On Tuesday I reviewed Suburbia, a fantastic tile laying city building game, however, I didn’t get around to writing about the expansions. Writing reviews for games is a leisurely stroll through a new area, lots to look at and enjoy. Writing reviews for expansions is like retreading the same path, no need to absorb it all, but need to get it done for the exercise. Therefore, if you’re expecting something massive, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Funnily enough, that’s exactly what I said to my wife the first time we met.
There are two expansions for Suburbia, the first being Suburbia Inc. The two big additions in this expansion each target a weakness of the base game, turning it into a strength. They are:
- Border Tiles: These additional tiles are added to the market, and give players more options when purchasing. Additionally, they come in a weird shape adding a small amount complexity to the spatial decision-making process, as they can block off large areas of your town.
- Achievements: These are small bonuses that are awarded upon completing requirements when progressing from A to B tiles, and again from B to C tiles. These give direction in the mid game, as well as adding competition between players.
Also included in this expansion are a few more tiles, which have more interesting effects than those in the base game. One such example is the Water Purification Plant: which gives +7 reputation but -2 dollars for every yellow tile in existence. This tile has been responsible for a few crazy comebacks, and a few horrendous loses.
The Verdict: This expansion should be mandatory. It is the cherry on top of the sundae that is Suburbia, turning a great game into a greater game. Critical Hit.
Suburbia 5 Stars
In terms of not talking about something, on a scale from Voldemort’s name to M Night Shyamalan’s Avatar: The Last Airbender movie, Suburbia 5 Stars is up there. Where they succeeded in Suburbia Inc by focusing on the games weaknesses and improving them, 5 stars does the opposite: increasing both setup time and after turn bookkeeping.
They introduced a new currency called stars, and added a host of new tiles which all feature this new mechanic. What irks me about these tiles is that you need to separate them from the rest of the tiles at tear down, and include them all of them during setup. Then if you don’t want to play with the new system you can’t play regular Suburbia with these tiles because they’re all balanced around the new currency. On top of that, the number of tiles added at this point really dilutes the overall tile pool, making it harder to combo tiles together.
The Verdict: All good things must come to an end, and that’s here for Suburbia. As much as I love this board game, this expansion gets a solid non-recommendation from me.
That’s all from me this week. I will be back on Monday with another hopefully amazing review. Have a good weekend all!