Do you like Sim City? Maybe, I should ask if you remember Sim City first. Not the newer versions, but the older versions that required a lot of thinking and planning to play successfully. If you do remember that and have fond memories of lovingly crafting the city of your dreams then I suggest you give Suburbia by Beizer Games a try.
Suburbia is a tile placement game. Suburbia is a moderately complicated game on the surface, but after a game or two most of the complication boils down to making sure to follow the listed steps to ensure that everyone gets the proper score from each tile placed. Whoa, that sounded bad. Trust me it is not. Took me longer to type that than for us to figure out.
Suburbia consists of four types of tiles residential, industrial, civic, and commercial. Each tile has an illustration of the building, title, and some stats. Some stats are applied to your income, reputation, and population scores immediately. These are the easiest as they only affect you. Other stats are conditional on the number of specific tiles in play, types of tiles in play, and location of tiles in play. These can get complicated as you have to check your city first to make sure you calculate all of the scoring. Then you have to check with each other player to ensure that you and they get any scores from that one tile. Really its not so bad.
Each player has their own city or borough that they are allowed to build up as they like with one condition, the tiles that are available to use are randomly determined. As part of set up three stacks of tiles are built. Seven tiles are displayed for players to purchase or discard. This does allow for some long range planning, unless there is another player with similar plans…stupid player!
The goal of Suburbia is to have the highest score. The easiest way to have the highest score is to increase the size of your population. However, if you increase your population to fast you run the risk of destroying your economy and reputation. Economy is obviously important, money. Reputation is subtle. Reputation is affected by types of building tiles you place, up and down. On its own reputation does not do anything other than raise or lower your score. However, at least in our games, reputation was harder to build up which meant that as your population increased your reputation would go down, if it went down past zero your score (population) and income could be affected. It is a balancing act, much like in the Sim City games.
Games of Suburbia are faster than expected. With one tile a turn being bought or discarded the stacks disappear quickly. Add in the random placement of the “1-more round” tile in the third stack and a game can go to the last tile or end quickly catching players off guard. While the above sounds complex, our seven and ten-year old were able to play Suburbia only needing assistance when the scoring involved three or four players (rare).
If you liked Sim City or like city building games, pick up Suburbia.