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Subject: So what's the deal with the low avg rating for the game? rss

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Trey Chambers
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Just watched Tom Vasal's review. Game looks solid. Mechanics look great. Tom Vasal enjoyed it and wanted to immediately play it again, and he can be pretty harsh if the game is only mediocre. It only has one text review here on the geek, and that guy gave it an 8 out 10 and seemed very positive about it just like Tom did.

Yet the overall avg for the game is pretty low (for a game of this high quality with such good reviews).

If you didn't like it or only thought it was mediocre, please explain.
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Holger Hannemann
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I guess the ratings are so low because the game is not what it promises to be. The game is not a city builder like Sim City but it is basically a VP engine builder using production chains. If you expect an Urban Sprawl like game you'll be very disappointed. But if you approach City Tycoon without thematic expectations it is excellent.
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KAS
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Shampoo4you wrote:
Just watched Tom Vasal's review. Game looks solid. Mechanics look great. Tom Vasal enjoyed it and wanted to immediately play it again, and he can be pretty harsh if the game is only mediocre. It only has one text review here on the geek, and that guy gave it an 8 out 10 and seemed very positive about it just like Tom did.

Yet the overall avg for the game is pretty low (for a game of this high quality with such good reviews).

If you didn't like it or only thought it was mediocre, please explain.


Although I liked the game, I know a few who did not (my wife included). Where I thought the blend of drafting, tile placement, turn order impact and delivery were interesting, she felt the game was trying to do much for what it was, took too long and was mostly an uninteresting solitaire experience. Although I don’t think a 6.92 average rating is that low (with more votes, this could end up in the top 500) I see two main factors that look to be impacting the rating: (1) as of now, the game only has 202 votes and I do not think it has a US distributor yet so total owners will likely remain low for a while and (2) based on the ratings distribution it does have, it appears that a decent percentage of people who do not like it (~10% or so), rate it at a 5 or below. Due to this, I have generally recommended a try before you buy approach (if possible) to folks who have asked about it.
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Ben Lott
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Buy this tile to create these cubes. Use these cubes with this tile to create these other cubes. Use these other cubes with this third tile to score a few points. Do this for hours, and there's massive potential for A.P. too.

Boring is the best word I can come up with, Trey. I'm fine with others liking this style of game, but I don't understand why they do.
 
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Trey Chambers
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Blott wrote:
Buy this tile to create these cubes. Use these cubes with this tile to create these other cubes. Use these other cubes with this third tile to score a few points. Do this for hours, and there's massive potential for A.P. too.

Boring is the best word I can come up with, Trey. I'm fine with others liking this style of game, but I don't understand why they do.


That describes tons of Euros though, both the bad and the good. So the goods conversion thing doesn't really put me off. It looked like it worked well in Tom's video.
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Ben Lott
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Shampoo4you wrote:
Blott wrote:
Buy this tile to create these cubes. Use these cubes with this tile to create these other cubes. Use these other cubes with this third tile to score a few points. Do this for hours, and there's massive potential for A.P. too.

Boring is the best word I can come up with, Trey. I'm fine with others liking this style of game, but I don't understand why they do.


That describes tons of Euros though, both the bad and the good. So the goods conversion thing doesn't really put me off. It looked like it worked well in Tom's video.

Well, I don't like any of those Euros, and I wonder if others have become sick of them as well. Here's some more downsides to this particular game:

1. The board can get really confusing especially during the activation stage. It is easy to get frustrated trying to figure out what cubes are still available.

2. It has that confusing turn order thing where you don't play in order around the table. Makes it really easy for people to accidentally play out of turn. Also means a player could be sitting there not realizing it is there turn until someone reminds them.

3. Every single phase of a round has potential for analysis-paralysis. A player can sit there and contemplate which tile to take in the draft. They can hem and haw about which tile to play and how to play it. And they can freeze up deciding which tiles to activate and in what order.

I just played this yesterday so it's fresh in my mind. It literally took us about two and a half hours to play, way too long for the fun provided. However, if you like this style of game you might not mind the things I hate. In fact the 2 other guys at the table really enjoy the game. You could as well, but I did not and you asked those of us who rate the game low why we did, so those are my reasons.
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KAS
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Blott wrote:
It literally took us about two and a half hours to play, way too long for the fun provided.
2.5 hours w/ 3 players? We play 5 player games in under 90 mins. I certainly agree that 2.5 hours for this game is way too long.
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Ben Lott
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kneumann wrote:
Blott wrote:
It literally took us about two and a half hours to play, way too long for the fun provided.
2.5 hours w/ 3 players? We play 5 player games in under 90 mins. I certainly agree that 2.5 hours for this game is way too long.

It was 5 players, with their kids as well. I couldn't get a read on how the kids felt about the game.
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Andy Wright
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The game is particularly susceptible to dragging for cetain groups of players. For some it will work well, for others it can easily get bogged down in AP.

Very group sensitive, so probably the reason for the wildly varient scores.

(BTW I like the game a lot!)
 
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Trey Chambers
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This may be a game that's best played with timers, my group can drag sometimes...
 
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Richard Linnell
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I've played it and I can barely remember it. That alone makes it mediocre in my book. It's not bad enough that I took special note to not play it again, but it wasn't good enough that I would call for it to brought out again. If someone else wanted to play, I would (depending on other available options). Sorry I can't give more detail on it, but that's really the long and short of it - I just don't remember it.
 
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Thomas
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Is this game that bad? I never noticed it until recently when someone mentioned it in the Glen more forums. A lot of euro games are dry and disconnected from the theme so what makes this one any different? Are the mechanics solid? Is it fiddly?
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Steve Huhtala
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I echo some of the points Monk put, especially the layout becoming very busy and making the scoring phase slow.

What really struck me is that there is so much you CAN'T do on your turn. Most games give you options to buy or move or build, but in City Tycoon, half the time you have to choose which of another tile to discard and cash in for money. As in 7 Wonders, sometimes great buildings need to be discarded because you don't have the materials or money. But 7 Wonders has many zero-cost cards, free cards obtained from 'chaining' off of prior built ones or cards that just provide extra money. City Tycoon has none of this - all the cards cost money and in the later stages cost upwards of $15-22, whereas tile discards only earn $5. And if you don't have enough money on hand at the end of a round, you may miss out on picking up resources. So it's an exercise in loss minimisation and frugality as there is so many tiles you won't be able to build in this game. This was my observation and Tom V. touches on this too in his review. Perhaps this was intentional in the design, but I didn't find it fun. Having to miss out on so many great buys and scoring opportunities because of a need to save and economise just seems too much like real life to be fun!

I didn't like the art that much, but I really don't like the title. I expected it to be a 'tycoon' game, but there is nothing tycoon going on at all. The rules say you're working for the mayor as a junior city planner and it's as 'tycoon' as all those lacklustre early 2000s PC 'tycoon' games were. There is no buying and selling or Trump-esque property tycoon theme present. RR Tycoon or Monopoly this is not. It's more a PU&D city builder, with an Among the Stars feel. However, the building tiles are more or less just the same with minor variations on inputs and outputs.

 
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