Colorful Burano from Board Game Circus, Copenhagen from Queen Games, Kensington from Piatnik and now also Porto from Mebo Games: In recent months, numerous board games have been released that are dedicated to the subject of house building. With this article I start to introduce these games and give an overview of these games.
The first game I would like to give an overview of is Porto by Mebo for two to four players, ages eight and up. The latest game in this series caught my eye at Messe Stuttgart because it has a great illustrated cover. The graphic designer for this game is Luis Levy Lima and the author is Orlando Sá.
Graphics with a love of detail - clearly structured
The game is themed in the Ribeira district in Porto, Portugal. This district is known for its colorful house facades. The aim of this game is to build a street with colorful houses.
You can already enjoy yourself when you spread out the game board. Its design resembles a hidden object picture on which there are lots of details to discover. At the top is the victory point track, underneath are placeholders for the roof parts, which also serve as counters for the end of the game. Under the roofs there is space for the display of the “public contracts”.
The fields of the house parts on the street on which we are allowed to build in the course of the game are preprinted under the “Public contracts”. At the bottom of the game board are the placeholders for the building card display, the building card stack and the building card tray.
Strategic game with easily accessible rules
The gameplay is simple. You have the choice between two actions: either take up to three cards or build house tiles. If you decide to take cards, you can take up to three cards, but the number of points must not exceed three. If you want to build house tiles, you have to hand over two cards. With one card you determine the color of the house tiles and with the second card the number of tiles.
The building rules are as follows: every house begins with a ground floor. This may only be placed on a free building site. Each house can only be built with tiles of one color and neighboring houses must have different colors.
The tiles of a move must be placed next to the same house. Until then, everything is very simple. At the beginning of the game there are victory point markers (values between one and four) on the ground floor spaces, which are removed as soon as a ground floor is built.
You can mark these victory points on the victory point track and place the marker on a free roof space of your choice. If you build a roof later you receive victory points for this marker again. You also get victory points for placing the house tiles and also for house tiles that are already there, as well as for neighboring tiles.
At the beginning of the game, each player receives “private mission cards” which bring victory points if they have been fulfilled by the end of the game. During the game you can fulfill “public mission cards” and also collect victory points. The game ends when a prescribed number of roofs has been built. This varies depending on the number of players. The available building sites also vary according to the number of players.
Number of players: 2 to 4 players
Age: from 8 years
Playing time: 50 minutes
Publisher: Mebo Games
Author: Orlando Sá
Graphic: Luis Levy Lima
Year of publication: 2019
Language: German, English, Portuguese, Spanish
Cost: 38 Euro
Despite the simple rules, the game has a certain depth and you should think carefully about your moves. The board game runs very smoothly and there is no boredom. If there are waiting times, it is fun to explore the many sometimes amusing details of the game board. The game also has a solo version. Due to the easily comprehensible, but still efficient motivation, the game is well suited for both casual and frequent gamers.
The game material is of high quality. The only drawback is the playing cards, which stick together very strongly the first time they are played and are therefore difficult to mix.