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Subject: Great for two or three rss

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Donald Acker
China
Suzhou
Jiangsu
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Big City is a game of developing a city for money - imagine Sim City if all players built in the same place. Cards represent squares of property on the tiles that make up the gameboard. You collect cards and then attempt to use them to play buildings for points; large buildings are more efficient in terms of both time and points/card. Buildings earn a flat score plus bonus additions and multipliers. Special buildings are worth more points but have requirements on where they can be placed.

Parks and factories are linked to certain cards, and can be played over property you don't own in order to ruin an opponent's plans. The park then enhances the value of adjacent buildings, while the factory ruins it.

A major strategic element is the streetcar line: this runs between the property blocks and doubles the points scored for buildings adjacent to it. It is also a major weapon, as it can break up a large property development.

The game initially feels very luck-based, as players try to collect sets of cards in order to play large buildings. The midgame centers on trying to play the new neighborhoods to one's best advantage, as well as trying to play the largest buildings yourself before the counter mix runs out. The end is somewhat deterministic, as it is easy to guess what cards are in your opponent's hand and in the draw piles. Sometimes there are enough streetcars left for a lategame conflict there. Almost all games end when all players pass after it becomes apparant to player A that his last play would allow player B to play a church (which must be the last building in a neighborhood) for big points.

In order for the game to shine, two optional rules should be used: the streetcar should not be allowed to branch (this is in the original German rules) and players should not be able to automatically replace properties ruined by parks and factories.

This game works well with two or three players. With two, the contrast between the lucky beginning and the deterministic endgame is harsh, but the game is still great. With three, it is somewhat more chaotic--this is my favorite number to play with. Any more players, however, ruin it, as it becomes nearly impossible to plan ahead.

All in all, it is a fun game with some of the best production values ever seen that plays three - often a difficult number for Euro-games - extremely well.
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Eric Smith
United States
Philadelphia
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One of my all-time favorite games, if I would have had it as a kid I would have worn it out.

I fully agree with you on the two rules you recommend, no branching of the trolly lines is a must and if a factory kills a space of yours, too bad! We have always played with both rules.

The bits in this game are amazing. The most fanatical bit of all are the trays, "every piece has its place!". It really must be seen to be believed.
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Donald Acker
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I finally got fed up with my trays and threw them out after maybe 6 plays. Zippy bags work fine for me now--streetcars with the red houses so they don't have crevices to hide in.
 
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Gabi Games
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Lol!
Came here to check out the rules again and going to play tonight after ehm, how many years... Lost the purple player marker, unfortunately. The inlays are still going strong ;p
 
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