Tiago Perretto
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Thinking about my next move.
So, if my only options are these, then I shall...

About Terror in Meeple City:

1) What is it?
Terror in Meeple City is a dexterity game in which players are monsters wanting to eat meeples, destroy buildings and brawl with each other. Not a good day to be in town. The monster that do the most damage (considering also unique goals for each player) will win. Terror in Meeple City includes some set collection and player powers, as each monster can have a known and always working power, and another, hidden, with a one-shot use.

As some other dexterity games, Terror in Meeple City has a set up that takes some work to finish, but is fun to seem everything going down.

While entertaining, Terror in Meeple City can drag for a bit too long - going upwards from the projected 45 minutes, entering a realm where it shouldn't go, as it work better as a 30 minutes games better. Still, with some powerful tosses of vehicles, some proper body bashing and a good breath weapon, it can end sooner and be inside where it should.

Overall, Terror in Meeple City fills its quota of fun, both for a younger crowd to families and game nights, as it comes with the possibility of adding special powers, or even to evolve during the course of the game, for those wanting a little more from it. Surely not the best option out there, mainly due to the set up, long play time and the bothersome need of going after stray meeples on the ground, but it still does the job well enough.

2) How do you play?
As per the description: the buildings in Meeple City are comprised of floor tiles and meeples, with the meeples serving as pillars that support the floors. Four wooden vehicles are on the ground in the eight neighborhoods in the city. Each monster, which consists of a wooden paws disc and a wooden body, starts in one corner of the game board. On a turn you take two actions from four possibilities, repeating an action if desired:

a) Move: Pick up your monster body, flick the paws disc, then place the body back on the disc.
b) Demolish: If your paws are on the sidewalk surrounding a building, you can pick up your monster body, drop it onto a building, then collect any floors that have no meeples on them.
c) Toss a vehicle: If you're in a neighborhood with a vehicle, you can pick up the vehicle, place it on your body, then flick the vehicle at a building or another monster.
d) Breathe: Even while away from sidewalks with no vehicles, you can cause destruction by placing your chin on your monster's body and blowing across the board.

Monsters tend to be messy when obtaining meals, but if you knock meeples off the city board, you might be punished for letting food go to waste, costing you a tooth or letting other players take an additional action. After your two actions, you can eat unprotected meeples on the ground in your neighborhood, but you can eat only as many as the number of teeth you have. If you knock another monster to the ground, you break off one of its teeth, thereby keeping it from stealing your food!

In addition to the character card, each player has a power card and a superpower card unique to his monster, with the former lasting the entire game and the latter being a one-shot effect that's revealed only upon use.

Meeples come in six colors, with the colors representing different types of inhabitants: blue (journalists), green (military), yellow (blondes), grey (old people), red (heroes), and black (businessmen). For each set of six you collect in your stomach, you score 10 points at game's end. You score points for collecting floors and teeth, too, and you can also score for achieving the goal on your character card.

The player with the most points will be the winner.

3) Which are the decisions made during play?
Mostly will be where to move (or try to move) and when going for the demolish or the breathe action. The demolish tend to accomplish less destruction, but is a little more controlled when considering the meeples going out of the board (which is bad). The breathe, if you have good lungs, can do some serious damage to buildings, toss meeples far and bring down monsters, but the meeples do tend to end up in places you don't want them to go (other neighborhoods or out of the board).

4) What are the good things in the game?
- Good production value, and looks very nice on the table;
- Has a good amount of interaction between players, and the attacks, while important to reduce the ability to eat meeples of other monsters, isn't too severe;
- Special powers and superpowers for each monster make them unique;
- Allows for more decision points than one could expect from a light dexterity game, with the different ways to score;
- Small downtime between turns;
- Hidden score keeps the emotion until the finish.

5) Which are the bad news?
- The powers (normal and super) aren't nowhere near balanced;
- Set up time and length of play can be an issue;
- Without a big table, meeples on the floor will be the norm.

6) How do you feel while playing?
Due to the 3D nature of the buildings, indeed like crushing a meeple city. So many helpless meeples trying to flee and being devoured by hungry monsters, probably in their twilight years, going in a final rampage before the end comes - this explains the choice of going after a city of meeples in an euro setting, and not ameritrash minis, as these put up a much stronger resistance; and the fact that the monsters are constantly losing their teeth. So, old and out of shape, the monster must resort to mostly fall against the buildings in order to destroy them, as the claws and kicks aren't what they used to be. The fire of the breathes already went off, but, like in a Bad Wolf deal, wind is still a strong weapon. Therefore, this isn't going to be the most glorious of attacks, but will work as a last romp between old competitors, now mostly friends, to remind them and others that once they mattered and bring forth memories of yore - much like a movie Adam Sandler and friends will do when they turn 65.

In the end, Terror in Meeple City does the job it sets out to do: uncompromised fun, with some emotion and expectation just before a monster is dropped or someone tries to blow away meeples and floors, couple with hidden score that keeps the tension until the end. Not a bad way to spend some time, but the "some" can drag on a little too much (more when including the set up), which can be a turn off or, at least, hurt the chances of playing constantly.


Image credit: W Eric Martin

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