Posted Saturday, 19-Sep-2015
An overview of some of our favorite City Building board games.
City planning is a challenging career that employs many brilliant and talented people in real life, so it’s no surprise that it’s the subject of quite a few challenging board games as well.
Perhaps the first city building game, certainly a pioneer of the genre, was Sid Sackson’s Metropolis. Players select properties in turn and try to make deals to place buildings onto the board.
Buildings in a particular block affect their neighbors’ values. Bargaining plays a large role in this venerable old classic.
Negotiating is taken to the extreme in the city building game Chinatown. Players may bargain over anything: land, business tiles, money. Businesses are investments that can grow, and might or might not pay off.
She who makes the best deals, and plans most shrewdly, will prevail!
The city building game Big City is hard to find and expensive, but is
mentioned here because it includes the most beautiful bits of any game of this genre.
The buildings, parks and streetcars are gorgeous, so building this city is quite the aesthetically pleasing experience. And the game is loads of fun, too. There’s an unusual mechanism in which the City Hall must be built before any other special buildings, and everyone wants it in a place advantageous to herself.
Yet by itself it is worth nothing, so it can resemble a game of chicken before someone caves in and uses up a turn to construct it.
In Suburbia, as the name implies, players are each building their own suburb to a city by placing hexagonal tiles into individual layouts.
Victory points are measured in population, but income and reputation are both critical to building an infrastructure to support and generate this population.
Hidden and public goals also offer each player a chance to boost his population, and are ignored at the player’s own peril.
Finally, in the city building game called Cities, players are once again building their own layout, this time trying to attract tourists.
Numbered tiles are drawn by a Master Builder; then everyone else finds the matching tile in his supply and places it. Then a tourist can be placed on one of the fields on the tile.
In this game, placement is paramount.
There are quite a few other city building games; these are just some of the best-known and most attractive of the lot.
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