Designed By: Steven Aramini, Danny Devine, and Paul Kluka
Art By: Danny Devine
Published By: Button Shy Games
Player Count: 1-4
Time to Play: 15-20 Minutes
Looking for a whole lot of fun in a very tiny package? Let me introduce you to Naturopolis from Button Shy Games. For those unfamiliar with Button Shy Games, they are 18 card games that come in a wallet...so portable you can take them literally anywhere as they fit in your back pocket. Naturopolis is the 3rd game in the "opolis" series from Button Shy Games where you get to build the great outdoors. The first two games were Sprawlopolis which had you building cities, then there was Agropolis where you built farms. Each game is a standalone game, but can be combined together with a mini expansion. Naturopolis will follow suit and you will be able to combine it with either of the other two games, or even play with all three at once. Naturopolis is a cooperative card laying game where player's work to try and earn at least a set number of points (determined by end game adjective cards), by completing those objectives, creating large sections of matching terrain, and not making too many roads!
What's purr-ty cool:
New challenges - While the feel of Naturopolis will definitely be familiar to those that have played Sprawlopolis or Agropolis, Naturopolis adds quite a few new challenges which are fun to take on. One of my favorites is the introduction of rivers. Roads still exists, but rivers are now another form of travel. However, roads and rivers can never intersect (you don't want to drive your car into the water right?). This adds new placement restrictions for cards and makes it more challenging to limit the amount of roads you create (roads earn you negative points, so you want less of them). Speaking of roads penalties, in Naturopolis roads are worth even more negative points, so you really want to optimize how you place them so as disrupt nature as little as possible. Lastly, Naturopolis adds campsites, which get used for various scoring conditions. This adds an extra element to think about when placing a card. You now have to make tougher choices for what you think will score the most points by the end of the game.
Art/ Theme - Out of all the "opolis" games, this one is definitely my favorite theme and design. I love the color choices for the four terrain blocks. I think visually it appeals to me the most. I also love the idea of playing a game about nature while out in nature, which Naturopolis makes it really easy to do because of the portability of the game. This is a super easy game to slip in my bag when going for a walk in the park, or a hike up a mountain. I also get a kick out of the end game goal card titles. They are punny and make me laugh with how the names match up with the actual objective. I am a big fan of "Sniff or Swim", "Happy Campers", and "Dream Streams".
Solo perspective - I love playing these games solo. It provides the perfect choice when I want a quick game that gets me thinking without burning my brain. The solo mode plays so similarly to the co-op mode which makes sense, but is nonetheless satisfying.
Expansions - I look forward to being able to expand the game by playing all three games together because I think this will make for a super cool new challenge. I own a lot of expansions for Button Shy Games, but none that will allow me to play with so many cards at once before, so this should be really cool!
The cat's meow:
"Look Mom, I'm Bigfoot!" - 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.