The game starts with four game boards, the exact number varies depending on the scenario chosen. The goal is to complete a number of steps and make the inhabitants of your city happy.
At the beginning of each scenario, an extra board is purchased, flipped from its natural side to its developed side. Players have personal maps that show what they can build, and ideally should discuss and plan with other players the best way to develop the city.
The cards describe the effects the building will have on the city, for example by increasing garbage collection, decreasing crime or adding a bonus if it is placed next to a park.
The cardboard tiles represent residential, commercial, industrial and other buildings and have a variety of shapes.
Once players have developed the city to the end of the stage, they choose which new board to buy to expand the city, mark their current happiness and start a new stage. When the last scenario is completed, the game ends and the total happiness score is added up.
The town's treasure is common, and all players add money to it when they earn money for the town and take money out to build a hospital or buy a new board.
Making sure you have enough money is an important part of the game, because if you run out of money you go bankrupt and lose the game.
A series of scenarios will teach you the rules of the game step by step.
Each new step introduces new elements of the game. The complete game, with its new features, unique buildings, policies and different roles, varies a lot from game to game, as players have to face new challenges each time.
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