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Kevin Klemme
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Outback Crossing Review

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We Built My City With Polyominoes - Review

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08 Oct 2020 11:43 #314916 by Michael Barnes
Playing a Reiner Knizia game published by Kosmos creates a...

A fun game with a terrible tagline.

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08 Oct 2020 13:17 #314922 by WadeMonnig
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08 Oct 2020 13:25 - 08 Oct 2020 13:27 #314923 by ubarose
Just seeing the phrase "Manifest Destiny" transports me back to high school, with by BFF Margie Taylor poking me with a pencil to keep me awake, and Mrs. Blair said, "Ladies, are you okay back there? Does someone need to go to the nurse?" (which was polite code for "behave or I will send you out of the room"), while Stephanie Waddle looked on in disapproval.
Last edit: 08 Oct 2020 13:27 by ubarose.
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08 Oct 2020 20:45 #314935 by mc
Yeah it's an odd one.
I lean towards it being an naive translation.
If the game involved, say, only building up from one side of the square in an east -> west kind of way, there might be pause for thought.
I tend to find putting individual buildings into a little town on open space a bit less problematic than spreading over a wider area, but, yeah, the empty space has been done and done again hasn't it. For Knizia though, "don't build on these squares if you can help it", I mean, I don't think you'd expect much more mechanism -> theme interplay, right (and this is from someone who fully buys into your Master of Theme stuff Michael!)?

I guess there's a few ways in, but the big one would just be a complete retheming of the whole thing; placement of polyominoes, I wonder, what would be a better, less euro-fantasy type angle? Perhaps just the reverse; make it urban fringe brownspace that can be reclaimed as various kinds of nature reserves and sustainable energy/food production sites. Even keeping the trees works with that.

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17 Oct 2020 13:10 #315291 by dragonstout
I've been playing one episode a day with my kids, and I've been really surprised and impressed. Reading the rulebook, it frankly sounded pretty uninteresting, and I took a flyer pretty much just because of the SDJ nomination, Knizia's name, and the legacy format. It's even completely missing what I think of as Knizia's signature, which is the intense interaction you see in just about all his games.

But boy, if his ouvre as a whole has a lot of "theme and variations" in it, this game is his theme and variations all by itself. I am only in the third chapter (each chapter has 3 games), and I am blown away by how each little change has dramatic implications on the game. Even beyond that, it's way more engaging than I expected. Really surprised by this!

I mentioned liking legacy games, I think in sharp difference from many on this site. For me, this might be wasteful, but I find the disposability...comforting? With other games, I fret about whether we have enough space, whether the game is a keeper, etc. With legacy games, I both KNOW that we'll get a whole bunch of plays out of it, AND I don't have to worry about finding space on the shelf for it. We'll play it, get our joy out of it, and then be done with it.
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