Jon Alderink is awesome. For those not in the know, he is an artist. We met him in person at Cherry Capital Comic Con. We stopped at his table because we recognized his artwork from several books on our shelves. Today, on dropbox he is giving away a digital copy of his Melonheads comic book. He said share, so I am.
Over two hours long. Two very long hours. Millionaire’s Row for Machi Koro did change the game, but not in the way we expected. Millionaire’s Row is the latest expansion for Machi Koro. Added to the game are some new establishments of all colors and a new mechanic, renovation. Renovation allows a player to put renovation tokens on the establishments of other players. While an establishment has a renovation token it cannot be collected. Renovation tokens are removed when the establishment is activated. Essentially, a one turn bump in the money making machine.
Renovation sounds and reads like a game changing mechanic. In reality, it is not. In our two hour game, I shut down four prosperities. Short of everyone being able to add renovation tokens every turn, at most renovation tokens is an annoyance.
What is new are establishments that allow you to trade properties with other players. Trade sounds like everyone gets a say, they do not. Trading properties IS game changing. Barb shut me down with a few trades and put a hurt on our boy. There are a lot of properties that work best with other properties, take the cheese factory: 3 coins for each pig property you have. When you have no pig properties, the cheese factory is useless.
Zero cost properties are also new. These properties have a cost of zero and there is a reason why. Loan office, gives you five coins, AWESOME. However, each time you roll a 5 or 6 you have to pay 2 back to the bank, SUCK!
There are properties that check to see how much of your city you have built. If your city has too much or not enough an effect kicks in. Cornfields is a great example: if you have 2 or less monuments/city built you collect 1 coin anytime a 3 or 4 is rolled. When you flip over that 3rd city card, the cornfield sits there. Which if you can give away to someone else is great especially when part of a trade.
Our long game suffered from a poor deck draw leaving us at times with properties that nobody could afford or want or needed. That did add to the increase in play time. However, what really added to the length is the new and improved Tax Office called the Park. The Park takes EVERYONES money and divides all of the money equally among all of the players.
You read that right, when the Park is activated, all of the money is piled together and divided equally. This is great for players, like me, who were running behind, but players on the cusp of doing something suddenly find themselves with less money.
We like the interactivity between players that Millionaire’s Row allows and some of the new ideas are fun. Renovation is a bump in the road instead of game changing, trading is a powerful ability, and zero cost properties change how people play. Not bad for a new expansion.