In the first of our board game spotlights here at Zatu Games, we take a look at Quadropolis, the latest release from renowned publisher Days of Wonder.
Though everyone on the box appears to be standing smugly in the middle of a busy urban road directly in the path of an oncoming fire engine, Quadropolis is actually a board game about tactical city planning.
The game places 2-4 players in the sadly sash-less role of mayor. Each mayor must build their city to best meet the needs of its inhabitants, all while competing with opponents for the buildings and services they desperately need.
To do so, each player is given four architects, numbered 1-4. A 5x5 ‘construction site’ in the centre contains the buildings and resources needed to build up each city.
Placing an architect by a row or column of the construction site allows the player to take control of a tile corresponding to that architect’s number. Architect 1 gives control of the tile nearest the edge; architect 2 of the tile second from the edge and so on.
The player must then place the acquired building into their city in a row or column corresponding to the number of their architect. Buildings provide victory points, and combining them in different ways can help boost your score.
But it’s not just about building your own city… By choosing tiles carefully, a mayor can make life much more difficult for their competition. This is thanks to the stout glass figure of the Urbanist, a piece that always occupies the last tile taken, preventing any player from claiming a tile in the same row or column.
City building games are nothing new, but where Quadropolis stands apart is its broad appeal: accessible enough for new gamers and strategic enough for veterans.
Named for the childhood joy games have brought to many, Days of Wonder are best known for their hugely successful Ticket to Ride series, which you can also purchase here at Zatu Games.
Eric Hautemont founded the company after he found that a game he loved, Chinese card game ‘Gang of Four’, was no longer in print. A quest to find the game again plunged him into the industry, and within two years Days of Wonder was born.
In 2004, only two years later, the first game in the Ticket to Ride series won them the coveted Spiel de Jahres award. They remain the youngest publisher ever to win it.
Quadropolis’ designer, the Parisian François Gandon, is actually a financial consultant, adding an air of authenticity to the strategies of resource management and denial that make the game tick.
With Quadropolis, he sought to create a relatively short game that would allow players to refine their strategy over multiple plays. A single game lasts 30-60 minutes, meaning you can run through several back-to-back to hone your mayoral skills.
Keep an eye out on our blog in the coming weeks for a review of Quadropolis. I will be sitting down this weekend with members of the team to have a game or two before giving my opinions on this intriguing game.
Give this game a try and find out if you’re a Joseph Quimby or a Naheed Nenshi (the most admired mayor of any large Canadian city, apparently).