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Subject: My Game rss

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Dave Platt
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I'm the designer of the game, so this is not so much a review of the game but an explanation of how the game plays.

The game takes place on a grid map of the fictional town of Nowhere. The main mechanism of the game is tile placement, the tiles are businesses and buildings each of which can earn the player varying amounts of income and prestige.
When a player builds a prestigious, higher income building, they draw a "Goto" card. These cards cost you money each turn until you discard them. You do this by visiting the business named on the card. When doing so various outcomes may occur that can have good or bad results for all the players.

Players may have up to 4 men in play at any one time but only one may be moved by dice throw during the turn, so there can be a number of paths open to the player. Although only one man may be moved in this way it is also possible to use other men to perform actions within their immediate vicinity and these actions can be used to move other men during the turn.

Players start a turn by claiming income from the businesses they own (up to four, one for each man). They then conduct all other business, such as buying, selling, moving, settling Goto Cards, gun fighting, robbing the bank, playing poker etc. They end their turn by paying expenses due to Goto Cards.

The game starts with a land rush. During this players draw small tiles at random from a bag and place them in the town. They can chose to claim the tile or continue drawing. Certain tiles move the turn on to the next player and two special tiles once both drawn bring the land rush to an end. So the land rush can be very short or quite long and there's an element of push your luck involved.

Push your luck plays quite a big part in the game although there are ways to manipulate this and you'll constantly be asking yourself if you should take a chance on something or use limited influence to change something to your advantage. However, doing so may damage another players position, so you'll also need to factor this in because they can also influence things. Sometimes you'll find yourself horse-trading to reach an outcome that suits both or more.

The game has a random ending, although players know that this becomes increasingly likely to happen as the game wears on. As the end becomes imminent players will take bigger risks to gain prestige in case the game ends before the turn gets back to them.

The game has a fair amount of take that but then this is the Old West. However, that doesn't mean to say that every game ends with everyone feuding and out to kill each other. Some do but if players are determined to build a nice peaceful town then that is what will happen.

I set out to design simple fun game with a mixture of popular mechanisms and I think I've mostly achieved this. However, what we've found in testing is that the game has hidden depth. It can have you working out some pretty complex endgame moves. It can set you feuding and it can make villains. It can also diffuse feuds and diminish villainy.

Once you have a grasp of the game it usually plays out between two and three hours. To me it always seems like less but them I'm a little biased.
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