16 December 2015
Become a tycoon with just a few cards and dice
IDW Games | City building card game | £24.99 | 2-4 players | 30 minutes | www.idwgames.com
If Machi Koro were a person, it would be the kind of person you’d want to date and take home to your parents… just bear with us on this one. It’s got all the qualities of a great other half: cute (thanks to the gorgeous Japanese-styled artwork), not too complicated (the rules can be picked up within minutes), intelligent (you’ve got to use tactics to win) and absolutely loaded (earning cash is key to the game).
To (massively) boil Machi Koro to an elevator-style 10 second pitch, it’s kind of like Monopoly but with cards, instead of a board. Players must try and earn cash by building different utilities (wheat field, bakery, cheese factory, etc.) to ultimately complete four landmarks (train station, amusement park, shopping mall and radio tower). Depending on the colour of the card they all have different effects – blue earns money on anyone’s turn, green only earns money on your turn, red steals money on someone else’s turn and purple takes money from someone else on your turn. The way each utility generates cash is on the roll of a dice, as each card has a number at the top. For example, a one generates cash from the wheat field, whereas a two or three operates the bakery.
Initially you only roll one dice but, after completing the train station landmark, you can roll two, which opens up more options for complicated structures like the stadium or family restaurant. So, the question is do you try and stretch yourself across multiple numbers or concentrate on particular buildings… while still keeping an eye on your opponents to see if they’ll be pinching your cash. If you fancy adding an extra layer to your games, there’s an expansion available too, allowing five people to join in on the fun.
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