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Zoom In Chinatown
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Chinatown


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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 60 minutes 3-5

Designer(s): Karsten Hartwig

Manufacturer(s): Filosofia Editions, Z-Man Games

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Product Description

New York in the 1960's. A new wave of Chinese immigrants is moving into Chinatown. The adoption of the new immigration act has launched the district in a demographic boom! It now reaches Canal Street to the north and Bowery Street to the east. The immigrants, hard-working men and women, are arriving by the thousands to buy buildings, establish businesses and fulfill the American Dream!

In this game, you are one of them. With all your savings in hand, the Big Apple is up for grabs! Will you know how to use your talents and acquire the most extraordinary fortune in America?

The board represents the New York Chinatown of the mid-60's. It is divided into 6 districts containing buildings numbered from 1 to 85. A game is played over 6 rounds. In each round, the players receive income from the businesses they have managed to establish.

To generate the maximum income, shops of the same type need to be built on adjacent buildings. At the beginning of each round, players draw new Building cards and new Shop tiles. They must then use their negotiation skills to acquire adjacent buildings and establish businesses. But it is not always that easy...

In this game where everything can be negotiated, only the hard laws of the market prevail.

Zoom In Cover Image: Chinatown
Close Zoomed Image aChinatownb
Cover
Zoom In Photo 1 Image: Chinatown
Close Zoomed Image aChinatownb
Photo 1

Product Awards

The Dice Tower Awards
Best Game Reprint Nominee, 2008
International Gamers Awards
Best Strategy Game Nominee, 2000
Deutscher Spiele Preis
9th place, 1999
Spiel des Jahres
Nominee, 1999

Product Information

Contents:

  • 5 Player Aid cards
  • 85 Building cards
  • 84 Money cards
  • 90 Shop tiles
  • 1 First Player card
  • 150 Ownership markers
  • 1 Year marker
  • 1 game board
  • 1 linen bag
  • rules

Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 4.4 in 9 reviews


 
 
 
 
 
by Fred
Makes Monopoly Obsolete - Great!
November 03, 2001

One of the truly great benefits of the past 3-5 years' worth of German games is the rising intelligence and quality bar, the ever higher expectancy for great gaming that the consumer has been educated with. We have all (at least, many of us) sat through hours of Monopoly, knowing full well that someone with a complete set was going to skin us alive sooner or later. There was nothing we could do. Or if you had the upper hand, you could have watched TV while the dice kept their interminable rolls, the outcome as certain as death and taxes. And games like Monopoly, etc. did precious little to allow or encourage 'come from behind' strategies, or kingmaker, or develop skills much beyond the ability to score some lucky dice rolls.

Then comes Chinatown, as an obvious antithesis and replacement. It allows and encourages negotiation for properties and content, continues to stress basic math skills, provides (albeit with drab artwork) a board-wide suspense (as opposed to the 15-20 times around the track for your shoe). It is also very cheap, considering the game has now paid for itself many times over the past few decades. It's a really good deal with gamers in mind, first and foremost, and for that I am grateful. My two little kids won't be exposed to Monopoly in my household... they'll go straight through to Chinatown.

Why 5 stars? Because of high replayability, ease of learning, and value. It could have been prettier (it's not Tikal), but I don't know how to suggest that without making all the activity on the gameboard more confusing. After you play this one, you (like me) may one day take a second look at the so called 'classic board games' and scratch your head. I think advertising and distribution are the only reasons Chinatown doesn't sell tons. Its appeal is so wide, it's a shame, really.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Super
November 02, 2000

As a purely negotiating game, this is not to everyone's taste. After all, you get to play a salesman in this game, promising the world while looking out only for yourself.

The fact that the game is so quick (or should be if you don't have dawdlers) makes it a member of the 5-star club. If the game takes more than 45 minutes, you're missing the spirit and probably not having such a good time. So, sit down, lie, cheat, steal, and do it quickly. That way, your deceit may go undetected and for those not so adept, the misery will be over soon.

The only problem with the play mechanic is that you have to meticulously keep the used cards separate from the leftovers which are to be added back to the deck. One player slipping up on this bit of paperwork can bring the game to a screeching halt.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Diplomacy minus war!
July 31, 2000

This is a really intense game. I'd describe it as the non-wargame version of Diplomacy. Players negotiate to get control of connected territory, businesses to put on that territory, and money. Others have given excellent reviews on how the game plays, so I won't duplicate their efforts. I'll just say that anyone who enjoys wheeling & dealing will want a copy of this game.

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

Show all 9 reviews >

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