I bought Machi Koro at Warpcon having played one game of it and winning….. I’m underwhelmed
From my research (exhaustive) everyone and their dog says the vanilla version is limited and the first expansion harbour changes the game considerably, it’s sounds more a patch than an expansion. I’ll get to that in time for now I’m going to chat about the base game
I’ve always been nonplussed by most cartoony mangaish art, particularly the cutesy stuff. I find it saccharine sweet, over the top compensatory mind control cute and in some cases downright disturbing. Machi Kori features japanesey cartoony art but it’s done in a very pleasant style. There’s a lovely vibe to the game and you get that as you play. It’s a sort of Nintendo reassuring happy.
So how does it play you didn’t ask? It plays a little like Catan albeit a very simplified version. You start with a couple of basic cards. Each turn you roll a dice and each of your cards pays out on a particular number if you’re lucky enough to roll it. Some cards (Blue) pay out on anyone’s turn, some (green) only pay out on yours but pay out more. By payout I mean cold hard cash, the only resource in the game. Get more cash, buy more cards, preferably a spread so you’ll get something every roll and you’re well on your way to building the four big buildings that once complete win you the game. Do it before anyone else and you get pointing and extended laughing rights. It’s very simple.
To complex things up, there’s a few other cards, red (my favourite) which steal coins from another players if their number comes up, purple (add bonuses to other cards) and Yellow (the four final cards which give certain effects). With the exception of purple and yellow you can buy as many of each card type as you like and before you know it have a nice little cash farm on the go. The trouble is so will everyone else. You’ve got to be better, strive harder, think outside the box, hope the dice comes up right.
The problem with Machi Koro is, at least with the base game, there’s not a whole lot strategy to it. Everyone pretty much takes the same path to winning (spread it around) and someone wins. It’s not a bad game, in fact I think it’s a perfectly acceptable fun game but in it’s base incarnation you’ll bore of it pretty quick. Oh and the damn thing takes up a lot of table real estate especially with 4 players.
Going to try the expansions before I call it