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San Francisco Cable Car
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San Francisco Cable Car

reworked version of Metro

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Product Awards:  
Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Game Nominee, 2011

Ages Play Time Players
8+ 45-60 minutes 2-6

Designer(s): Dirk Henn

Publisher(s): Queen, Asmodee North America

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Product Description

Each player conducts their own cable car company and tries to expand their network. Victory points are awarded for each destination station connected to a player's line. Who will finally be the owner of the most successful cable car company?

Cable-Car-Company Expansion:
Being shareholders, the players build the rail network of all the cable car companies and buy their shares. For each completed line the respective cable car company gains profit points. Profit points determine the value of the shares which the players obtain during the game.

Who will have the most valuable shares and win the game?

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Game Nominee, 2011

Product Information

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.8 in 15 reviews

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by Wendy
One of my favourites!
May 17, 2004

Excellent tile game.

Try to make your train tracks the longest while containing your opponents. Land your track onto one of the four middle squares and you get double points. The best moves are those that advance your train while ending theirs.

Lots of thought goes into this. Excellent game, fun bits.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
by Emory
Good for kids
October 17, 2003

Well, I was looking for a game my wife and I could play with our 5-year-old, and this certainly falls into that category.

As for strategy, there are some that work, but in the end winning may be beyond your control (which is actually a good thing when you're playing with small children and want them to have a chance to win)...the placement of tiles by other players really can't be strategized against (unlike in Carcasonne).

Another weakness is the end game....some players may have had all their routes finished, and are basically behind the other players. So what do they do? The rules don't say.

On the other hand, there is something very mathematical and pretty about the route will ever go unfinished, based on the way the tiles are laid out, and two starting (or end) points can never be connected. Those facts, combined with the visual appeal, make this worth playing if you're not really high-strung about strategies and winning.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Gorgeous spaghettiesque game, just a few kinks
May 12, 2003

Metro is a game with many strengths, but also a few weaknesses. The play is fast and elegant, offering numerous but manageable options on each turn. The construction of the game is sturdy and the artwork is stunning. (The tiles themselves are of similar material as in 'Streetcar', but larger, and you don't have to worry about picking them back up off the board later on, which is where 'Streetcar' can get messy.) On the flip side, it can be difficult to make out some routes once the board starts getting full (although that could, I guess, be considered part of the strategic challenge); and it's possible for a player to have all their stations scored well before the game ends, in which case they still place tiles but unless they're far ahead, this seems an empty exercise.

I feel that Metro works better the fewer players you have, because the more stations you begin with, the less upsetting it is to have stations abruptly cut off with 2-point routes (which can be done fairly easily). If you only have a handful of stations to begin with, you could find yourself almost hopelessly out of the running after only a few rounds if most of them are abruptly completed by other players.

I do like that every tile can potentially go anywhere on the board, which gives it a different flavour than most other tile-laying games. There are no branches in the tracks, though, so every station will always lead to just one other spot. It's tempting to think of each numbered pair around the board as one 'station', but as illustrated on the back of the box, a given player only 'owns' the half of each pair that their station piece actually occupies. So despite appearances, you can't have situations where one player's station connects to more than one end point.

The rules specify that new tiles must attach to the edge or to existing tiles; also, that a directional arrow on the tile be lined up with arrows on the board. This helps reduce the choices per turn to a reasonable amount, although players are always free to attempt a game where tiles can be put anywhere, in any orientation, if they want to really flirt with madness.

The rules also suggest rotating station pieces when they are scored, but I found it much less confusing to just remove the pieces altogether: it was then much clearer to see how many remaining unfinished routes everyone had, and also to spot completed routes that had been overlooked and not scored (which is fine, since it makes no difference in the end what order points are tabulated in).

The troubles with the game are minor ones (although early elimination, if it happens, is an exception), and Metro does provide an entertaining and engaging challenge. The few flaws may keep it from being an 'essential' game, but it's still a handsome and interesting addition to a collection.

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

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