Author Reiner Knizia has been known in the game industry for many years. In 2005 he published the game "Heck Meck am Bratwurmeck" at Zoch Verlag, which has now become an absolute classic. There is even a Heck-Meck World Championship every year. Now comes the step into the modern age: Legacy is a trend that even author legend Reiner Knizia cannot escape. My City from KOSMOS is fun, lots of players and our author Nicole. She reveals why this is so in the following review.

My City nominated for Game of the Year 2020

Now the new game by Reiner Knizia "My City" is on the Nomination list for the game of the year 2020. "My City" belongs to the group of legacy games. A game system like this evolves with every round: new rules are added, the game board is modified and new game material is added over and over again.

This time everything is broken down to the level of family games. This is not a shortcoming, but it can leave frequent gamers in particular unmotivated, because there is not much background. My City manages without a large introductory and accompanying story. In principle, this does not detract from the fun of the game.

The legacy city building game is divided into eight chapters. A sealed cover is provided for each chapter, which is opened at the beginning of the chapter. This envelope contains the rules of the game and various materials, such as stickers or new buildings. Each chapter is played over three game rounds and each round has a duration of about 30 minutes.

A great game for legacy newbies, but also lovers

The great thing about My City is that Reiner Knizia starts with a very low set of rules and is therefore also suitable for infrequent players. Each player receives his own player board at the beginning of the game. It is advisable to always play the game with the same line-up, since every player develops his tableau. In order to win the round, the first and second placed player can color points for progress on his player board. This is best done with permanent fiber-tip pens that are not included with the game.

Everyone is the builder of an individual city. Photo: Nicole Zeller

At the start of the game, each player also receives 24 building parts in three colors and a marker for their scoring track. The first envelope will be opened. The basic rules are very simple. In the middle of the table is a stack of 24 building cards.

Each round a card is turned over and all players take the printed component from their supply. This must now be installed on the player board. The first part has to be laid on the river. It must not be placed on the river. It may only be built on light green fields. The individual trees printed on should not be overbuilt. These give points at the end of the round if they are free. If possible, you should build over stones, these count towards minus points at the end of the round. Starting with the second building tile, you must always build an adjacent building tile.

When the deck of cards has been played through, everyone has built their 24 building tiles. You can also forego building individual building tiles and give one point on the scoring track for this. At the end of the round, points are then awarded according to the rule and the winner of the round is determined. Depending on their placement, players receive progress points or stickers.

My City: Planning is good, flexibility is better

Since we always have the supply of building tiles in mind, the players can plan ahead and weigh them up. But time and again the game throws a spanner in the works here. Sometimes the construction cards come in an unfavorable order or chapter rules suddenly prevent the installation of certain individual parts.

Individual display of the components

New rules are already added in game two. The game increases in complexity and difficulty level as the chapters progress. There are always catch-up mechanisms that try to support players who are behind. From chapter to chapter the players eagerly await opening the covers and be amazed at what new rules and game material are waiting for them. “My City” is never boring and the replay appeal is high. The great thing about "My City" is that the player boards have a back on which you can continue playing at the end of the eight chapters. This makes it possible to play individual games that are decoupled from the legacy mode.

The material is a great argument in legacy games. Whoever buys such a board game usually supports the opposite of careful use of resources. Each player has to decide for himself whether one wants to carry the system, a sweeping swing with the moral club is out of place. However, one should be informed about the fact that My City is also a “throwaway” board game.

Infobox

Number of players: 2 to 4 players
Age: from 10 years
Playing time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: medium
Long-term motivation: medium

Publisher: Kosmos
Author: Reiner Knizia
Graphic: Michaela Kienle
Illustration: Michael Menzel

Year of publication: 2020
Language: German
Cost: 35 euros

Conclusion on My City

The game is a lot of fun, so the first concise conclusion. Even if one or the other teammate tends to ponder, the waiting times of the players are rather short, since everyone is laying down at the same time and like to spend the short breaks planning ahead. The new rules in each chapter always come as a A4 sheet and can then be added to the basic game instructions. So the whole thing remains clear. The long-term motivation is good, the tension in the next chapter is great and the game always invites you to new rounds. 

My City is not reinventing the wheel, but it is making it rounder. Building a city out of puzzle pieces is like building something out of puzzle pieces in the board game field. The theme of the game is basically interchangeable. Nevertheless: My City manages to get family gamers excited about the genre and at the same time is more than just a door opener. 

However, My City is not entirely free of weaknesses. The further the game progresses, the greater the chaos of tasks that need to be completed. In the worst case, the overview is fluffy, in the best case you are just a little annoyed by the “work” that you have to do. It doesn't end as simple and shallow as My City begins. This is good for those players who appreciate a certain standard - here, however, more on the management than on the complexity level. Supporters of the target group could be overwhelmed. 

The determination of the winner is also not always comprehensible. Regarding the rules, everything works as it should, but sometimes the feeling arises that the winner shouldn't have been the winner because of his performance. Coupled with the predictability of the bonus-malus system then sometimes causes frustration. Nevertheless, the grumbling is at a high level: My City is convincing in almost all areas. That Reiner Knizia would fail in the legacy area was not to be expected anyway. Especially not when it comes to the use of geometric shapes.


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