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Madoshi: Priests of the Sun and Moon

Type: Tabletop Game
Playing Time: 30 minutes
Number Of Players: 1-2
Age: 8+
Release Date: April 2021


In stock

The land itself—the rocks, trees, mountains, and rivers—are infused with latent magical energy. This energy needs only a focus to give it life. The Sun and the moon struggle with each other to give these Mononoke life.


Priests of the Sun and Moon

The sun rises and grows in power, while her influence is strong she manipulates the elements of nature to create Yokai to do her bidding. As the day grows long, she weakens and soon sees that she is not alone.
Surging with the darkness is the Moon, who also has plans to use the spirits and ghosts on this plane. The battle will rage on. As the sun and moon pivot for advantage. The struggle is an eternal one.
Players will assume the role of the Sun and the Moon taking turns to capture Yokai. 
Play occurs on a 5×5 grid with players swapping one token to create a pattern of elements matching that on the available Yokai cards. More power is gained with matches in the source element. After capture, there is a release of magical energy and the field of battle will change as a result. Voids are created, wild magic appears, or the universe could shift.
Three levels of Yokai cards are placed next to the game board, and when one of the decks has been depleted, the game ends. Whoever earns the most points wins.

Pattern Matching Games,Family Games,Solo Games,2 player games,Solitaire Games
Pattern Matching Games,Family Games,Solo Games,2 player games,Solitaire Games


  • 22 Yokai cards
  • 2 Player cards (Sun and Moon)
  • 2 Reference cards
  • 25 Element Tokens (Natural wood with heat transferred images)
  • 1 Game Board 
  • 1 Rules Sheet
Pattern Matching Games,Family Games,Solo Games,2 player games,Solitaire Games
Game Setup
Pattern Matching Games,Family Games,Solo Games,2 player games,Solitaire Games

Swap 2 tokens

The Yellow player may swap any 2 tokens on the board (with the exception of Voids and Wilds).
This player chooses to swap the Wood token with the Earth token.

Pattern Matching Games,Family Games,Solo Games,2 player games,Solitaire Games

Declare the matching pattern

The Yellow player has created a match with Chimi (top card in this illustration).

Pattern Matching Games,Family Games,Solo Games,2 player games,Solitaire Games

Collect card and Cast Magic

The player collects the card. Since it was matched with the Source Element (in this case Wood), the card is placed on the left side of the scoring card and is worth 2 points.
Also, this player MUST perform the Magic listed at the bottom of the card (if possible). In this case, the Yellow player flips an Earth token. It is now a Void.
The Green player will take a turn next and will use the same board but from the opposite perspective.

Pattern Matching Games,Family Games,Solo Games,2 player games,Solitaire Games


If you’re familiar with the gaming world, there is always that danger that a particular game will become too complex. Game designers often attempt to make games “new” by increasing the difficulty level. Sometimes, however, mixing elements in a new way creates a much better game. This is what DPH Games, Inc., has accomplished in creating Madoshi: Priests of the Sun and Moon, a fun strategy game that anyone can learn to play.
(Full review at the New Right Network )

“Madoshi is a great little game. It’s one of those games where you just can’t play it once. You want to get better at the game and it’s easy enough to pick up… it takes time to master.”
Tabletop Treasury Michael Burr

“I really enjoyed how simple it was to learn and to play. I think that Veteran gamers are going to enjoy it but also the nubie will be able to catch on quickly.
Cara The Blonde Unicorn

Review from The Convention Collective. (link)   “Madoshi is a very tactile game, with strong strategic puzzle elements. The cards are beautiful, but the wood tokens are the star of the show. Madoshi is perfectly designed for two and given the seemingly infinite ways it can play out, it won’t wear out its welcome after multiple games.”

The Convention Collective
“My wife and I recently acquired a copy of Madoshi. We have only had it a week or 2, but play it every morning before we head out for work…and a few times when we get home….and a few more times before bed. Seriously to say we have become obsessed is an understatement.”Panda Paradise
Let’s face it. There are a TON of games out there. There is a game for every fan, playstyle, mechanism, and player count. Sometimes you want a quick, easy-to-learn game with just enough engaging strategy that you can play solo or with a friend. This is where Madoshi fits in.
Madoshi is a 1-2 player game that is simple to pick up (can be taught in 5 minutes), quick to play (~ 20 minutes), and presents an interesting puzzle that is fun to immerse yourself in. At its heart, Madoshi is an abstract puzzle. Thematically you are playing a Japanese priest of either the light (Sun) or dark (Moon). You are attempting to manipulate the elements in order to capture Yokai – the class of supernatural monsters and spirits in Japanese folklore.
At the start of the game, a board is generated by randomly placing element (wind, earth, water, fire) tokens on a game board. The quality of those tokens!…. but I am getting ahead of myself. More about that later. Three decks or Yokai are shuffled and placed beside the game board representing a difficulty level of 1-3. Players are given a reference card, and play begins.
The play is simple. On a turn, a player simply swaps 2 of the element tokens on the board in an attempt to match the pattern given on the Yokai card. The opposing player is looking at the same card but has a different pattern to match. Each Yokai pattern has an element associated with it. If you match your pattern on one or more Yokai, you capture the Yokai card(s) and place it (or them) on one side of your card if you match the pattern in the Yokai’s associated element or the other side if you matched it in another element. Capturing the Yokai in its associated element awards more points, but regardless, many Yokai contain a “magic” ability that you may use right away. These “magic” abilities are extremely interesting and can be anything from flipping tokens (there are wild elements and void or nothing on the opposite sides), sliding whole rows, rotating groups of tokens, and more. The game ends immediately when one of the 3 decks is empty.
There is SO much to like about this game:
COMPONENTS: For a small game, the components are excellent. The game box has an attached cover that magnetically closes. I know that this is a simple thing that does not affect gameplay, but I love this kind of storage box. It keeps the components nicely secured, and it is just a fun option that I wish more companies would consider. The cards are of excellent, thick quality. The artwork, while of a 2D simple illustrative style, is NOT childish. In fact, some of the Yokai are creepy, which to me has been very engaging. I knew absolutely nothing about Yokai until this game came along. What I discovered is that the artist actually researched Yokai to draw them in a way that reflects their actual lore. This has been tremendously fun to research and learn about. The small folding game board helps keep the game easily portable. Did I mention the tokens? The element tokens are beautifully screen-printed thick wooden pieces. Just a joy to handle and pick up. So happy that the designer choose to put extra thought into making these upgraded tokens. Cardboard just would not have been great here.
GAMEPLAY: Madoshi shines here. As mentioned and described it is very easy to learn and accessible to everyone – adults and kids alike. There is enough strategy to provide interesting choices and even “burn your brain” a bit. Do you go for the simple Yokai out of element just to get quick points? Or do you set yourself up for a more difficult Yokai in element to rake in the most points you can? Can you capture more than one Yokai in a simple element swap? Do you try to capture a Yokai and use its magic to mess up your opponent’s plans? It is an abstract puzzle but one that doesn’t stall the game unnecessarily. There is luck, of course, with the random setup, but beyond that, it is all strategy. No dice. One of the problems with purely strategic games is that they often favor the one who has played that particular game the most and knows the best strategies. This is NOT a problem with Madoshi. Because a turn is a simple swap of the tokens, everyone – new players and experienced – are soon on equal footing. A big plus for accessibility.
REPLAYABILITY: The random board setup and stacks of Yokai assure that every game is wildly different from the last. Gameplay will be the same, but the randomness provides infinite replayability.
GAME LENGTH: This game is just long enough for those times when you have a few moments, and you wonder, “do we have time to play a quick game?” The 20 minute time length on the game box I found to be pretty accurate and just long enough. This abstract puzzle does not overstay its welcome in game length.
I thoroughly enjoy Madoshi. Perfectly fits the niche of a quick, easy-to-learn abstract puzzle that can be played solo or with 2 players.
PATRICK PERL – TWIN TIERS BOARD GAMING GROUP  (disclaimer – Patrick belongs to a local gaming group and knows the designer personally)


Click on image to the right for the rules pdf.

A 6-minute explanation of the rules and each Yokai card power.

Some people like to watch other people play board games 🙂 Here is a full gameplay though with the thinky bits cut out. A lot of wilds came up in this play. Next time will get hit with voids!

Solo Play and Playthrough

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