Board Game: Sunrise City [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1831]
Mike Vander Veen
United States
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Here it is Richard. You expressed interest in other games that have similar scoring mechanics to The Castle.

Sunrise City has flown way under the radar. It is a very fun game that was the Clever Mojo Games follow up to Alien Frontiers. It's possible the abrupt shift from sci-fi to city building from a new publisher turned a corner that many didn't follow.

This is not a sophomore slump of a game for Clever Mojo. Thematic integration is great. In addition to the unique scoring mechanism (could be linked to weird bonuses that real-world developers get for hitting random constructions goals that matter to power mongers swimming in day trading waters), you and Jen will very much enjoy the initial role drafting (which also sets up a hidden first player reveal for each round).

Play is three rounds. Each round has phases: zoning, bidding for building rights, then construction. Once zoning tiles are out you must bid for the right to build, then you get to choose where you actually build - which is not fully set by the bidding - particularly in the second and third rounds. In the second and third rounds the first player gets to decide which direction the city the city will grow - where additional zoning tiles can be played and scored. Scoring happens instantly during zoning and player by player after the construction phase. Every other floor constructed offers bonus construction points, so there might be a little AP issue. But, that shouldn't over stay it's welcome in a two player game.

It's a fun challenge to simple-math-it-out and earn the right amount of points and land right on the score track to earn bonus vps - which very much affects the final scoring outcome.

The large set of rule breaking roles, the modular tile laying (similar to Carcassonne in some respects), then stacking up the deliciously thick building tiles makes for excellent replay.

Looks like most BGG folks are not sold on the 2 player game. I haven't played that count. I'm not sure what phase of play would suffer. It would certainly cut out some of the randomness the bidding can introduce with four players - three players messing with your best laid plans!

Do see if you can get hold of a copy. Very much worth your time in my book.
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