Machi Koro is a game of cards and dice. Each player is trying to build a ‘city’ from available cards that represent different buildings (and occasionally more rural elements). Each card has a number on it, and at the start of a turn – anyone’s turn – a die or dice are rolled: whatever number comes up, a building matching that number will “pay out” – sometimes just for whoever’s turn it is, but often for other players too; depending on what they have built. Payouts come in the form of cash, which allow you to build more buildings.
So the more cards you build, the more chance you have of getting payouts and winning more. And a game that starts with just one die progresses to (the option of) two dice instead, as buildings become more industrious and productive. It ends when any one player has built all four of the landmarks – the most expensive buildings.
It’s a very straightforward game to pick up that has a nice seam of luck running through it.
What it has going for it – simplicity, for one, and lovely aesthetic design – it does score highly on. It’s far from my favourite game, but in fairness to Machi Koro I should add that everyone around me (children and adults) seem to rate it highly, and it plays at a nice trot.
There are buildings that allow you to steal money from other players, or exchange a lesser building for a better one.
Very little. Roll the dice, build... or don't. Simple.
Roll the die; collect payouts; then either build a building - or don't. But there are strategies to be had in Machi Koro - it's not a game of pure luck, and it depends on how your buildings work together.
The easy-to-learn rules and short play mean Machi Koro feels light and won't dominate an evening - unless you want it to.