Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Phil Walker-Harding

Blue Orange

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G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

The progressing climate change dramatically influences the way we live together in our big cities. Hot spots, urban farming and retention spaces are phrases we increasingly hear in recent years. But what makes those modern cities worth living in? Imagine you were a city planner and had the chance to construct a new city right from the start. What would your first design steps be? Where would you construct skyscrapers and establish ecological utilities like biodomes and windmills? What would be the best mixture?

Building up a new city, that exactly is our task in Neoville, the new family game from BLUE ORANGE GAMES. Some say it’s a legal successor of the mighty Kingdomino, but let’s see if that’s true. In the game we all build up our own city, consisting of a 4x4 city tiles. A clever combination of natural areas and human habitation is what counts in the game with the best city builder winning the game.


Click on image to enlarge!

Each round a player adds a new city tile from her/his hand to the city, places a skyscraper or an ecology utility on one of the 4 spaces of the city tile and draws a new city tile. And it’s the players’ task to arrange these city tiles to create attractive districts. Not everything must fit when playing one tile next to another, but of course you’ll only be able to score if fulfillments are met. That’s where skyscrapers and utilities come into place: there are four different types of skyscrapers for each of the four different underground types of the game. So a skyscraper with the water symbol must be placed on a water field. Skyscrapers also have different heights from 3-12.

The higher the more victory points you will get, but only, if requirements are met. So, the height also tells you how many adjacent spaces of the same underground as the underground underneath the skyscraper you need, to fulfill conditions. Perhaps you can guess that this gets more and more difficult the more the game progresses. If on the one hand you have a 10-skyscraper on a green (meaning that you need 9 more adjacent greens for this) and a 6-skyscraper on a brown underground in the neighborhood, you can see that life is getting complex.


Click on image to enlarge!

Utilities on the other hand, have different conditions depending on the utility type. Some of them demand to arrange the adjacent underground tiles in a specific position, let’s say a L-form. Others must be placed on a specific position of the final city, e.g. on a corner city tile and still others have complex fulfilment conditions that depend on parks and sports facilities that can be found on some city fields.

What is easy at the beginning, can end in a disaster, because skyscrapers and utility that do not meet the requirements count as negative victory points in the same amount as their positive effect.

Neoville is a typical BLUE ORANGE product. And I say that in the most positive meaning! It’s attractive, easy to teach and learn, and is a lot of fun. City building was never easier, but on the same time, it’s kind of a puzzle if you really want to get as much as you can out of your city. In comparison to Kingdomino, I would say it’s slightly more complex, but nevertheless you can play it with the whole family again.

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