Next Station – London

RRP: £13.99
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RRP £13.99
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Calling all tube project managers! The city of London has hired you to redesign the famous Underground lines. Optimise you interchanges, stop at as many tourist sites as you can, tunnel under the Thames. But make sure you are you are on track to meet the requirements of the city! Who will be the best metro manager? What’s in the box? One pad with maps of London Four different colo…
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Category Tags , , , SKU TCS-NEXT_STATION Availability 3+ in stock
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Value For Money

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Colourful and quick
  • Light strategy
  • Simple rules
  • Portable

Might Not Like

  • Pencils are a little weak
  • A lot of box space taken up with rule leaflets
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Description

Calling all tube project managers!

The city of London has hired you to redesign the famous Underground lines. Optimise you interchanges, stop at as many tourist sites as you can, tunnel under the Thames. But make sure you are you are on track to meet the requirements of the city!

Who will be the best metro manager?

What’s in the box?

One pad with maps of London
Four different coloured pencils: purple, blue, pink and green
11 station cards: Six street cards (blue) and five underground cards (pink and yellow)
Five shared objective cards
Four pencil power cards
How to play

Score as many points as you can by optimsing the routes of the four underground lines on your map in London.

The game is played in four rounds. In each round you will carry out four phases.

Identify your departure station
Your starting station corresponds to the colour of the pencil you are using.
Build your underground line
This phase has several turns according to the station cards that are flipped over by the controller. On each turn draw a line to complete a section of their line with their coloured pencil – making sure they are following the construction rules. (don’t forget special stations)
Once the controller turns over the fifth underground card, this signals the end of the round.
Score points to your line
Each underground line scores you points based on; the route it takes, how many times it crosses under the Thames, and the tourist sites it stops at.
Get ready to build the next line
You will now trade pencil colours. Pass your pencil to the left. Then play the new round with the new colour.
The game ends after the fourth round, when all players have drawn their network. Add together the points scored, the most points wins!

Once you have played a few times, you can move onto the advanced module that has more gaming options and tougher challenges.

Bonus!

You can play Next Station London in solo mode!

Are you ready for rails? Are you prepped for pencils? Welcome everybody to Next Station London!

The latest fast playing flip and fill game from Blue Orange Games and Coiledspring, this little magnetic box of hyper colour happiness has captured our hearts. How to Play In Next Station London, you’re a Controller in charge of redesigning a 4 line underground system in London.

You are awarded points by the Mayor based on a number of things; how many districts your line passes through, how many stations you connect into in your busiest district, how many colour based interchanges you establish, and how many tourist sites you pass through. You also get double points for crossing the Thames.

The Rules Are Simple

Every round each player has one of the four coloured pencils (pink, purple, green, and blue) and you flip over cards from a small stack of station (pink and yellow) and street (blue) cards. Note that a round only lasts as long as it takes to flip over the 5 station cards so there could be anywhere from 5 to 10 turns.

The 5 station cards show a shape symbol which everyone simultaneously uses to draw a connection from one end of their existing line – the first turn will be from the “departure station” matching your pencil colour.

There is also one station card which is wild and can be used to connect to any shape. Generally, you can only connect to a new station from either end of your line using the prescribed paths, and lines of different colours cannot cross.

They can share stations, but you must not get into a knot! You are also forbidden from making a complete circuit (i.e., going back through a station already forming part of that line) – I always knew the Circle Line in London was dodgy!

If you can’t access that symbol (or you don’t want to), you do not draw a connection. The 6 Street cards also contain symbols which work in the same way. In there somewhere, however, is also a handy switch symbol that lets you split off from any station on your current line to the symbol shown on the next flipped card.

As you can guess, this then results in 3 ends from which you can continue building out your line!

When the 5th Station card is flipped, you each tot up your scores for the round and then the pencils are passed around from left to right (or any unused pencil from the right in a 2 player game). The first card on the freshly shuffled draw deck is flipped, and the next round begins! Whoever has the most points at the end of the 4th round is the Champion Controller!

Advanced Mode

As well as playing base game, there are two mini advanced modules that can be picked and mixed into the gameplay. One presents 2 randomly selected additional scoring objectives (from a total of 5) which are each worth 10 points to any player achieving them during the game. The other, Pencil Power, grants colour based one-off bonus powers during the game!

Solo Play

The game includes a simple Beat Your Own Score solo mode. In a multiplayer solitaire type game, there is no reason why it cannot be played solo. And although I usually like an AI to gun for, I am very happy simply trying to optimise my own network.

There is a rule about subtracting 10 points if you use an advanced module. And I must confess that this is the only rule which I don’t find too clear. So, I just inflict a negative 10 points for each scoring objective not achieved or for each pencil power used (if adding them into my game). This could be too harsh, but always play hard or go home!

Strategic Stations

This is a lovely, quick, colourful, portable multiplayer solitaire game. The components are lovely – nice think double sided pad, sturdy, glossy cards, and a super magnetic catch box. I was a little surprised by the sheer volume of rules inserts – although they do fold out like an underground map which is cool! – and the pencils don’t make the most visible of lines.

But swapping in a pen for a free pencil is no hardship. To my mind, Next Station London has just enough crunch for when you need a hit but not one that breaks your brain. And you could be forgiven for presuming that it plays too fast and seems too simple for there to be many strategies involved. But I think you would be wrong!

The more I play, the more I analyse the map layout, and see the potential in gunning for different strategies. My hope is that I work out how not to box myself in as well as make maximum use of the available space whatever the order of the cards.

Which is no small task bearing in mind all the simple sounding but impactful restrictions and general/advanced scoring objectives. I also really like the fact that a round could be as short as 5 turns or as long as 10. That makes each game a tense and surprising experience and can really amp up the pressure for your next line!

Luck is always going to be a factor when random card draws are in play. But with lots of station options, it is quite rare that a connection can’t be made. When it happens though it is an “argh” moment of the best sort! And that is the crunchy part of the game-deciding whether a connection you can make is worth the round point(s) if it cuts off a longer or more valuable line later in the game!

Final Thoughts

We love this little train themed game. I’m keeping my inner Controller happy because my mind keeps saying “just one more game, just one more game”. And I have no problem listening to that kind of temptation.

Next Station London is one that is coming with us to pubs and coffee shops. It’s also found a comfortable spot sitting on my desk ready for when lunchtime/post-work decompression time comes around.

Next Station: London is a one to four player flip and write in which players will be redesigning London’s underground rail network. Optimisation and efficiency is key to creating a streamlined yet effective network which traverses London to visit the sights and uses the tunnels that pass under the River Thames.

The game lasts four rounds and in each round players will be drawing networks from their starting departure station to another station. Each player starts off with a different coloured pencil, representing a different line. After each round pencils are passed to another player and after four rounds and each player has drawn networks of all four underground lines, the game ends and points are awarded.

Set-Up

Each player takes a sheet of paper and coloured pencil (or pen). The remaining pencils (or pens) are placed in between all the players or in a row if you are playing solo. All the station cards are shuffled into a face down deck. Each player starts off at the coloured station that represents the colour of their pencil.

How To Play

Each turn, a card is revealed from the stack of station cards which will typically show one of four symbols. Players must start from the station that represents their coloured pencil and draw a line to the revealed symbol. On future turns players can extend from the end of their specific coloured line to an additional symbol. There are limited special cards that allow you to branch off from the end of a line. Lines can not cross another line but and must follow the pre-printed dashed lines on the sheet of paper. You can also not go back to a station that the same coloured line has already departed from.

At the end of each round (when five of the special underground cards have been revealed) points are awarded. You first count how many different districts your route has crossed and multiply this by the number of stations your line passes through in your highest district. You then gain an additional two points for each time your line has crossed the Thames. You also cross off the number of tourists sites that your line has visited on the tourist site score track. You will gain additional points at the end of the game for the number of tourist sites visited.

After the end of the round points are awarded, pencils/pens are rotated, the stations cards are shuffled up and you repeat the process, flipping cards, drawing lines, scoring the line and passing the pencils, until you have drawn all four lines and the end game is triggered.

End game scoring is based on your points from each of the four lines, the number of tourist sites visited (as mentioned above) and interchange stations. Count the number of stations that have two, three or four lines going into them and score two, five and nine points for each station respectively. Total up all your points and the player with the most points is the winner.

Advanced Modules

Either play a few games of the base game or throw these in straight away, Next Station: London comes with two advanced modules that you can play with.

Shared Objectives

As part of set up, the five shared objectives are shuffled and two are randomly drawn and placed face up in the play area. Each player is trying to achieve these objectives throughout the game and will grant the players ten additional points. The objectives are simple enough to understand and are explained in further detail in the rule book.

Pencil Powers

There are four pencil power cards in the game and are shuffled as part of set up. One of each of the cards is assigned to a coloured pencil at the beginning of the game. These powers will move around with the specific coloured pencil but can only be used once per round.

You can buy Next Station: London on Zatu Games along with many other fun games!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Colourful and quick
  • Light strategy
  • Simple rules
  • Portable

Might not like

  • Pencils are a little weak
  • A lot of box space taken up with rule leaflets