There's still much left to do in order to become the world's largest and most diverse amusement park! Your family (one of four) has a small, but steady income that should suffice to hire a few showmen to bring life to the oh-so-empty park site. As you earn more, you can afford a favor or two: the police officer is kinder to you, you can hire a migrant worker to do extra work, and you can even finagle the attention of a promoter or a journalist!
The families will need to co-operate from time to time; after all, those grand attractions don't build themselves. In the end, the grand attractions are what will impress the crowds and bring about euphoric headlines in the newspapers!
To set up Coney Island, each player takes two money tiles, a random building material and a player board, covering most of the spaces on that board with showmen tiles. At the start of each turn, a player receives income. At the beginning of the game a player's income is one VP, one money and one randomly drawn building material; as the game progresses, the player can remove showmen tiles to uncover VP, money and material spaces, thereby boosting his income. A player can never have more than five money tiles and five materials.
A player then takes one to three main actions and up to five special actions:
- Place a building site tile. Pay the cost of the space you cover and receive the reward shown there (VPs, materials, an additional action)
- Place a showmen tile. Pay the cost in building materials shown on your player board, then place this tile on an empty space on a building site. This boosts your income (by uncovering a space) and gives you and others potential places to build.
- Place a grand attraction tile. These tiles cost 2-5 materials to build and cover 1-4 spaces, each of which must have a showman tile on it. Players receive points for their showmen used or attraction placed, then the showmen are returned to the appropriate player boards.
By spending two money, a player can acquire one of five character tiles (either from the supply or another player); each character provides a special action that the player can use each turn, such as spending money or VPs for material or buying newspaper tiles (which are worth points and can be spent for an additional action).
Each main action may be executed at most once per turn unless extra actions are used from newspapers or from bonuses earned by placing certain building site tiles.
After one player reaches 60 VP, and each player has had the same number of turns, the game ends, with players scoring their newspaper tiles and losing points for each showman on their player boards. The player with the most points wins.