Title: Machi Koro 2
Designed By: Masao Suganuma
Art By: Masao Suganuma and Noburu Hotta
Published By: Pandasaurus Games
Player Count: 2-5
Time to Play: 45 Minutes
Machi Koro 2 is the standalone sequel to the hit game Machi Koro. In this new version, players race to build a city and complete it first by constructing three unique landmarks. In Machi Koro 2, players try to earn income in order to purchase new buildings to construct. As each building has it's own special ability , players try to create small engines in their city that will lead to more income coming in. Once you have enough income, you can buy more expensive properties like the landmarks. Landmarks give players even more cool ways to earn money! Construct three landmarks and you are the winner!
What's purr-ty cool:
Ease of Access: Machi Koro 2, like it's predecessor, is a fantastic gateway game. The rules are really straightforward, on your turn, roll some dice, look at the cards that you have and see if you gain anything from them. On other peoples turns, see what they roll and again check your cards to see if anything happens. That's it at it's core. But here is the thing, Machi Koro 2 is a lot of fun. It is one of those games that goes to show, you do not need a million choices on a turn to be fun or strategic. Players can learn about engine-building in games as they work to try and create a city that benefits them both on their turn and on other people's turns. I think games like Machi Koro can be great stepping stone games to other engine-builders like Everdell or Wingspan.
Downtime: One of the great things about Machi Koro 2 is that there is very little downtime for players in-between their turns. This is because no matter who's turn it is, everyone is involved depending on the outcome of the dice. Since there are cards that activate on everyone's turn, or just on opponent's turns, it gives players a reason to pay attention to the game even when they are not the one rolling the dice.
A Steller Sequel: I learned the original Machi Koro game probably about 6-7 years ago. At the time I was working as a Residence Hall Director and I had a bunch of college student staff I oversaw. A coworker at the time had taught me the original Machi Koro and I loved it, so in turn I taught my staff Whenever I would go into their office and ask if someone wanted to play, I almost always had volunteers. While I really enjoyed the original version, I actually think I like the sequel more. I like that in this version, players are not working to complete the same landmarks. Since each landmark is unique players can race to build the ones they like the most that they think will contribute to their city the best. I also like that you can choose to start with one or both dice and do not have to unlock the second dice. This makes buying cards interesting as you have to pay attention to what other players look like they are going to be doing. I find that even all these years later, I still enjoy a game of Machi Koro or Machi Koro 2. While I may play heavier engine-builders now, this one is still a joy to get to the table, and is great for getting friends into the hobby.
The cat's meow:
"I would like to advocate that the next version contain a pet store...preferably one filled with lots of treats!" - Pudgy Cat
Disclosure: Pudgy Cat Games was provided a copy of this game in exchange for a review, however, this review reflects the honest thoughts of the author.