★★★☆☆ Machi Koro; Rome wasn’t built in a day, but that’s probably because they kept rolling 3s.

Check out this game if: you’re looking for a clever game for a small group.

This game stands out because it has equal parts dice and decisions. This game is often called an “engine building” game because the cards you buy, help you buy more cards, which help you buy even more cards. The variety of the cards/features may be intimating, but once you get past that the game play is great. Because you can make money on other players turn, you constantly feel involved.

Occasionally someone will get lucky and win the game quickly, but because there is luck, no one ever feels like they were truly outsmarted. However, if you are the winner, you can’t help but feel like you knew exactly what you were doing and outsmarted everyone. I have never seen this end poorly.

Positive:
1. Every player is involved on every turn (no down time)
2. The strategic side of the game helps everyone feel involved.
3. The luck aspect of the game gives anyone an easy excuse for losing -to an 8 y/o.
4. Every card clearly explains what it does.
5. Good game length gives a sense of accomplishment -even if you didn’t build your mall.
6. Teaches kids strategy, forethought, and probability.
7. Plays 2, 3, and 4 players really well.
8. Cute art is appealing to kids.

Negative:
1. Younger kids may have a difficult time at first because the variety of each card.
2. Two of the actions are a little aggressive and with a little bad luck they could cause contention.
3. Only plays up to 4 people.

Brief Overview:
In this game, you are building a city. The first player to build four landmarks wins.

Every player starts with a few cards that represent different city features (but not landmarks). These features give you the potential to make money. You can money when either you or your opponents roll the dice equal to the number on your feature. With the money you earn, you can buy more features. With more features, your potential to make more money increases and you can buy landmarks -the object of the game.

Number of Players 2-4
Age 8+
Time 30 mins
Friendly ★★★☆☆
Teachable ★★★☆☆
Replayability ★★★★☆
Creative Freedom ★★★★☆
Inclusive (no elimination) ★★★★☆

Versions:
Currently there is only one version. The expansions are fun, but not necessary-and hard to find.
*update, there is a deluxe edition that comes with the expansions and it doesn’t cost much more.

Teaching Advice: first, show how to win the game (buying your yellow cards). Then show the players how the building cards are broken up into colored categories and how those different categories work. Finally, show how turn order works and start playing.

Link to Video Tutorial.

Link to Machi Koro on Amazon.

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2 thoughts on “★★★☆☆ Machi Koro; Rome wasn’t built in a day, but that’s probably because they kept rolling 3s.

  1. Very much enjoy your blog!I feel like Machi Koro is broken as if you focus on a certain strategy you can achieve victory. I focus on ranches and cheese factories and have won both times playing this game. That being said I do it enjoy the game and have heard the deluxe version has corrected this at least some.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff, thanks. Yes, there are a few strategies that work better, but the dice rolls can always sabotage you. And yes, the Harbor expansion does address this, but I also think it’s perfect for a family friendly game night.

      Liked by 1 person

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