Manhattan Review

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Manhattan (FoxMind Games

The city is growing and with it so are your chances of fame and fortune! Will you build the tallest tower? Scatter your projects far and wide? Compete to control neighborhoods? Wide-eyed developers line every street here in Manhattan, it’s time to make your name known!

There are two simple components in the game of Manhattan. First are the player Building Blocks, varying in size from 1 to 4 stories and quantity with less available of the taller blocks. Second are the Building Cards that each illustrate a space inside of the six Neighborhood grids where players can build up their Building Blocks. Over four rounds, players compete for the tallest tower, control of neighborhoods and having the most buildings throughout the city! Easy enough, but wait until the blocks start being built!

At the start of each round, players select the 6 Building Blocks they want to use that time. This is determined by looking at the four Building Cards they currently have and considering what they hope to accomplish and what they speculate their opponents are trying to accomplish. There are no rules about the order or secrecy of Building Block selection, but depending on your gaming group you may want to address this as noticing what another player is selecting can be very telling.

After the Building Blocks are selected, players take turns playing Building Cards to place their blocks and then drawing a new Building Card to end their turn. Building Blocks can be placed on top of opponent’s Building Blocks, provided you will then have at least as many stories as your opponent. After all Building Blocks have been placed for the round, points are scored for the player who tops the tallest tower (3 points), who has majority control in a Neighborhood (2 points each), and for each tower they currently top (1 point each). After four rounds, all Building Blocks will have been played and the player with the most points wins!

Winning the Spiele des Jahres in 1994, the year before Settlers of Catan sucked all of the air out of the room, FoxMind has done a wonderful job in reissuing this somewhat overlooked classic game. The drab and dated opaque blocks have been replaced with shinning and transluscent window lined tower segments that fit smartly together for stacking your towers high. Simple to explain, pick up on and play, there’s still plenty of thinking and second-guessing of that thinking to make for a fun half-hour or so. (FoxMind Games) by David C. Obenour