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Urbanization Board Game

by Mayfair

RRP: £44.99
Price: £24.69 FREE UK delivery.
You Save: £20.30 (45%)
Usually dispatched within 2 to 3 days.
Dispatched from and sold by Buy-For-Less-Online.
7 new from £23.99
  • Come and join in this exciting journey
  • Game comes packaged with two expansions
  • Playing time: 75 mins
  • Ages 12 +
  • 2-4 players
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£24.69 FREE UK delivery. Usually dispatched within 2 to 3 days. Dispatched from and sold by Buy-For-Less-Online.

Product Information

Technical Details
Item Weight658 g
Product Dimensions27.6 x 19.4 x 6.7 cm
Manufacturer recommended age:10 years and up
Item model numberMFG4124
Number of Game Players2-4
Batteries Required?No
Batteries Included?No
  
Additional Information
ASINB009A827AO
Best Sellers Rank 353,977 in Toys & Games (See top 100)
Shipping Weight658 g
Delivery Destinations:Visit the Delivery Destinations Help page to see where this item can be delivered.
Date First Available18 Sept. 2012
  
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Product Safety

This product is subject to specific safety warnings
  • Warning: Not suitable for children under 36 months

Product Description

Product Description

In Urbanization, the players follow the development of a rural area, from the beginning of the industrial revolution to modern times. They guide their villages through hard times and try to attract citizens by building houses. Later, factories are erected and the villages grow into prospering cities. The player who develops his city most efficiently will be victorious in the end. Game play in Urbanization includes no random elements, and the game comes packaged with an expansion

Box Contains

1 x game board
4 x tracking cards
18 x factory cards
45 x work order markers
32 x grain markers
24 x price markers
16 x tracking markers
40 x action markers
1 x game turn marker
1 x game phase marker
1 x start player marker
12 x houses
6 x skyscrapers
6 x factories
5 x administrative buildings
6 x covering tiles
10 x character cards
9 x invention cards
Paper money
Rules

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Awful art design completely ruins this Ticket to Ride clone. 18 Nov. 2014
By Tony - Published on Amazon.com
This game plays pretty similarly to Ticket to Ride but with a step up in complexity. There is a pile of cards with build and money symbols on them in several different colors that you take into your hand and use to build structures or hire "specialists". The cards are even splayed out with 5 showing and a hidden stack to draft from much like Ticket to Ride.

Where the game suffers most is the visual design, it's awful, one of the worst I've ever seen. Not in that it's just ugly but the design actually detracts from and makes the game more difficult to play. Don't get me wrong, it's ugly too, but that can be forgiven if it doesn't hinder your ability to play a good game.

First of all, of all the colors they could have picked 3 of them are different shades of tan/brown. Granted they also put the shape of the building on the cards but that doesn't help you when you also have to keep track of three different colored cubes/disks of similar colors. Also, along with the color and building shape the cards contain a third symbol...which is simply unneeded and provides visual clutter. And the worst offense is the board and building tiles themselves.

The board is this ugly grassy color with roads and different colored cars driving along them and each of the buildings instead of being a solid color are a busy assortment of colors with that color being "predominant" (and remember 3 of the colors are hard to discern already). THEN when you build that structure you flip the building over which has no predominant color and just adds to the visual noise on the board. Something you have to keep track of because the number of structures built in a section triggers the end of the game.

Now if you get past all this (which really does affect at least my enjoyment of the game) it's a pretty average clone of a great game. They added more complexity but without any of the charm or really strategy present in Ticket to Ride.

Ticket to Ride had a lot of interaction, blocking another player's routes is a major part of the game, as is the balance between placing trains, collecting cards, and refreshing and drafting your tickets. In this game there is no blocking, only building a structure or buying a specialist your opponent was after (which you have no certain way of knowing), and the specialists can be bought back as long as you collect enough money (which the cards, if we were playing right, can be used twice as the building and money resource lessening the tension). All the buildings are available from the outset so there's no real selection of what you have an opportunity to build. It's really just going for the most efficient number of points each turn until game end, a lot less interesting than Ticket to Ride.
Great competitive game 3 Jan. 2014
By Grieger - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I'm surprised this game hasn't been reviewed yet. I'll do my best to do it justice here.

I'd seen this being played at PAX but never managed to get in to play a game of it beyond watching a match or two. I'd been looking for a game I could play with a couple of gaming groups (i.e. my family versus my gaming friends) so I took the plunge. I haven't played this yet with my gaming group but playing with my family, it's been a lot of fun.

The basic premise is that you're an urban renewal specialist who's renewing an urban center. Not a big deal or really that important. The ultimate goal is to earn victory points through a combination of simple renewals of properties and "projects".

The core mechanic involves cards that are colored and display coins or hard hats or a combination of the two. These are used to renew properties (hard hats) or hire specialists (coins). You've got to spend the right amount of hard hats or coins to make either happen and you don't get change. It's similar to Ticket To Ride's colored train cards but with an added twist.

The game board consists of a scoring area that also shows pricing and scoring for specialists which I'll get to in a second and the main city map. You lap around a 50 space track with cards to use when you blow past 50 during the game with some scoring after the game ends. On the map, you've got a central area that's already developed with the remainder of the map dedicated to randomly distributed (with you randomly distributing them) tiles representing different classes of buildings. They're color coded and have different prices. For example, residential areas are blue and can be renewed with any color (but X of that color) while hospitals are colored red and can only be renewed with red hard hats. Each tile comes with a VP value as well so when you flip over (renew) a property, you advance your score by that many VP. Some of the lower point value tiles also include a free card draw. You can only renew properties orthogonally adjacent to a previously renewed tile (left, right, up, down; no diagonals). That means you largely start in the middle and work your way out.

As you renew properties, you advance markers tied to the color of those properties (except for residential properties which are ignored) on a special track marked from 0 to 8. That same track is also used to keep track of specialists. Specialists are essentially a set of cards with people rendered on them that are color-coded to the various property colors (red, green, silver, etc.). You hire specialists from the "bank" at the start of the game but you can also hire them away from players that have already hired them. It introduces an interesting mechanic to the game as it doesn't penalize the person you're hiring them from (they get the benefit at the end of their turn, before you can do any hiring) but you can get the benefit as well. The benefit is additional VPs based on where the property markers I mentioned above are.

For example, if players renewed red properties a couple times so the red building marker (a box) is on 4, any player holding the red specialist at the end of their turn gets 4 VPs in addition to anything they obtained during their turn. Theoretically, every single player could just keep hiring the red specialist away from the previous player and everyone could benefit.

Despite that, you've got to pay for those specialists so coins on those color-coded cards become important. The rules actually allow you to keep a card that has both coins and hard hats after renewing a property (effectively using the hard hat part of the card) so you can use the coins later (you can't do the opposite though). That helps keep the game moving and allowing you to grab specialists when you want to. However, it also means you could end up with games where a lot of cards are out of circulation because people are just hording them without spending them. It's one of the flaws of the rules but if people are competitive enough it won't be much of an issue.

While all of this is going on, there's a third element that comes into play: projects. Each turn, you can do one thing: renew a property, hire a specialist or draw cards. When drawing cards, you can pick from the colored cards or project cards. The project cards are hidden in your hand until you choose to actually perform the project, at which point you put the cards face down on the table in front of you (there's a limit of 3 total per player allowed). Projects basically give you bonus VP at the end of the game based on two factors: the amount of renewals performed or the value of specialists.

Essentially, it's a way to take the "short" game of just renewing and gaining VPs and creating a "long" game where you plan how you renew or use specialists to earn greater rewards when the game is done, which is when a single quadrant of the board is down to just 1 or 2 properties left to renew. The projects are an interesting feature because of that long game and the strategy required to maximize the reward for those without making it too obvious to others what you're doing. However, the one flaw is tied to those specialists: one type of project rewards you based on the value of particular specialists at the end of the game. If you don't have a lot of hiring going on, that bonus will be pretty small and there isn't much you can do about it if none of your friends want to hire your specialist. Still, it adds an element of strategy especially if you're in a game with a lot of hiring going on.

All told, it's a really fun game. Once you get used to the mechanics, the game runs just fine (and fast actually). And once you've played a few games, the way projects work and apply to the end game becomes more obvious and enables more strategy to come into play. It's one reason I like this game too. You don't have to play that projects game and can still get something out of just renewing the city, getting points for that.

Comparing this to the Ticket to Ride games, you've got that short game (just trying to connect cities and knock down your destinations) and the long game (picking destinations that run along a route you build to make it easier to complete additional destinations) combined with a visual card commodity (colored cards).

I think my only jab at the game is a purely technical one: the silver buildings can often look like the gold ones in terms of the color of the tiles. You can use the tile shapes and symbols on them to figure it out but something about the manufacturing process just produced that weird glitch which sometimes makes it hard to tell at a glance what type of tile you're looking at.

All told, I think this is a great game if you're looking for something that offers the type of game that gives you a simple game to play and have fun with while providing you with a mechanic to graduate to more strategy and learn to master the longer game. The only real flaw is that the specialists part relies heavily on whether or not the players are competitive about their use. They provide a benefit so there's a great reason to use them but sometimes, especially with smaller numbers of players, you can end up in a rut where everyone's just happy with a distributed set of specialists. It's not a big deal though and there's plenty to enjoy here.
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