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CitiesUP» Forums » General

Subject: So how is the game? rss

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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
United States
Torrance
California
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So those of you who backed this project how do you like the game? Is it everything you hoped it would be or did it fall short?

Should I be regretting not getting on the train?

Also, will this title ever get to retail?
 
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Paul Schroeder

Dubuque
Iowa
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Please see my review in the ratings and comments section of the main page for this game. If you have any further questions about the game, reply to this thread and I'll try to answer them for you to the best of my ability. Thanks.

Spectacle Bear Games has released an updated rule book on their website which I think is a huge improvement on the one sent with the game (and also gives you an opportunity to read the rule book before purchase). They sent me a message a few days ago about any suggestions I may have on the rule book and the new rule book they released covered most of the questions I had. There are two 2 items still not directly addressed in the rule book which we had trouble with on our first play through. Once they send me a reply, I may update my score of the game as the rule book ambiguities were a major factor in my original score.
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Vincent White
United States
Chestnut Hill
Massachusetts
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Unfortunately it is not very good.
Buy nothing but the cheapest buildings one at a time and make sure they have no pre reqs. Supply them wih power and water one at a time as you need to generate income. You need to keep money on hand for disasters.
Do this until your income grows and you then move on to larger buildings, then when money is rolling in you realize you are not having fun and you want the game to end.
The disasters suck, events are a luck fest, which try to add something to a dull game.

I purchased it because the concept sounded good, there just is not enough game. I feel like this city building should be a small part of a larger game.
They also promised quality components and they took shortcuts.
1. Rather then having different sized buildings they chose to have the manufacturer glue the same size blocks together...which all fell apart.
The card art print seems low res, the money burnt fron the laser cutter. The die feels like a tiny scrap of driftwood.

The only real positive is the city looks cool when built, the water and power requirements are a good idea.
For trade if anyone wants it!
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Paul Schroeder

Dubuque
Iowa
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I hate to be negative, but after a couple more plays, I have to agree with Vincent. Each play ended up with the people taking no risk at all raking in huge amounts of money and easily winning the game way before it should have ended. Taking any risks will lose you the game 99.9% of the time.

One of the huge problems is that large buildings are extremely high risk and have really complicated bonus patterns. Due to the "offer" design of the game, there is no way to sneak a bonus pattern in, this means that The only slightly higher payout of getting them and running makes no sense from an investment standpoint, even later in the game. Most low level buildings can be put up in one (or two) turn(s) for only $3 or $4 initial investment, with a recurring $1 or $2 tax return for every turn. Larger buildings have only a $3 tax return for a huge net investment of $14+ to get up and running and also require buildings with upkeep cost every turn (which is even worst than the up front cost because it can bleed you dry really fast). They can also take 3+ turns to even get online. The relatively tiny return for all this effort makes no sense to me.

The game seems to have only one real path to victory, which is to buy the cheapest buildings until you have a run-away economy and money is no longer relevant. At the point in the game money becomes no longer relevant, it is no longer fun to play because the challenge is how many items (buildings) you can keep track of without losing focus. Some random event cards make income even more fiddly than it already is and causes my brain to reboot. This type of game play where there are so many fiddly things late game to keep track of when you already know your run-away economy is going to win is only fun for a very tiny minority of people.

I really think that play-testing on this game did, or should have revealed this one and only strategy because I figured it out by the second game I played. I bought this game because the concept sounded really cool and had very good luck in kick-starting games like "Between Two Cities", only this one had a 3D aspect and I thought it would be cool to take pictures of every city after playing a game for records. I don't care so much about the art quality (like a lot of other people seem to), because I am more interested in mechanics. But this game failed on both grounds.

I am considering trying to design my own game using the components to see if I can salvage it since this is the first Kickstarter board game I bought that I would not bring to the table with my gaming group. I think the base concept has a lot of potential.
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Erich Williams
United States
Bangor
Maine
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I just want to say thanks for the insight into the gameplay to everyone who has posted here.

Right now my main complaints are with the quality of the pieces...my copy arrived while I was at GenCon and hasn't been to the table for a play.

One of the first things that turned me off when I opened the package was the box itself. That sleeve is going to get destroyed pretty quickly and the main box, while sturdy, doesn't give you any indication as to what is inside.

My copy also suffered from the broken building issue that it seems like everyone else did. I just got done breaking the only two buildings that didn't come unglued apart so that I can just re-do them all with better glue and more prep to the blocks. Painting the blocks separately and then putting the glue on top of that was probably not the best choice. The blocks should also have been screen printed or in some other way permanently marked with their corresponding numbers. The provided stickers are going to peel off eventually...my current choice is to just not use them and have people remember where they built their things.

The laser marks on the money tokens aren't a big issue...just more of an annoyance. Taking a damp paper towel and cleaning all of the burn residue is just not something I look forward to.

Included die is very cheap. As far as I can tell it has very little bounce and roll to it...which takes away some of that variability dice are supposed to give. I've got TONS of other dice though, so I will be replacing that on my own.

The translation and wording on some of the cards and in the rulebook is also not a huge issue, but is still something I would have expected to have gotten caught in the number of edits the translation seemed to go through. I haven't seen the new rules yet but mildly annoyed that for a game which literally just made it into my hands I have to go and print out a new rule book.

In summary:

I have to glue and number all of the building blocks myself, clean and replace several included components, and keep a new set of printed instructions in the box to make the game playable. I understand this is a new company, and they are still figuring things out, but I definitely expected a lot more from a ~$60 USD game. I would rather have waited longer for a game that had gotten some more play testing and was a bit more solid than gotten this on time. There are plenty of other small, independent game designers/developers who supply a game that is more refined and has better quality control. The concept is there, but the implementation just wasn't. Hope they learn from this game and it helps them plan better in the future!
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Vincent -
France
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I am really disappointed too and I agree with you all. The game was really expensive (71 $) and in the end the components quality is horrible and the game has a lot of gameplay problems... Compared to other Kickstarter games I have backed (for example Burgle Bros. by Tim Fowers, wonderful game and art for only 36 $!) I think that CitiesUp!, which starts from a good idea, is a fiasco, and I'm ready to offer it to anyone interested. Sorry guys and good luck for your future projects.
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Joe Wyka
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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I remember this KS! Looked promising, but the event cards looked too powerful and random for a strategic game of any value. I passed. Now I'm glad I did!!
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