Welcome to Your Perfect Home review


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29 October 2018
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Welcome-To-74439.png Welcome to Your Perfect Home
Roll-and-move… house

Roll-and-write games – where you roll dice and write down how you want to use the results – have been around for a few decades but it’s only in the last year or so that they’ve really exploded, with Ganz Schön Clever making the shortlist for the Kennerspiel des Jahres, and the buzz around Welcome to Your Perfect Home. Welcome To... is not a typical roll-and-write, mostly because there’s no rolling involved: instead you draw cards. It’s attracted a lot of attention and positive comment, and people have been ordering the French edition before the English one was ready.

The players take the roles of urban architects in 1950s America, each planning a development of nigh-identical houses on three streets. Every round three cards are turned over and everyone has to choose one and record its effects on their pad. So far, so conventional, but the cards are cunningly double-sided, so the front of the new card makes a combo with the back of the next one. 

That means each combo indicates which of six possible effects you want to use – from hiring a surveyor to divide up a street with fences, to having a landscaper build a park, to temp workers and swimming pools – along with the house number you’ll need to write on one of your streets. House numbers have to run in order – if they don’t, you’re in trouble.

Essentially it’s a race to maximise your score by optimising multiple tracks, each governed by a different process, knowing the other players are doing the same and working with the same resources. That’s about all you can do with the other players – Welcome To... is a multiplayer-solo game par excellence. There are contract cards that give extra points to the first person who meets their requirements, but apart from those and cross-table chit-chat, that’s it for player interaction. There’s one page in the rules describing a solo variant but honestly they needn’t have bothered. 

Welcome To… is not a quick study. Your first playthrough will be learning the systems and getting the rules straight in your head and, for a game that comes with a limited number of tear-off sheets to play with, that’s a shame. Once it all clicks then the mechanics are actually quite straightforward, the combinations are intriguing, you never have enough resources to do everything you want and winning – even if it’s just beating your previous score – always feels like a challenge. 

Publisher Blue Cocker Games has done a fantastic job of graphic design; the game’s theming is spot on, the visuals match the setting beautifully and the scoring pads are clear and logically laid out. 

Even if the game looks and feels like something out of the 1950s, its gameplay is right up-to-date. There are only two questions that Welcome To… doesn’t answer: why couldn’t there have been a few more ways to affect other players, and why is the surveyor on the cover wearing high heels? 

JAMES WALLIS

 

WE SAY

Roll-and-write games have come of age this year, and this is a great introduction to the genre – particularly if Ganz Schön Clever is too abstract and numerical for your taste.

 

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Designer: Benoit Turpin

Artist: Anne Heidsieck

Time: 25 minutes

Players: 1-100

Age: 10+

Price: £24

Buy your copy here.

This review originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here – or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.

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