When I was growing up, I was TERRIBLE at SimCity. To be fair, I tried it when I was like 9 or 10 and had only just begun to even learn how to operate a computer running Windows. I did my best to build up my cities in a balanced way, but something always messed up, caught on fire, fell apart, was invaded by zombies, infested with tri-horned rats… you know, I might have had a bootleg copy of that game.
Anyway, my city building skills were subpar in that game, but with Quadropolis from Days of Wonder, they might as well give me a civil engineering degree because I’m building and organizing like whoa. My residential buildings are bringing in all kinds of interesting and fun people. My shops have only the classiest of items – like, shirts with full sleeves and junk. And my parks – well, let’s just say that Frederick Law Olmstead would give me a medal (Google it and learn something).
We Built This City on Rock n’ Roll
Quadropolis tasks two to four players with building up their own metropolises (metropoli?) consisting of houses, parks, factories, harbors, and more. Over four rounds, you’ll be picking up tiles from a central grid and moving them to your own personal grid that represents your city.
I like the way that you acquire new tiles. Rather than just pick what you want, you need to use little architect markers that are labeled from one to four. On your turn, you’ll place one of these outside of a row or column on the central grid. You will then count the numbers of spaces on the marker into the grid, and pick up that tile. This mechanism means that you won’t get your hands on all of the tiles you really want, and if you’re not careful and don’t strategize carefully, you’ll end up with tiles that you can’t even use.
When it comes to placing on your personal player board, you’ve got a couple of things to consider. Each row and column are numbered one to four, and when placing a tile, it has to be in a row or column that matches the architect number you used to acquire the tile.
In addition, each type of building scores in different ways. Harbors, for instance, score based on the longest row or column you have of them. Parks, on the other hand, score based on the number of residential buildings nearby. You’ll need to plan carefully in order to maximize your points, while simultaneously being ready to adjust if you’re unable to get the tiles you are wanting.
All of this building and developing works the same through all four rounds, and at the end of the game the person with the most points wins!
Take Me Down to Paradise City
While building and planning a city might sound like a somewhat dull theme, the fantastic artwork in this game makes it so approachable. It has a cartoonish realism to it. All the characters seem so nice and friendly that you’re ready to buy a house yourself in this new town. And as we mentioned before in one of our featured articles, we greatly appreciate the equal presence of women in the role of architects in the game.
Now the major game mechanic really is simple and repetitive, but it’s the variety in the scoring that leads to all the strategic fun of this game. You’ll spend each round pondering over how to maximize your score while trying to prevent your opponents from racking up points of their own. You’ll have a plan in place, but once another player grabs that one tile you needed so badly, you’ll need to get a little creative to make something work.
Living for the City
Some players may struggle with the spatial reasoning element of the game, and that’s understandable. Players must look at the main board and consider all the options they can choose from based on their remaining architects. They must then decide where on their personal grid each of the possible options could fit. With all of this taking place without being able to move the pieces, it’s understandable that some players may become frustrated. However, it’s not overly complex, and the players I know that struggle with this find Quadropolis much easier to handle than, say, Patchwork.
All in all, Days of Wonder has put out another fine product with Quadropolis. And when I think of the possible audience, it seems to have a lot of overlap with their more famous game, Ticket to Ride. I think the theme is very accessible to most people. I believe the mechanics are simple enough to quickly learn, but that there is enough strategy to hold your attention for several playthroughs. The only issue that could arise is with the spatial reasoning elements, and even that won’t be a deal breaker for most people.
So if you feel you’ve become tired of the journey with Ticket to Ride or you’ve done all the settling of Catan you can do, maybe it’s to try something new. And maybe that something is Quadropolis.
You can pick up a copy of Quadropolis on Amazon or at your favorite local game store!
- Simple to teach
- Several paths to victory
- Great art
- Great gender representation
- Folks that struggle with spatial reasoning will have a tough time