Friday, November 03, 2006

City Building

The best games about building cities...

Also nominated:

For comparison, the results from 2002:



Blogger mark aka pastor guy said...

While Princes of Florence is one of my top ten games of all time, it's a lousy choice for this category. (My bad.)

OTOH, I'm overjoyed to see Big City in the top five - and for La Citta to take the prize. Both are games that didn't get enough recognition on release... probably due to playing time for La Citta. Big City should be played with 2-3 players for a solid gaming experience.

Puerto Rico is right on the line for me as a city-building game... I can make the argument both ways.

It was also good to see Elasund get recognized.

10:56 AM  
Blogger huzonfirst said...

Some great games here, and a few of them even involve building a city! There was lots of discussion of exactly what constituted a "city building game". I was one of those who preferred a tighter definition, but the broader category won the day. Consequently, I made my choices based upon how good I thought the game was, whether I thought it was a city builder or not.

It's hard to figure out what others chose to do. The top five include one classic city builder (Big City), one that's pretty close (in La Citta, you're actually building multiple cities, or maybe a country, but it definitely belongs), two that really shouldn't qualify IMO (in Puerto Rico, the "city building" is really just a way of buying powers and VPs, and Carc is a city builder in only the broadest sense), and one that flat out doesn't belong (Princes, where the objective is to attract artists and the "city-building" is strictly a sidelight). Left out was one archetypical city builder (Metropolis) and two that at least marginally qualify (Elasund and Capitol). Ah well, given the mixed bag that was nominated, it was awfully tough to come up with a consistent list.

As for me, I went with Puerto Rico, Princes of Florence (two of my all-time favorite games), San Juan, Capitol, and Elasund (all of which are excellent). La Citta would be on the short list of games I'd most like to see re-developed--most of the game is superb, but the continually clogged display and the excessive playing time really spoil it for me. Big City is a nice game, but not one I try too hard to get on the table. Carc is a fine two-player game, but I have no interest in playing it with more than three.

My nominations included my top five along with Palazzo (which I feel is pretty underrated, or, even worse, ignored) and Metropolis. The other two games on the list are Attika (a good solid game, a bit too abstract for me, and one I'm not likely to play with two, which is its optimal number) and Alhambra (pretty good with three or four, but again, not a game I strive to play). Still, this is an extremely strong collection of games; I just wish they had more to do with the topic!

4:39 PM  
Blogger Kevin_Whitmore said...

I like all of our winning titles. I admit to also being puzzled why Princes of Florence was considered a "City Building" game. But, no doubt about it, PoF is a great game. The arrangement of the various buildings makes it feel like you are a civic engineer, so that was enough reason for me to cast a vote for it.

Big City is hard to find, now long out of print. But grab it if you can, the bits are great and the game is very good for small numbers of players. (No more than 4, and I prefer it as a 3-player game.)

Nice to see Carcassonne get some love. Make no mistake, this is one of the best games around. A lot of hay gets made about how all the expansions have spoiled the game. If you haven't played the base game yet, you ought. It is easy to learn, and it scales nicely between 2-5 players. Gameplay can be quasi-cooperative or cut-throat; its up to your group of players. And if you never buy an expansion you'll still have a great game. If you do buy an expansion (or three), you'll find the game takes on different characteristics. Whether you like the additional features and added game length each expansion lends is hard to say.

Puerto Rico is one of the best games ever. It is more about operating a colony than really building a city; but I'm always ready to play.

La Citta is also a fine game. I think it is a heavier game than most Euros. In some ways it reminds me of an old Avalon Hill type game, just with superior materials.

Of the others nominated, I am a fan of Elasund. It fits the city-building theme tightly, and the game is very nice. Recommended.

1:30 PM  

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