A preview copy of Sprawlopolis was provided by Button Shy Games. We would like to thank Button Shy Games for supporting our blog. All thoughts, comments, and pictures herein are our own.
I have made no secret of my love of games. After all, why else would I be writing this blog right now? Right? Right! I try to squeeze in a little game time at least once a day. This means that I am always on the lookout for smaller games, that can be played fairly quickly. I also love games that I can throw in my bag and pop out at lunchtime. It should come as no surprise, with a criteria like this, that Button Shy Games is one of my go-to companies to fill this niche for me. I love their games so much that my very first blog post was about one of their games, Twin Stars. So when an opportunity to play their newest game, Sprawlopolis, was presented to me, well, I’m sure you can guess the rest!
In Sprawlopolis you take on the role of a city planner tasked with building a new city. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. Just wait until the city officials get involved and start making their demands on you. Things just got harder, much harder. Designed by Steven Aramini, Danny Devine, and Paul Kluka and published by Button Shy’s wallet series, Sprawlopolis plays 1-4 players in about 15 minutes. Like most Button Shy games, Sprawlopolis features 18 cards, and aside from the plastic wallet to store it in, that it folks! Set up is quick and easy, as is the gameplay. Fans of Circle the Wagons will be familiar with the game mechanics, the variable scoring, with the addition of cooperative play.
For those of you not familiar with Circle the Wagons, first, go out and get it, then read on. Each card has four different colored sections, or zones, commercial (blue), industrial (grey), residential (orange), and parks (green). Cards are played down to the common build area, growing the city. Cards may be played with at least one colored block edge meeting and existing block edge. You may also place your card so that it overlaps existing cards. You cannot tuck them under existing cards or connecting to an existing card by corner only. You may rotate your card 180 degrees when placing it, but cannot rotate it 90 degrees. Gaps are allowed in the city as long as all other placement rules are followed. Once 15 cards are placed in your city the game ends and scoring begins. Here’s where things get interesting.
At the start of the game three cards are taken from the deck and flipped over to their scoring sides. These will provide you with a set of goals, scoring conditions, and other rules. These cards also have a number in the upper left hand side, ranging from 1-18. These numbers are added together to make the target score you are looking to beat this round. The scoring conditions these cards allow may make or break a game for you, so take the time to familiarize yourself with them before beginning your game! Some will give, or take, points dependent on the placement of your zones, others will grant bonuses for groupings.
Scoring is quite simple. Looking at your city, you score 1 point for each block in each of your largest group of each zones. For example, if you have a group of 3 greens, another group of 4 greens, and a single green in your city, you would score 4 points for your green blocks. You will do the same for blue, green, and grey. You will then lose 1 point for each road in your city. A road is considered a continuous stretch, be sure to keep this in mind while building! Finally look at the scoring condition cards to see what other points you may have acquired. If your score exceeds the target score, you win! If not, no need to worry, you have plenty of time to play another round! Believe me, you will want to play again, and again, and again!
Since arriving on my doorstep, Sprawlopolis has easily become one of my most played game. The game plays so fast that you can easily squeeze a game or two into a lunch break, waiting room visit, or any other free moment you have. The game plays wonderfully solo. I have played cooperatively a few times, and prefer it solo. It feels intuitive, smooth, well thought out, and above all fun! The quality is what one expects from Button Shy. The cards are bright and crisp and good quality. The instructions are clear and concise. The game play is puzzley and addictive. I love the versatility of the target score, making replayability almost endless. I cannot recommend this game enough!
If you think this game is as awesome as I do, you’re in luck. It is, as of this writing, currently on Kickstarter for the insanely low price of $10! Stop reading this and go get your own copy, I promise, you will not be disappointed!!
Thanks for joining me this week as I singlehandedly sought to build a city! Join me next time, follow me on Twitter, and please, feel free to leave a comment below!
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