Compete against your fellow players in building the best and most beautiful district. The judges are ready, the awards have been set all that is left to do now is build.
Town Builder is a one to four player, small box multi-use card game designed by Eric Raue and published by First Fish Games. Players will be drafting cards from a central market to either use as building foundations, resources (wood, stone, straw) or gold.
Each foundation requires a certain number of resources before it can be considered built. Once the foundation has the required resource, the resources are discarded and the building is built. Cards containing gold can be taken to be stored under your player's crest as some of the foundations have a gold requirement to be paid for before receiving them.
On a player's turn they perform two actions; either take a card to start a foundation, take a resource to add to a foundation or take a gold to store under your crest. These cards are drafted from a central market, the market is refilled and the play passes on to the next player. Once the deck has been exhausted a certain number of times (depending on player count) points are awarded for the judges and the buildings themselves. Awards can also be gained during the game if the requirement is satisfied and added to your final score. the player with the most points is the winner.
Multi-use cards, solo mode, small box city building game. Seems like it has a lot going for it. But is there enough gameplay in the box? Well, read on to find out more.
I love games with multi-use cards. I love that choice between using the card for one thing or for another. In Town Builder you don't have a hand of cards to make that decision from. There is a central market of five cards and each of the them cards can be used for a different purpose. I think this offers even more choice. You are not only deciding what you want to use the card for but what card you can use that your opponent may need. There is a big element of denying your opponents in taking the cards they so desperately need.
If you are winning on majority of culture buildings, for example, and you see two cards that you need as a resource, then by taking the culture building you are denying your opponent the opportunity to catch up. It offers an interesting dynamic that I really enjoy.
Some of the buildings have end game scoring objectives which give players something to aim towards for extra points at the end of the game. The awards are a nice addition as are the judges. Not all the judges come out to begin with and they are seeded throughout the deck.
In addition, the buildings might also have a building bonus or ability that can be used once they are built. There is randomness in when the cards come out but there is always something you can do on your turn.
For a small box game that is essentially a deck of cards there is a fair amount going on. There are choices to be made and there is interaction between the players, albeit subtle, in the form of denial drafting.
The theme is not really present. Sure, I am building a Farm or Butcher's Shop or Art Gallery, but in reality I am building a blue or yellow building as I need more blue buildings than my opponent.
All in all, Town Builder is a fantastic light weight, small box card game that is a perfect filler game or end of the night game. Highly recommend checking this one out.