Mermaid Rain is a Japanese game from the makers of Train Raider.
Over five rounds, players try to collect five different types of goods by moving around the sea. The game uses two phases: first is the "surf predicting" phase where players play melds of cards in a Taj Mahal-type mechanic. The melds determine player order, selection of "wave tile", and give other benefits. In the second phase, "surf riding", players place their wave tiles on the board and then use cards to move through the sea on the waves to collect goods.
The game is playable with English rules as the components are either language-independent or easily decipherable.
Setup: specific locations for subset of tiles, some face down; rest are to side, also face down. Deal out 7 cards (3 suits).
Each round, players simultaneously select a card to play (max 5 cards total) -- choose the pass card to pass for rest of round. The resulting poker-style combinations give bonuses (VP, or special powers); the ranking gives you player order for the round.
In order, select a face up sea tile (4 shapes, 2-3 hexes each, with one of 3 suits or wild). Then, in order, place the tile on the board and use some/all cards left in hand to move your mermaid around the board (playing card allows you to move mermaid to matching tile/space). Whenever on an island with token(s), look at face down tokens then add one of the tokens to your collection.
At end of round, sea tiles with the darker color are removed from the board. Any mermaids on them are displaced to one of the unoccupied starting locations (player's choice). Then, deal 7 cards per player (max hand size 9) and repeat.
Game ends after 5 rounds. Each player must discard 5 tokens (1 per symbol), or lose 5 VP per missing symbol. Then rank players' collections of sets of each type, awarding VP accordingly (rarer tiles, larger sets earn more VP). Most VP wins.
- Mermaid Rain