Friday, May 31, 2013

Urban Sprawl : One big urban mess

Huge swings, lotsa randomness, definitely not Dominant Species
Its been some time (almost 8 months) since I last played this and in this session, I am reminded why I had to sell this game. From the designer of Dominant Species, I had really wanted to like this game as I liked Dominant Species quite a bit (the iOS version now is EXCELLENT as you can play a game vs 5 AI in very short time!) but unfortunately this session confirmed why this game has fell out of my collection.

 The biggest problem with this game and especially felt in this session is RANDOMNESS. There is just too much of it. Especially if the cards were not shuffle well enough. So there's randomness of the draw of the cards (depending on how you shuffled). There is randomness with the events effects (reminds me of Archipelago) and finally, there's randomness in the effects on the buildings. Even if you remove the events, there is still the randomness of the building effects to contend with though I am not sure if that will make for a slightly better game.
This is also the first time I experienced the big big point swings. Jon managed to grab 24 points from Dion through 1 effect and that really killed Dion's chances to win. Though you can probably negate this by having enough money to pay but given events are really hard to predict and there are a lot of them, its quite hard to prepare for them.
Reading through my older posts in my other blog, I wrote that this is an epic game and with 3 it felt really good and I won with 177 points. This session however all that feeling is gone. Its possible the setup (cards and events appearing) caused a lot of the grief because we ended the town phase a bit too early and the media's powers were not that obvious this time. So if you think that you can handle the randomness, give it a go. For me however, I think Suburbia is that Simcity game that I have been looking for. Not Recommended.

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