Last year, I came across a game that turned me inside out. It challenged me to rethink what I appreciate in a board game and why I even play them at all. It proved difficult to learn and frustrated me in some of its execution. But it was also incredibly smart and tense. So when I heard that designer Cole Wehrle had decided to revisit his first design and was looking for feedback on the 2nd edition I was more than interested to check it out.
Bumbling bureaucrats, lazy law-makers, and pallid politicians everywhere you look. It's a miracle anything gets done around here. But you, you're different. You have ambition, a certain drive that makes you stand out amongst the crowd. You got into the public sector to make a difference and people are starting to notice. Now it's your chance to prove you have what it takes to become the mayor of Small City.
There’s an ocean of oil beneath your feet. If it were up to you it would be all yours. If only things were that easy. You’ll have to fight, out maneuver, and even work with your opponents if you want to come out on top. But what about the little guy, the independent oil maverick. Their efforts are admirable, but this a global game now. There’s no more room for the Wildcatters.
The grand council has convened and the outcome is clear. In order for our race to survive, we must reach for the stars. We must band together, we must forge ahead and define our destiny. The galaxy is vast, but we must not grow content. There are others who intend to encroach on our territory, but we have a trick up our sleeve. We have the Gaia Project.
Where is the line between imitation and flattery drawn? Nothing exists in a vacuum and in the world of board games that means that newer games are built upon the inventions and refinements of games past. It's perhaps unfair to ask every game to be unique and revolutionary, but the danger of being derivative always looms.
19th century Scotland. Change is in the air. Small farming villages are feeling the squeeze. What's a farmer to do but get with the times. People don't just want milk and grain anymore, they want processed goods. And what's all this fuss about whiskey? Lots of uncertainty lies ahead but one thing's certain, a tough road lies ahead for the Clans of Caledonia.
There's a recent trend in board gaming to introduce narrative elements via books and apps or permanent changes to the board. It's an attempt to marry the traditional narratives we see in books and movies that we are more familiar with to the board games we so enjoy.
I have too many board games. I know it. Perhaps you can relate. I wouldn't be much of an issue if it weren't for the physical footprint they occupy in my home. But it can't be escaped. Board games are physical beasts by their nature and it should be celebrated. A good game will not just simply exist in its physical space, but embrace it. Enter Tokyo Highway.
Why am I doing this? Why am I scrutinizing rulebooks and scouring rules forums? Why am I pushing these cubes, shuffling these cards, and flinging these coins? Am I having fun yet? Am I even supposed to be having fun? Have I been thinking about board games incorrectly all this time?!
With over 13 million people, Tokyo is one of the most populous cities in the world. It's also known for it's world-class public transport system. Trains rule the day, but automobiles still have their place. And now you've been tasked with building the infrastructure to accommodate them. It's up to you to build the Tokyo Highway.