Suare city planning
Tower Blocks, harbors and parks
The name of the game gives us the shape of our city, we have square city maps, a square Construction Site for buildings, and of course also square buildings. Those 142 buildings come in six types – Tower Blocks, Shops, Public Services, Parks, Factories and Harbors. Each of them is marked with symbols for the type, for the resources it gives you when built and the resources that you need to activate the building for victory points. Some buildings also show victory points. Tower blocks can be stacked.
At this point I need to mention how buildings are scored at the end because this heavily influences the choice of buildings to take. All buildings are scored only at the end of the game, but only when they were activated by placing the necessary resources on them, and in relation to other factors like number of identical buildings, placement of buildings and types of adjacent buildings, whereby diagonally adjacent buildings are not considered to be adjacent.
To set up the standard game you need to sort the building tiles according to the big numbers on their back sides, they indicate the round in which the buildings are used. Then each player takes a city tableau, offering 16 building sites in four quarters, a scoring summary and his four architects, who are numbered from #1 to #4. Those architects are the engine of the game – their use determines the buildings which I can take and also the location on which I can place them in my city, and they are also the cause of interaction, as only one architect is possible at a given slot.
For the first round a starting player is chosen and the building tiles for Round 1 are put into the bag. 25 tiles are randomly drawn and placed face-down on the Construction Site board. Then you turn over all tiles or the tiles marked for the current number of players.
Now each player, beginning with the starting player, has one move in turn, four moves per round, with each move comprising four parts:
- Take a building: You select one of your architects and place him next to a row or column of the Construction Site, the slot must be empty and the architect cannot point at the Urbanist. The number of the architect and the slot where you place him determine the building tile that you have to take – Architect #1 at row 3 means that you take the first tile in the third row. This is a compulsory step, you must place your architect, even if that results in an empty square or if you have to take a building that you do not want.
- Then you place the Urbanist onto the square determined by the architect and take the tile. This blocks up to four possible slots for an architect of the next player.
- Now you can place the building into your city, the number of the architect you used determines the row or column; in case of a building that can be stacked you can also use the level corresponding to the number of the architect. If you cannot place the building or do not want to, you can discard it.
- As the fourth step you then take Inhabitants or Energy Units as indicated on the newly placed building.
Resources can be placed on buildings at any time in the game, they can also be relocated at any time to activate buildings. Tower Blocks only need the resources indicated on the top tile to be activated.
Whoever builds the unique Tower Block of a round is starting player for the next one.
When all players have played their four moves, the Construction Site is cleared and you again draw 25 tiles randomly from the tiles for the current round and you again play four moves for each player in turn.
After four such rounds the game is scored; before scoring all players have a last chance to rearrange resources within their city or to place them in the city to activate buildings. Buildings themselves can never be relocated.
For the scoring of the individual types of buildings in relation to their numbers, their neighboring buildings, levels of Tower Blocks, etc., there is a very good and practical summary for each player, therefore I do not list the scoring values here. You must only remember that each unplaced Inhabitant gives you one penalty point, as does each unplaced Energy Unit.
First of all, let me mention the unequivocally positive aspects of the game as there are: High quality components, very well-structured and concise rules, the game is simple to play and allows easy access. This is supplemented by a well-constructed box inlay for the components and scoring summaries for each player. So all in all, an ideal family game or a game for beginners. If you play it for the first time you have no real disadvantage, the scoring information is in the summaries and there are no up-cropping interactions between buildings or effects triggered by buildings that need to be considered during the game – you choose, take and place a building into your city.
Quadropolis works, undoubtedly, opinions on the game, however, did vastly diverge in our rounds. Some players like the element of a certain unpredictability that starts with the randomly drawn selection of tiles and continues in the increasingly restricted options for architects and building placement with each turn and round, some claim that they are being played by the game.
Others love the puzzle character of the game – what will I place where, how can I get as many resources as possible without squandering buildings on them, how do I use my resources best to activate rewarding combinations in case I did manage to acquire them and to place them accordingly. Enough decisions, in a way, provided I can implement them.
Some complain about the lack of interaction, others think there is enough of it, given the actions of other players that remove a tile or block it for me.
For me there is a way out of that dilemma, which is playing the expert version of the game! This version introduces two new types of buildings – Office Towers and Monuments – and you use the back side of the city tableaus which feature five districts. Districts and and also squares in the districts are numbered and you can place a building on a square with the number of your architect or on any free square in a district of this number. There are now five architects accordingly, #1 to #5, and architects are now used with their gray side and therefore do not belong to a given player anymore. All architects now form a common pool from which you take one for each turn and you can take the same number more than once in a turn! This vastly increases my options for decisions!
Dagmar de Cassan
Designer: Francois Gandon
Artist: Sabrina Miramon, Cyrille Daujean
Price: ca. 40 Euro
Publisher: Days of Wonder 2016
Genre: City building, tile placement
Users: For families
Rules: cz de en es fr it kr nl pl
In-game text: no
Options diminish in the course of the game
More possibilities in the expert version
Suburbia and other urban planning games, Targi for the Architect mechanism
ADC Blackfire, Rebel.pl (cz pl), Days of Wonder (en fr it kr), Edge Entertainment (es)
My rating: 4
Dagmar de Cassan:
Undoubtedly a game that works well and also a game that polarizes opinion! Some love it, some dislike it, so try it for yourself!
Chance (pink): 2
Tactic (turquoise): 2
Strategy (blue): 0
Creativity (dark blue): 0
Knowledge (yellow): 0
Memory (orange): 0
Communication (red): 0
Interaction (brown): 2
Dexterity (green): 0
Action (dark green): 0