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Suburbia is one of my favorite games and I love the theme of building a city. Of all the city games I have played, this is the one that gives me the closest feeling of building a city. When I am done, I look at my little suburb and it feels like a living breathing city.
Suburbia plays differently each time you play due to the different tiles used from game to game. You can't use the same strategy each time as the tiles will be different as will the "goals" of the game. This makes each play feel slightly differently.
Suburbia is very easy to play as the complexity comes from the tiles and the powers on the tiles. At its heart, Suburbia keeps the simplicity of the game turn to its credit. It also solves the bookkeeping problem by giving us a board that tracks income and reputation. This is such a time saver and, in this case, a game saver. This small feature takes so much of the bookkeeping out of the game.
It is my opinion that Suburbia can be played by light gamers with someone to explain the rules of the game first. The game is simple with the tiles adding the complexity so the complexity is added a little at a time. After a play or two, you should see an improvement in your scores.
Suburbia is a rare mix of light and medium game where the theme makes the whole of the game easier. Due to the fact the theme really comes across in this game, it makes the whole of it simpler. When you add housing, you increase your population. Adding a landfill make increase the coffers, but nobody will want to be near it. Adding a lake will increase property values and thus tax revenue just makes sense. I am sure someone could possibly tear the theme apart, but it works for me and things make sense in the game because of it.
The components are great and the rules are clear. This is an example of a game that should be an instant classic and in most collections. I feel this game plays just as well with 2, 3, or 4. I have very few, if any, complaints about this game.
The components are top notch in this game. The tiles are hexes that fit nicely in front of you. The scoring track makes sense and is very clear. The tiles have a lot of information on them, but everything is kept very user friendly and the icons are kept to a minimum. The addition of the tracking board of your income and reputation saves this game from being an accounting nightmare. The game was very well planned out.
The rules are very clear and kept concise. The majority of the rules are really the interaction between the tiles and luckily there is a description of all the tiles. The rules are printed full color and have been presented in an easy to digest manner.
Flow of the Game:
At its heart, Suburbia is a race for VP (population). There are three stacks of tiles used in the game (A, B, C) and not every tile is used in every game.
On a turn, a player can purchase one tile. The first two are just the price on the file, the remainder have a price increase depending how close they are to the front of the line.
Once a tile is purchased, it must be placed in your suburb. Each tile has a unique effect which might increase your population, your income, and/or your reputation. The tiles are likely to play off other tiles so getting good "combos" is part of the game.
After placing a tile, you receive income from your income track and your population is increase the number of spots equal to your reputation.
A new tile is placed on the track after the remainder of the tiles are pushed forward.
That's the entire game: Buy a tile, adjust your money/income/reputation, gain income/population and then place a new tile out.
In addition, there are 3 goals that each player can play towards and a secret goal each player is given at the start of the game. These goals may dictate (and likely should) how you play the game. Goals might be any of the following but this is not intended to be an inconclusive list: most money, least money, most civic, most industry, most homes, etc. These goals should force your city, and strategy, to be different each time you play.
Should I buy this game?:
Yes. I cannot recommend this game enough. The rules are light enough to include most gamers, while the interaction of the tiles can not only keep the game fresh but allow for some deeper strategy. This is a game I have played a fair number of times and have yet to grow tired of it. The game is also flexible enough to allow a good number of different players. This game is an instant classic and the best city building game available today. Every collection should include this game.
DNA results:Scottish, Dutch, English, Irish, German, French, Iberian Peninsula = 100% American!
Yeah a keeper. Ya'll should check this one out.