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Subject: Suburbia Review rss

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Joshua Van Laningham
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Rulebook:
A little overwhelming to look at initially, as there is a lot of pieces involved in this game. Also, much of the rules are explained with relevant game icons in the text. These things being said, all of the pieces and icons are explained in detail up front, so it's not too bad once you've read through it. Game turns are explained well, with a nice tips section at the end of the rules. Another nice thing that I don't see too often with a multiplayer game like this is rules for a few single player modes.

Box art:
A couple of new citizens look at a billboard for new housing in their possible new town of Suburbia. The people in question look a little odd or dull, but this may just be the art style. The back shows the game, mechanics, goal, and contents laid out in a nice and easy to read font and manner. There is also a board of tiles and money laid out to show what some of the game pieces look like and what you can expect.

Gameplay:
Players take turns buying tiles draft style from a board to expand their city and by extension their reputation and income. Reputation gives you population or victory points while income allows you to buy tiles. The newer a tile is the more money gets added on to its base price, so deciding on what tile to purchase can be interesting and important. Many of the tiles have a few copies but not many, and they may not come up in any given game so this also makes careful purchasing important. Tiles have different types or colors that indicate what they generally do theme-wise, like green tiles providing population or yellow providing income. Placement of tiles in your area also can matter as some tiles have more benefit if a certain kinds of tiles are adjacent to it. The tiles get more expensive and powerful as the game goes on, so this is something to keep in mind as well. Some tiles are definitely more powerful than others, but there are a lot of tiles to be had and some may not matter to you depending on strategy and board setup, so this helps to mitigate this issue. Also, as you progress through the victory point tracak, your reputation and income get reduced at certain intervals, to stop people from getting too far ahead, so this is nice also. Goals that every player can work towards provide more victory points and players also have a secret goal that can give them even more, so population isn't the only determiner of victory points. This game has a few problems, but they seem to have been kept in mind during design and don't pose too much of a problem. A very fun and strategic game overall. 4/5

Target audience:
The box says 8+, but there is a lot of reading and involvement going on here, so younger players might be turned off. The theme doesn't seem too exciting for a general crowd, but the mechanics and gameplay of it could be to the same people. Players of tile placement games may like this, as well as people that enjoy drafting and strategy games.

Replayability:
A lot. Since drafting tiles, strategies, and goals change every game, you could replay this for many, many games. Suburbia Inc. also adds even more tiles, goals, and challenges to help build an even bigger and better Suburbia than before.

Fun:
If you like strategy games, drafting, and out-building your friends to a diverse and illustrious city, this game may be for you.

Personal opinion:
My initial reaction to this game and theme was less than excited, though once I actually played it I had much more fun than I thought I would. The tiles are numerous and have many effects. The drafting and placement systems make for a lot of strategies to be had and also ones that could possibly change on the fly depending on placement. I could potentially see some cases where a strategy doesn't pan out well and a player may be unable to recover, but I don't think this would happen too often if you know the game well. The pure amount of options and replayability make this game fun for me and definitely will make me rethink any seemingly odd themed games in the future 4/5
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