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Subject: 100 Plays Review - The City rss

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Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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First Impressions

My first play of The City surprised me slightly, because it was SO short, and was almost over before I'd got going. However, after getting over the shock, that turned out to be a real plus point, rather than a negative. It rapidly became the standard filler when we had 10 mins, and was our most played game in the first month we owned it with 15 plays, despite only arriving mid-month, scoring highly on replayability and enjoyment, even if there was no deep strategy.

Getting to 100 plays

Plays in first month: 15
Plays in second month: 30
Plays in third month: 19
Plays in fourth month: 41

Unlike most games where the first month sees a lot of plays and it rapidly drops off, The City has actually been increasing in plays with time. Initially we always played a pair of games in a sitting; nowadays it's more likely we'll play 3, and we play it almost every lunchbreak, as well as most Friday night sessions, while waiting for players to turn up, or while waiting for the other table to finish a game.

Current impressions:

This is an amazing little filler. Every game is slightly different, due to different starting hands. Yes, sometimes you'll have a disaster, or your opponent/s will have a really lucky start and you'll lose horribly, but it's so short you just pick up the cards and start again. Are you going to go for income, or Stadtvillas, or collecting one type of a symbol? Do you make the best of a bad hand, or fish for cards for a turn and hope for something better? Is it time to go for points yet, or should you ramp up your income for one more turn? Nothing really deep in terms of strategy, but enough interesting decision in a 5 minute game that it's very engaging and a lot of fun. I'm surprised this game hasn't had more buzz, as it's a known designer, and almost all the players I've introduced it to have liked it, although the first game is a shock to everyone - but most players ask for another game immediately, now they know what to expect.

Will there be another hundred plays:

Almost certainly, yes, and probably before another 6 months are up, if not just 3 months! With 41 plays this last month, I don't see the rate of play of this one dropping anytime soon. The only problem is that we are actually starting to wear out the cards - last weekend I noticed that the cards were getting very sticky and hard to shuffle - they might survive 200 plays, but I think then we'll need to buy another pack.
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Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
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Just hit 200 plays, so I didn't quite manage the next 100 plays in the six months, but didn't miss by very much!
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Dex Quest
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Maryport
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great review. must try this. I urge other bgg-ers to look at Sharon's profile and her game comments to see what a good judge of games she really is.

Looking at other reviews/comments it's interesting to see how a game can be misunderstood because it's not the same as something else or 'too simple'. I'm sure Machi Koro's designers aren't too worried, either.
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