one particular land type will be in such demand that the game will end prematurely (once all cubes of one color have been looted, the game is over). Of course, one can edit the starting setup by switching a few hexes so that there is a more even distribution.

Morisi is attractive to look at, moves quickly, and is fairly engaging. I like the game, but I must say that if one were feeling uncharitable, there are some things about it that might draw complaints.

-- Trade routes will spread over each other and crisscross, so there is no real pleasure of having 'territory.' By the end of the game the board is usually a homogenous mess.

-- Beating your opponents to a useful bit of real estate or just generally getting in their way is the extent of player interaction.

-- The scoring system is relatively involved for an abstract game. This situation is made worse by a clumsy translation into English. I am tempted to write a translation of the English translation.

-- Once everyone is up to speed on the strategy (see the Counter review), ties are not rare.

It also must be mentioned that while workable, the 2-player game is a little unsatisfying. After a few plays it loses its charm. The game really needs 3 or 4 players.

Overall, however, if you are intrigued by the concept and the presentation, Morisi is worth getting.

Clever and quick strategy game
November 06, 2000

I played Morisi at Essen and I really enjoyed the game. No luck element, short playing time (no more than 45 minutes) and a good replay value due to the 'Catan-style' board. I do not rate it five stars because there is maybe not enough player interaction. But if you like this kind of little entertaining game that plays well at 2, 3 or 4 players, you will appreciate this one.

Even better than Isi
October 06, 2000

Morisi plays even better (smoother) than Isi, even with two players. Basically the rules are the same. The biggest change is the terrain: hexagons instead of squares. There are more ways to build your roads (two or more roads along the way are allowed at extra costs), so you make a long term planning. And now you can play this wonderful game with more players too. Don't miss this one.

Corne Moorsel
November 05, 2000

The origin of Morisi

In October a new Cwali game will be released. The name of the game is Morisi, which is the 2, 3 and 4 player version of the 2-player game Isi (sold last year). In Morisi, the players try to connect cities (tiles) by their trade routes. These routes go through 5 types of land (tiles). Before players can build trade routes, they must acquire knowledge about the trade in the different types of land. To get that knowledge (symbolized by corresponding coloured blocks) the players travel through Morisi. A player can use his collected knowledge to build trade routes (symbolized by sticks in your colour). By connecting cities by trade routes players get more power in these cities (symbolized by own-colour houses). The goal is to get many houses in the biggest cities and to have houses in many different cities.

June 1999 I attended the Gottingen-meeting where at about 150 tables people show their new and less new games. It is a good opportunity to get attention for your new games or games in development. It also is an inspiring meeting to see so many games there and I took the opportunity to play many games. The new ideas can be inspiring but my experience is that the inspiration mostly is caused by the things that are missing in games or the things I would like in an other way. After the Gottingen-weekend I had a strong feeling about the game I wanted to make. A clear combination of your actions on micro-level and the influence of your actions on the macro-level of the game, a combination of theme and player-actions which is visual and explainable in one sentence and an easy mechanism for planning far forward in the game combined with influences on your planning by the moves of your opponent(s) were the things I desired the most after the Gottingen-weekend.

So what I wanted to get in a game was more a feeling than a defined set of rules, but it only took a few weeks to find a set of rules to cause the right feeling. At that point an addiction to that game started. Then you feel contentment about making a game that fullfills your wishes but in fact the long traject of improving the game little by little then starts.

Besides inventing games which I myself like I also sell the games and the Essen-Spiel-fair was not far away. It became my third year with a booth in Essen so I already learned that the production of games is a combination of what you want and what you can and what the visitors of the fairs want. That's how the 200-copies-edition of Isi emerged.

In the paragraphs above you may recognize a way of attempting the development of new games. My thematical games are in most cases a combination of a theme on 'macro-economical' level and clear (and visual) micro-economical actions by the players (see also Ocean and Smart). My interest goes to combining the micro- and macro-level, in a way that players don't feel those two parts separated in the game. That inductive and deductive approach to the theme combined in one game is the way I handle a theme and in my opinion also the way which attracts attention to games. At one side, you are strongly aware of what you are doing in the game (in Isi/Morisi you travel through the land, visit different types of land and build routes between the cities); at the other side, you see what the influences of your actions are on a bigger thematic level (the cities grow, symbolized by houses, and you see which cities develop to become the most important cities in the land, determined by favorable positions for cities in the landscape and by the actions of the players).

After the Essen-fair, the first tries of Morisi with hexagon-tiles and 2 or 3 or 4 players started. I had no expectations about that at all and made many new rules but during the experiments it became clear that it worked well without many changes. The game still has no luck and the victory still seems to be uncertain until the last moves in most sessions. One important change is the use of own-colour houses. That makes the most difficult part of the game much more easy. The screens for the players are also an improvement in Morisi. Besides the rule-changes by the change from squares to hexagons and the change from the two-player-game Isi to the more-player-game Morisi, I added a new variation-rule: The cities have names in Morisi and the players can try to predict which cities become the biggest cities. You hold your predictions secret and you get points by good and half-good predictions at the end of the game.

More than three years ago I started to buy carton, paint, glue and more, made a game and a puzzle with that and hired a simple standplace at the saturday-market in Maastricht. The puzzle attracted the most attention and it sold quite a bit. Since then there was a progressive growth in the production. This year I started to make 1000-copies-editions, first started with the small abstract game Dutch Mountains. The larger editions make other ways of production possible. That's where a large part of my attention went to this year. Isi had an abstract outward. I hope players will like the new Morisi also for the artwork this time.

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