Top critical review
16 people found this helpful
A board game that would be better on a computer?
on 17 November 2013
You're each creating a city using hex tiles which have residential / industrial / office / etc features on them. Good stuff increases your reputation / population (and thus score) and/or increases your income. Bad stuff does the reverse. Many tiles do both (e.g. give you income but lower the tone) and many affect or are affected by other tiles: adjacent, yours, and/or anyone's.
So there's plenty to think about with a complex economy to get going.. and if you're new and playing people who've played before, you will get stuffed. If you can't handle serious complexity in games, juggling dozens of factors, you will be stuffed. This is not for anyone new to modern boardgames, or anyone who thinks it's a slightly more complicated Carcassonne.
It's also not for people who don't like a very hefty dose of luck. You can spend your hour concentrating hard on everything that's played, by other people as well as you, and weighing all the options ('if I do that there, the value of that will fall, and that player's thing will become more valuable, however it means...') only to lose because of someone's secret massive bonus at the end ('Have fewest lakes: 20 points' sort of thing). The fewer players you have, the more luck is involved in that, but with more players it takes longer because of having to keep more towns in mind all the time.
The 'stop the runaway leader' mechanism is quite nice - the more points you have, the more your reputation and income fall - but I don't like the presentation. It grows on people, apparently, and I suspect this is a 'marmite' game that people either love or hate and most copies that are bought will never be played more than once.
Update: Oooh, I see I have annoyed the fans (0 out of 3 reckon this review is helpful!) even if they don't want to do their own reviews.
The good news, if you want to try this is that there is now an IOS version out for about 1/20th the price that will handle all of the 'they've played that tile, what does it do to my town's score and what does my town's existing stuff do to that tile's score?' maths that makes this such a brain ache unless everyone is really concentrating. An Android version is due early in 2014, and I will doubtless be getting a copy of that. But the physical boardgame? Never.