Publisher: IDW Games
Designer: Masao Suganuma
It’s cute. It’s quirky. It’s fun. And Machi Koro is incredibly simple to learn. The very first game of Machi Koro that I played took about 30 minutes. Now typically, when my friends and I sit down to learn a new game, our play time is twice as long as what the gameplay time on the box says. Not so with Machi Koro. 30 minutes and boom, we had finished our first game while learning the rules.
Now there are a lot of micro games that are hitting the shelves these days that cry “simplicity” and “fun” but are actually pretty convoluted, bland or print too much information on the cards. Also, they’re hit-or-miss on the fun factor. Machi breaks the mold with fun gameplay, very intuitive mechanics and great design.
Players begin the game with 2 cards: 1 Wheat Field and 1 Bakery. This is your town. Not very exciting is it? Don’t worry, it will be. Your goal is to acquire a myriad of buildings and assets to your city so that you may achieve what every little town desires: 1 Shopping Mall, 1 Radio Tower, 1 Train Station and 1 Amusement Park. Who wouldn’t want to live in that town?! The first to build/buy all four of these cards is deemed the winner. Players buy a myriad of cards from an open market and roll dice to try to earn money from the cards they’ve purchased. They use this money to buy more stuff. Pretty simple.
To be honest… I’m terrible at card games. But, I’m really pretty good at Machi Koro. I think the biggest difference between this game and deck builders is the transparency that is inherent in the design. You can see all of the cards that are available to acquire. You can see all of the cards that you’ve bought - there is no hand or deck that you draw from. And, you can see all of your opponents cards, which allows you to adapt your tactics throughout the game. So, if Netrunner and Magic throw you for a loop, don’t be afraid to give Machi Koro a try. It’s easy to learn, plays fast and is pretty fun.
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