Today I’m looking at another city building game. However it only shares it’s theme with my previous city build game, Suburbia. Everything else is totally different. It feels fresher and more streamlined. It’s certainly easier to get into.
Quadropolis is the 2016 release from Days of Wonder. They only release 1 game a year and it’s usually excellent. This year is no exception.
For the TL;DR version click here.
Opening the Box
Specs on the box
- 2-4 players
- Ages 8+
- 30-60 minutes
Days of Wonder, in my experience, puts a lot of attention to detail into their games and it shows here. The components are just great. All of the tiles are nice and chunky, the meeples look really cool and the art work is a treat. If I could complain about something it would be the boards, they just feel a little flimsy. Although, they do not need to be durable as they won’t really take much of a beating.
The rules are well laid out with nice examples and make learning the game easy. There is even mention to NOT throw your punch cards away when you are done with them as they will help keep your box nice and neat if you store it vertically.
I have said that Quadropolis is a city building game. Each player needs to not only build up their section of the city but also do some town planning. Buildings need to be grouped into certain positions in order to score points but you also need to have people in them and to power them.
It sounds like a lot of work but Quadropolis makes it feel easy. It’s not as deep as Suburbia but it is not supposed to be.
Getting the game out is not difficult. Setup is slightly different for the normal and advanced and advanced version of the game but not by much. I’ll discuss the normal game here.
Each player will receive a player board on which to build their city and a set of architect tokens. The construction site, aka building tile, board is placed within easy reach of everyone as are the meeples, energy tokens and the urbanist and first player markers.
The toughest part is sorting out the tiles. Depending on the number of players certain tiles need to be removed from the game. The rest are supposed to be placed in a back and then drawn out and placed on the buildings board.
I find it easier to take the tiles for the turn and shuffle them face down. Then start filling up the board. If you place a tile for the incorrect player count just remove it and replace it. Then flip all of the tiles over and you are done.
Each player has 4 architects numbered 1 – 4. At the start of your turn you will place 1 of them at an edge of the construction site board. Then you will count a number of spaces into the grid the same as the number on your architect and grab that building tile. The tile you grab is replaced by the urbanist.
You only have 2 restrictions when placing your architect, it cannot point at the urbanist and you cannot place your architect over an architect that is already in play. Otherwise you are free to grab any tile for which you have an architect that can reach it.
Once you have a tile you will need to place it onto your player board. Different sections of your board are bound to your different architects. This means that you can only place your tile into a row or column that matches the number of the architect used to get that tile.
This creates a nice little puzzle. Each tile will score points for you base on which other tiles are next to it. So you need to carefully plan which tiles to grab in a turn and which architect to grab them with.
Once you place your tile you will be granted extra residents (meeples) for your little city and or power (energy) that is generated by that tile. Energy is used to power the buildings in your city. A store cannot operate without power and the store won’t sell anything if there’s no meeples inside shopping. Different buildings will have different requirements.
Once everyone has used all of their architect s the construction site is cleared and setup for a new round of play. The game lasts for 4 rounds and then the player whose city scores the most points wins. Don’t forget that left over power and meeples are waste and count as negative points!
Easy to learn. Check.
Makes you think. Check.
Good components. Check
Good as a gateway game. Check.
Quadropolis really does check all the right boxes. It’s a fun, good looking game and it great for players of all ages. It’s a nice way to spend a family games night. I personally, won’t be buying it myself. Suburbia is a bit heaver, it requires a bit more brain power and for me that provides a better challenge. It also has a solo option which is a plus in my book. The games don’t play the same but the theme is incredibly similar. So I cannot help but make the comparison.
There is an element of being able to block other players in Quadropolis. The positioning of the urbanist and your architect can give you a few moments of pause but on the whole that hardly happens and it is very family friendly.
The advanced game really isn’t much more difficult than the normal game. It adds to the game rather than making it more complex. There is a shared pool of architects and your player board changes shape making tile placement a bit trickier. Unless you have young kids at home, you could just play with the advanced rules from the word go.
Can I play this at a Braai?
Easily. There’s nothing much for you to do between turns bar planning so you can spare a few minutes to go and turn the chops 😉 The game also plays fairly quickly and you can reset for round 2 without a much effort.