Review – Suburbia

A tile laying, city building game.

Title: Suburbia

Year Published: 2012

Designer: Ted Alspach

Publisher: Bezier Games

Players: 1-4

Game Time: 90+ Mins

Set-up Time: >5 Mins

Ages: 8+

Theme: Modern Day

Mechanic: Tile Laying

How to win: Have the largest population

Game Description

Plan, build, and develop a small town into a major metropolis. Use hex-shaped building tiles to add residential, commercial, civic, and industrial areas, as well as special points of interest that provide benefits and take advantage of the resources of nearby towns. Your goal is to have your borough thrive and end up with a greater population than any of your opponents.

Set Up

Place the Population Board, Stack board, Supply board and Real Estate board on the table.

Shuffle the Stack A tiles depending on the player count and place them on their spot on the Stack board. Do the same for Stack B and C but place the “Last Turn” tile in Stack C.

The top 7 tiles form Stack A are placed along the bottom edge of the Real Estate board.

Place 4 Heavy Factory, 4 Community Park and 4 Suburb tiles on their spaces on the Real Estate Board.

Place the money on the Supply Board.

Shuffle the goals and place one random goal face up on their space on the Real Estate board and deals 2 face down to each player.

The Main Suburbia board is set up and ready to go!

The Main Suburbia board is set up and ready to go!

Give each player a Borough Board, Income Cylinder, Population Square, Reputation Cube and Investment Markers of their colour along with $15 million. The player places their Income Cylinder, Population Square and Reputation Cube in their relevant place. They place a Suburb, Community Park and Heavy Factory on their Borough Board.

They will chooses one of their secret goals to keep and discard the other.

The player is set up and the game is ready to begin.

The player is set up and the game is ready to begin.

Determine a start player and give them the Start Player Marker.

Game Play

Starting with the Start Player, each player MUST take 1 of the following actions…

1 – Take a tile from the Real Estate Market

Take the tile, pay the cost plus the cost on the Real Estate market.
Place the Tile in the Borough adjacent to any other tile.
Adjust Income and Reputation.

Suburbia Buy Tile

The player pays $4 Million to place a Landfill and adjusts the Reputation and Income accordingly. Luckily the Landfill is a long way from the Suburbs.

2 – Take a Basic Tile

Take a Suburb, Community Park and Heavy Factory tile and pay the cost.
Remove a tile from the Real Estate market from the game, paying only the cost on the Real Estate board.
Place the Basic Tile in the Borough adjacent to any other tile.
Adjust Income and Reputation.

Suburbia Buy Basic Tile

The player adds a Community Park next to another Community Park and Suburbs. What a nice place to live!

3 – Create a Lake

Take any tile from the Real Estate Market, paying only the on the Real Estate board.
Turn the tile over to show the Lake side and place it in the Borough adjacent to any other tile.
Take $2 million per adjacent relevant tile.
Adjust Income and Reputation.

Suburbia Play Lake

4 – Place an Investment Marker

Choose a tile in your Borough, pay the cost of that tile to the bank and place an Investment Marker on it.
Remove a tile from the Real Estate market from the game, paying only the cost on the Real Estate board.
Adjust Income and Reputation.

Suburbia Investment Tile

The player pays the cost of the Community Park again and places an Investment Marker on it, Now the player get double the benefits… and penalties!

Resolve Income

Gain money equal to your income or pay that amount if you income is in negative figures. For each $1 million that is unpaid, lose 1 Reputation. If you have no Money or Population, this remains at 0.

Adjust Population

Increase your Population a number of spaces equal to your Reputation. You must pay $1 million per 1 Population you lose if you are on 0. If you have no Money or Population, thisremains at 0.

If your rise in Population causes you to cross 1 or more red lines on the Population board, reduce your Income and Reputation by 1 for each line you crossed.

Suburbia Scoring

Adjust the Real Estate market

Slide the tiles on the Real Estate Market down to fill the gap and place the next tile from the stack onto the end.

Play continues to the left.

Game End

When the “1 More Round” tile from Stack C is revealed, play goes around to the start player then each player takes 1 last turn.

The player who has ‘won’ any of the Goals on the Real Estate market gains that much Population. In the case of a tie, no player will gain this bonus.

Each player reveals their secret goal in turn order and scores them in the same way with only the owner of the goal able to score points.

Each player gains 1 Population for every $5 they have left.

The Highest Population wins.

Tie Breaker 1 – Highest Reputation
Tie Breaker 2 – Highest Income
Tie Breaker 3 – Most Money
Tie Breaker 4 – Play another game of Suburbia to break the tie!

Round Up

So this game looks drab and sounds dull. But it’s really really good.

Balancing your money, income and reputation while keeping on eye on what you have, one eye on what your opponents have and erm.. another eye on what’s coming up is challenging yet lots of fun.

Every turn you move up the Population board and most turns your income drops so you are always thinking about how you can improve what you have and how you can increase you income again.

Thematically it works really well. Airports get more valuable the more Airports there are. (What’s an Airport without a destination?) Building next to a Landfill lowers your reputation. A community park increases your reputation but the cost to keep it looking nice lowers your income.

Well solid theme.

Rating

One of my Favourites.

I give this 9/10

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