|Players:||2 - 4 players|
Welcome to the city of Machi Koro. You've just been elected Mayor. Congrats! Unfortunately, the citizens have some pretty big demands: jobs, a theme park, a couple of cheese factories and maybe even a radio tower. A tough proposition since the city currently consists of a wheat field, a bakery and a single die.
Armed only with your trusty die and a dream, you must grow Machi Koro into the largest city in the region. You will need to collect income from developments, build public works, and steal from your neighbors' coffers. Just make sure they aren't doing the same to you!
Machi Koro is a fast-paced game for 2-4 players. Each player wants to develop the city on their own terms in order to complete all of the landmarks under construction faster than their rivals. On their turn, each player rolls one or two dice. If the sum of the dice rolled matches the number of a building that a player owns, they get the effect of that building; in some cases opponents will also benefit from your dice (just as you can benefit from theirs). Then, with money in hand a player can build a landmark or a new building, ideally adding to the wealth of their city on future turns. The first player to construct all of their landmarks wins!
Wow this game is so much fun! My entire family (9 to adult) played this one over and over and over, often the kids picked it to play without adults which is always a sign it’s a winner. There is never any downtime on this game, as every single roll of the dice can impact on you - making it a great game for keeping people engaged. Highly recommend!
In the game, players are building up their own little town and growing it into a thriving city. The Japanese name, loosely translated to English, means ‘City Dice’. It bears many similarities to Monopoly: there is play-money in the form of coins, there are cards representing properties for sale, the players roll dice and they work towards building an empire as a real-estate mogul. And like Monopoly, winning a game of Machi Koro is mostly achieved by amassing a large amount of money.
That's where the similarities end though.
In Machi Koro, the aim is not to eliminate the other players but to be the first to build four key "Landmark" buildings in your town. Each turn you roll the dice to see which buildings will generate income for their owners - it's common to earn money even when it's not your turn so you feel involved and engaged with the game almost constantly. After rolling the dice you can choose one building to buy, which will increase your earning capacity in some way, hopefully taking you one step closer to being able to afford the expensive Landmarks needed to win. Then you pass the dice to the next player and the game continues.
The game typically takes 30 - 45min to play and it's very quick to set up, so it's easy enough to play several games in a row. There are a few different viable strategies to explore and the random nature of the die rolls means that no two games will be the same - there's a lot of replayability. Machi Koro is my favourite game for introducing new players to the modern hobby. There's a lot that's familiar (so it's easy to learn) and it has all the hallmarks of a quality modern game.