Friday, December 20, 2013

Return to Blue Moon

As I mentioned in the review for Aladdin's Dragons, we tend to favor adventure games, and adventure games are frequently fairly violent, with players competing to outrace or just annihilate one another, or cooperating to avoid being crushed by hoards of aliens or a power-hungry tentacled horror. While all this action and death can lead to some thrilling gaming, sometimes it's nice to build something for a change. And this leads us to Blue Moon City.

Set in the same universe (and ingeniously using much of the same artwork) as Blue Moon, Blue Moon City takes place after the conflict depicted in the previous game, as the citizens of Blue Moon work together to rebuild their capital city. A grid of tiles representing the buildings of Blue Moon City is laid out, and players travel from tile to tile using spending cards to place resources on the tiles. When a tile fills up, the building gets built, and players are rewarded with crystals, dragon scales, and cards, based on how much they contributed.

In addition to buying spaces on the building tiles, cards can be played for game effects, the most important of which is moving the three dragons around the board. If a player places a resource on a building tile while a dragon is there, that player is rewarded with a dragon scale. When the supply of scales is exhausted, they are traded in for crystals; the player with the most scales gets more crystals than the other players, and all the scales are returned to the supply.

Players spend their crystals to buy spaces on an obelisk board; the first player to buy a certain number of spaces (determined by the number of players) wins the game. Like most games by renowned designer Reiner Knizia, the gameplay is deceptively simple and gives players a lot to think about during the game.

Rating: 4 (out of 5) This game plays just as well with two as it does with three or four, which is rare for a board game. It's also a great game to introduce non-gamers to, with relatively simple rules and good-looking, high quality components.

Date played: December 1, 2013

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