Monday, November 28, 2011

Urban Sprawl

This weekend I played URBAN SPRAWL for the first time. This is a Euro style game published by GMT games that seems to be getting good reviews.

For now.. I'll opt to reserve my opinion on the game, but offer you a few first impressions.

FIRST, the game is BIG!!! Lots and lots of cards, along with a nice map, and some neat colored wooden blocks.

Second, there is a lot of stuff going on. Maybe too much! Lots of events occur that make me feel completely out of control. This is one of those games where you cannot really figure out the strategy without playing it a time or two, knowing that certain events happen and being prepared for them. Once you have an idea of the possible events you realize that you have to set yourself up for them. Sadly, for most of the game I sat back and watched events earn the other players money, victory points, etc. while I lagged terribly behind. One event, despite a reshuffle and only one copy in the deck happened THREE TIMES in one turn, pushing one player ahead in both money and victory points.

The basic design (outside of the events) is clever, with profits occuring for nearly every player on nearly every player's turn. The concept of bidding on projects (by selecting them using action points) and then having the leftover projects become cheaper for the next player's turn is neat. Having to have the appropriate "permits" to build these projects is also a neat design.

I really believe I was overwhelmed by my first play of this game and therefore, I reserve judgment.. overall, it looks and seems cool, but the extent of the events sort of put me off a bit. That may change with future play.