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Between Two Cities» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Simple Rules. Social Challenge. Intriguing Game. rss

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joel hansen
United States
Wautoma
Wisconsin
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Will you like this game? I don't know, but I can tell you what worked for us and what didn't.

The games is tight. The rules are straightforward, and it allows the game to get to the table quickly and repeatedly. Each game ends with some great conversation about the story of the game.

Comments sounded like this:
"Oh, if only there had been one more shop in my hand in the third round!"
"How did you manage to get so many taverns?"
"I just think taverns are the only way to go."
"Oh I don't see how anyone would win without parks."
"I just think, why would I want to mess with having any parks?"
"But houses are clearly overpowered."
"I just won without any houses at all."

It is great to play a new game and then hear everyone share their own adventure and thoughts.

Things that we loved:

It seems like the scoring is really well done to create a tension when designing cities. In the first round you really can go a lot of ways with your cites, as there is not one optimal city. (I'm sure there would be if there weren't the double tiles in the second round which are a bit unwieldy.)

The interactions between the players was fantastic. It was fun to hear players coaching each other and balancing different goals.

Semi-cooperative card drafting is really intriguing.

Working with your neighbors to build up your shared city without helping them too much on their other city is fascinating.

The game was short enough that the randomness is not overwhelming. The tiles you draw in round two and are faced with at the end of round three can be celebrated or lamented, but it is a twenty-minute game. So you score it up, throw a 30-second pity party if you din't win, scramble the seating arrangement, give yourself and your new neighbors a pep-talk, toss the tiles back in the bag, and give it another go.

Here, there is simply no way to play without the social dialogue. And it is really interesting. I really like the tension of trying to have two conversations at once. With and odd number of players, you can't simply pair up and then switch.


Things that were questionable:

The team aspect of the game forces people to work things out and talk things through. It seems that some folks are resistant to being coached, and others take offense to my "helping" the new person. If you don't like being coached on possible decisions, then this game might be hard for you depending on who you are sitting next to. But it definitely falls into the category of "social experience" games.

We wonder at the re-playability of the game with a group of gamers who prefer high complexity games.

But, I am excited to play it with my family who prefer lighter games like sequence or ticket to ride.

This game seems to be in that category of games that a serious gamer can play with non-gamers and still enjoy themselves. If I add in the fact that it is short, plays a lot of players and I can teach it really quickly, I think this game has a place on my shelf.





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Brad McKenzie
Thailand
Bangkok
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joelddhans wrote:


We wonder at the re-playability of the game with a group of gamers who prefer high complexity games.



Thanks for the review. I don't think this game was designed with high-complexity gamers in mind. That said, as they're talking about future expansion ideas on the Kickstarter comment page, I suppose increased complexity is always a possibility...
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joel hansen
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yeah, it's hard to tell from the kickstarter if they are already developing some extra content, like other building types, or if they are simply looking to get the game in print firs,t and going from there.
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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St. Louis
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Joel: The designers have lots of ideas for vertical and horizontal expansions, but to my knowledge they haven't hit the table yet. I think Ben and Matthew will be working on some of those expansions while Between Two Cities is at the printer.
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thedaffodilfish
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Great review Joel! Well written and just the sort of info I was looking for.

Too often reviews are simply "how to play".
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