The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Let’s take a ride, and run with the dogs tonight

Yesterday’s new game (worth mentioning) is Suburbia.

It’s as fun as Sim City, but this week that’s a tough statement to unpack.

I liked my first play, but it was weird. Suburbia is clearly a fixed fun game. You buy a tile, add it to your city, calculate the impact on income and reputation (recurring money and VPs) earn income/VPs (possibly causing city growth, which slows you down) and then refill and go.

Then you wait for your next turn. I’d have liked the game significantly less if we had a fourth player, or a slow one. But at 45-60 minutes it’s fine.

For replayability Suburbia provides goals. Our game felt weird, because they were all negative goals. Fewest Civic Buildings, Fewest Lakes and worst reputation (at game end). The last one strikes me as a peculiar goal in a city builder. Who sets out to create Detroit?

Also providing replayability —  you don’t use ~1/3rd of each “deck” of tiles. Coupled with the fact that the game end is shuffled into the middle of the last deck means you (effectively) only use a few of the really powerful type C tiles.

Granted, there aren’t many unique tiles, but you can have a game where one building type just doesn’t show. No idea how common that is, but my gut feeling is that Suburbia has more than a dash of  luck. (Getting a good private goal, having tiles flip at the right times, having the tiles you want available, these are all outside your control).

Which isn’t necessarily bad; just surprising.

Anyway, I’d play it again for now.

Rating — Suggest (but probably due to novelty).


Written by taogaming

March 10, 2013 at 10:05 am

Posted in Reviews

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  1. The game is definitely best with two or three. Two has the difficulty of increasing the randomness of the tiles in play. In a two player you could enforce the A and B decks to have one of each tile and then randomize the rest (12 unique so 3 random in A, not sure how many in B).

    My big problem in two player is the PR Firm, which can easily determine the winner all by itself if it comes up early in the C deck. Waterfront Realty and Casino also seem a touch strong, but not as bad as PR Firm.


    March 11, 2013 at 10:20 am

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