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Big City
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Big City

international edition

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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 45-70 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Franz-Benno Delonge

Publisher(s): Valley Games

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Product Description

In Big City, players take the role of a competing city planner and builder, each attempting to build a small town into a booming metropolis. But each player will have a different vision for the city’s development, and competition can be fierce!

Big City is played in different neighborhoods, whose position can change each game. Each player is given control of different building sites throughout the city, onto which they can construct buildings of different sizes and point values. To be truly successful, players must attempt to acquire adjacent plots of land, in order to build larger and more valuable buildings. After all, a player’s vision must be more than just a single house on every corner! Build houses, cinemas, postal offices, malls, banks and the newly added highrises and hospitals. Add an LRT line to increase the value of your buildings even more!

This new Valley Games edition features two new buildings (hospital and highrise) to challenge each player to build bigger and better.

Product Information

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4 in 12 reviews

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The biggest family fun!
June 26, 2001

Yes, this game has a fair dose of luck, and, yes, I really did rate this game 5 stars. When I think about games that I have played that have been totally overlooked, 3 come to mind: [page scan/se=0908/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Entdecker, Manitou, and Big City. I don't know why Big City isn't one of the best selling games around. It is medium complexity, accessible to non-gamers, interesting enough that even my 'gamer' game group enjoys playing it, and it has really cool bits. Replayability is ultra-high with this game as it is completely modular--and that quality alone ought to interest anyone making a game purchase.

As far as family games go, this is one of the best, maybe very nearly the best. This game is a bit hard to learn initially (with all the different building scoring), but the player aid card they provide is so well designed that you could start playing the game immediately, have everyone just read their player aid card, and they could manage it quite well.

I can't say enough good stuff about this game. I would recommend this to every family as their first game purchase--even before Settlers of Catan. Settlers has more complexity, but can only be played by 3 or 4 players (Big City is 2-5) and Settlers doesn't play all that well with 4.

Big City has all the right parts to be a family classic. Only the lack of shelf space at your local Toys R Us for quality games keeps Big City from such lofty status. Big City, Entdecker, and Bohnanza are no-brainers for family game nights.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Big City, Big Praise
April 16, 2001

While many of the critiques in the reviews stated herein are valid, I don't think that the 'random' element makes the game any less enjoyable. Having played this game more than a couple of times, it takes a bit of luck, planning, and skill, to really do well. In one game, I'd hoarded a bunch of cards for one neighborhood. I was ready to plop down my various businesses and (hopefully) a shopping mall and a church. Not satisfied with the plots I had, I spent time building the trolley line out to my neighberhood. While this occurred, one of my competitors decided to play the large industrial complex right in the middle of the neighborhood (as in, 'there goes the neighborhood...'). I was wiped out. I had to turn in 3 cards, and the rest were nearly useless single plots with depreciated value. Luck? Oh, yeah (bad for me). Skill? Well, my opponent caught me hoarding and saw what I was up to. Planning? Definitely. And did we have fun? Oh yeah. While it's not a pure gamer's game, it's worth the time to play it, and it's very fun. It's also nice because there are multiple strategies for winning (score early, score often; build the trolley line; hoard spaces; etc...) Give this one a play!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Better than Carcassonne
April 08, 2001

This game reminds me of a meatier Carcassone with scoring that is somehow more complex, but easier to track. Indeed, both games have a similar scoring track. I think the key difference is that when you place your Big City buildings (which equate essentially to the tiles in Carcassonne), you immediately score the points instead of waiting for another event to be completed, or waiting to the end of the game as in the case of the farmers. This factor allows you to have better control over the placement of your buildings, and consequently, better planning for the endgame.

I disagree with previous reviewers frowning upon the loss of points for the placement of City Hall and Streetcars. Yes, you lose some points in the short run, but these tiles are the prerequisite for the truly grand plans of a master city-builder. In other words, not a game for the short-sighted.

The SimCity-ish theme melds perfectly with the gameplay (my son loves the idea of building up a mini-city). All this plus awesome bits makes for a great game.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

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