Suburbia: Grow Your Town (and Your Reputation)

The suburbs are an idyllic slice of American life. With the charm and the simplicity of the country and the resources and connections of big cities, the suburbs truly are the best of both worlds. But as the city manager of your little suburban town, it’s your job to turn this meager little neighborhood into a sprawling metropolis!

Suburbia is a fun city-building strategy game in which players collect building tiles in an effort to build the most thriving and populated borough. One of the most dynamic features of the game is its inclusion of secret bonus objectives for each player, which change every game and ensure you’ll never play the same game twice. Suburbia is definitely one of those board games that stands up to repeat playing, as you’ll never get bored of its many twists and turns.

Building Income and Reputation

The goal of Suburbia is to plan, build, and develop your small town into a bustling metropolis. Players are given their own playing board that they’ll populate with hex-shaped building tiles. These building tiles represent different residential, commercial, civic, and industrial areas. You can buy generic buildings like factories or suburbs or buy a new building from the market with a special ability that you can take advantage of.

The more buildings you add to your board, the more income you’ll take in. This is the amount of money you receive each turn, which allows you to then buy even more buildings from the market. The longer a building is on the market, the cheaper it will be, so you may want to wait for the price to drop. Just make sure someone else doesn’t steal it out from underneath you first!

You’ll also build your reputation whenever you buy buildings, which earns you a certain number of victory points each turn. These victory points move you along the victory track and develop your community. However, you’ll encounter certain speedbumps on the victory track, which can negatively affect your stats and reduce your reputation and income.

Bonus Objectives

Suburbia has both public and secret bonus objectives that you’re trying to reach in order to earn points. Bonus objectives usually require you to have either the most or the least of a certain kind of building, which forces you to closely watch your opponents in order to see what they’re building. This makes the board game much more competitive and ensures the players are interacting a bit more.

In addition to adding building hexes to your board, you can also add lake hexes. These will earn you cash based on how close they are to other pieces on the board. Lastly, you can use investment markers to repurchase buildings you already have in order to reuse their special ability. You’ll have to navigate between buying building hexes, lake hexes, and investment markers if you want to win the game.

Suburbia Expansions

Suburbia comes with several expansions that move you out of the suburbs and into uncharted territory. Suburbia Inc allows you to define your borders in a new way, earning you additional benefits that can help you jettison ahead in the development of your metropolis. The expansion also comes with over a dozen additional buildings that you can buy as well as new Bonuses and Challenges to boost your income and reputation.

Suburbia 5 Stars turns your bustling town into a tourist destination, allowing you to build landmarks, monuments, and tourist traps in your city. These 50 new building tiles can all increase your reputation and income, while having an additional resource to manage can make the game more complex. This expansion to the original board game also allows an additional fifth player to take part in the fun.

Suburbia

Suburbia is playable by 1-4 players, which is perfect for either small families and friend groups or single-player fun. It’s suitable for ages 8 and up, so younger players can learn more about resource management and set collection with this fun board game. Playing time lasts around 90 minutes, so it’s definitely the kind of game you’ll want to make the centerpiece of any game night.

Buy Suburbia today and enjoy the power and fun of city management!

 

Terraforming Mars: Build a New World

Popular board games like Risk and Pandemic deal with the incredibly high stakes of worldwide catastrophe and war.  Terraforming Mars, however, leaves Earth behind completely in an effort to build a sustainable life on our closest neighboring planet.  In the 25th century, giant corporations seek to initiate projects to make Mars hospitable.  As players of the game, you’ll have to work together to achieve these goals while also earning points for your own commendable work.

Playing Cards

Terraforming Mars comes with over 200 different project cards that you can buy and use during each round.  These cards represent different projects that aid in your overall goal of terraforming Mars, including small things like introducing plant life or giant tasks such as mining the moons of planet Jupiter.  Some cards will also give you immediate bonuses or help boost your resource production.

While buying the cards comes with a small cost, the cost of putting them into play depends on the size of the project.  You’ll have to build up enough income to afford some of the costlier projects if you want to beat your fellow competitors and win the most victory points.

Terraforming Rating

Your Terraforming Rating is a special indicator that determines your victory point score, your income, and the amount of resources you produce.  Every time you perform an action that furthers the completion of one of the three main terraforming conditions, you’ll boost your Terraforming Rating and become that much more powerful.

Successfully Terraforming Mars

In each round, players go through three phases.  The first phase is the research phase, where each player is given the opportunity to buy randomly drawn cards.  Then, during the action phase, players can perform 1-2 actions such as playing a card, using the action of a card in play, or small tasks like converting heat into a temperature raise that slowly help to terraform Mars. 

While each player’s goal is to obtain victory points through buying cards and completing projects, the ultimate goal of Terraforming Mars is to complete the three terraforming conditions that make Mars habitable.  Once the oxygen level and temperature have both been raised to sufficient levels and enough of Mars has been covered by ocean, then the game ends.  Players will then count all of their points based on their Terraforming Rating and achievements, and the player with the highest score wins.

Terraforming Mars Expansions

Terraforming Mars comes with five unique expansions that add cool elements to the game such as the planet Venus or a Martian government.  With the Hellas and Elysium expansion, you’ll play with a new double-sided board that can make gameplay last for hours of fun.  The Venus Next expansion transports the game from Mars to Venus, as mankind’s colonization of the planets knows no bounds.

The Colonies expansion adds different areas around the solar system that players can use to produce resources without needing to play cards.  The Turmoil expansion adds the intriguing element of a Martian government that players can manipulate to achieve their own ends and earn elusive bonuses.  Several more expansions are currently in the works as Terraforming Mars continues to be a popular game for all kinds of players.

Terraforming Mars Is Out Of This World

Terraforming Mars can be played by anywhere from 1-5 players.  The fact that the game is so versatile means that you can enjoy it just as easily playing it on your own as you can with your entire family or friend group.  While there are many interesting elements and complex strategies involved with Terraforming Mars, it’s not too difficult to comprehend, and should be suitable for ages 12 and up. 

Terraforming Mars is a bit of an endeavor, as playing time usually lasts around 2 hours.  If you add one of the optional expansions to the mix, you may be looking at an entire night spent building cities and hurling asteroids.  Still, Terraforming Mars is certainly interesting enough that you won’t become tired of it before the game is over.  With a creative premise and endless potential for strategy, Terraforming Mars is one of the top strategy board games on the market.

 

 

How to Play Terraforming Mars

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