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Spotlight: City Building


Designing cities is something many of us did as kids. Initially it might have been with wooden blocks, or perhaps Lego. For the current generation they build their cities in computer games like Minecraft. But city building is also something that has been quite popular in board games for some time.

Here are a few new and not so new games that involve some form of designing and building a city.

Machi Koro
The aim of Machi Koro is to be the first player to complete the construction of four landmarks. To do this you will need to build a city in order to generate enough income. Each turn you will first roll one or two dice and any building whose number matches the total of the dice will potentially provide players with income. Then you can purchase a new building to add to your city or complete construction of one of your landmarks. Certain buildings combine with others to provide a larger payout, and with the construction of each landmark a special ability will be unlocked.

See Machi Koro in our online store.

Tiny Towns
This city building game is really a town building game, the aim is to plan and construct the best town by the end of the game. Each game there are 7 different buildings chosen from a larger pool, which makes each game somewhat unique. The aim is to collect resources and place them on your town’s 4 x 4 grid to create a pattern that matches one of the buildings, which you can then add to your town, this will unlock special abilities and scoring options. This game has a definite puzzle aspect to it and can also be played solo.

See Tiny Towns in our online store.

Card City XL
If variety is your style then Card City XL might be right up your alley. There are 240 different ways to play this game based on complexity level, end game scoring, and other variants. Each round you will collect building tiles to add to your city to form a grid. Placement is crucial as some buildings create pollution which takes up space in your city, others will expand on their own under the right conditions. Another game with a puzzle element as you need to really think about the optimum position for all of your buildings, depending on the variant you are playing.

See Card City XL in our online store.

Between Two Cities
This clever tile placement game requires players to team up with the player either side of them to help construct two cities. Each turn you will need to negotiate which of two tiles in your hand will be placed in which city. Each of the six different building types score differently based on either quantity or position in the city. After the cities have been completed and the scores for each calculated, your final score is the lower of the two cities you have helped build. This game handles up to seven players, which makes it ideal for larger groups. – Check out our How To Play Video.

See Between Two Cities in our online store.

Alhambra
While perhaps the Alhambra is not technically a city, this game still has a city building vibe to it as players attempt to construct the famous Spanish Palace and Fortress. There are six different building types that can be purchased. To purchase a building from the market you will need to pay with the correct currency, of which there are four types. Each turn you can either take money or buy a building and add it to your Alhambra. There are three scoring opportunities during the game where players are rewarded for owning a majority in each building type. This game is a classic and won the coveted Spiel des Jahres back in 2003.

See Alhambra in our online store.