Machi Koro is a card and dice, fast-paced, city-building game from Japan that has been making quite a big splash among game enthusiasts.
In Machi Koro, participants roll dice to earn coins that help them develop their city, with the aim of being the first player to complete a range of in-game landmarks and win the game.
Machi Koro is an excellent family-strategy game to play with children old enough to understand a little bit of math (it’s all about adding and subtracting the numbers, other than the probability aspect).
Designed by Masao Suganuma, Machi Koro was published by the Japanese games company Grounding Inc. in 2012.
This light, quick and approachable game is considered as one of the hottest additions in the succession of miniaturized games. Being crowned the winner of the 2015 Geekie Award for Best Tabletop Game, it has been published in eleven languages and has received two prominent expansions. The “Harbor Expansion” was released in 2012, expanding the base number of landmarks.
In 2015, Machi Koro “Millionaire’s Row” was released, adding additional high-tech industries and luxury-oriented establishments. In 2016, the “Machi Koro Bright Lights, Big City” was released, featuring a blend of cards from the base game and both the expansions.
How To Play
Participants find themselves in the role of a small-town mayor having big aspirations. Armed with only two establishments namely a bakery and a wheat field, they’ll try to develop a thriving metropolis and become the first one to finish four major landmarks namely a shopping mall, train station, radio tower, an amusement park.
Video Guide: Actual Gameplay
To attain this, you’ll have to develop your town by procuring new buildings, each of which offers an opportunity to increase cash for your emerging city.
You’ll roll dice, on your turn, to identify which, if any, of your buildings bring in revenue.
For instance, convenience stores pay three coins whenever you throw a four. A bakery pays a single coin when you throw a two or three. You can get repeated payouts through multiple copies of the same building. So, you can receive a potentially game-changing nine coins through three convenience stores, each time their number comes up.
Other buildings present new complications as well as opportunities to consider. Cattle ranches and wheat fields don’t generate huge amounts, but they pay out on other participants’ turns as well as yours.
Restaurants and cafés, if they are triggered on your own turn, pay nothing but if other players activate them, they’ll need to pay you for the privilege of dining in the establishments you own.
Forests and mines are not all that useful immediately, but they allow you to develop lucrative factories in the game later. All of these mean there are a number of viable options to develop a successful city.
Your deck, which is your city under the theme of Machi Koro, is always completely in play. It means players, even at someone else’s turn, might be required to pay another player or get a payout. The key decision for participants is how much to invest in the higher payouts rather than spreading out card procurements to cover more likely dice rolls.
Players look at the resulting value of pips on the dice rolled and compare it with the number at the top of establishments owned by them. For instance, starting bakery of a player goes to work if a two or three is rolled. Each bakery the current player has in his/her city will earn him/her one coin.
You can understand all these aspects better by watching the “Watch It Played” video at IDW games website, which published the U.S version of Machi Koro together with Pandasaurus Games.
Establishments in Machi Koro come in four different types. There are different ways through which every type earns income.
- Blue: During anyone’s turn, receive income from the bank.
- Red: Take coins from the player who rolled the dice.
- Green: During their turns only, receive income from the bank.
- Purple: During their turn only, receive income from all players.
For instance, if a player holds a café (red card) in his/her city and another player throws a three, the player holding the café will take one coin from the player who threw the three. As another example, if a one is rolled by any of the players, then all the wheat fields (blue card) get activated. No matter who threw the one, every wheat field will generate one coin for the owner.
Although Machi Koro rules are easy and short, players still need some setups to play the game.
- Take yellow-backed cards and yellowish cards.
- Each participant takes one each of these cards: bakery, wheat field, train station, radio tower, amusement park, shopping mall.
- Return extra cards into the box.
- Face up bakery and wheat field (starting establishments).
- Face down yellowish cards.
- Keep all cards in separate stacks of the same kind.
- Arrange stacks according to the numbers shown on top.
- Take three coins each.
- Players will get Machi Koro coins from the bank or return them as they purchase establishments.
- Ready to roll.
To attain in-depth knowledge of Machi Koro rules, you can have a look at this rulebook.
Or scroll through the rulebook here:
Machi Koro Legacy
Its gameplay is the same as that of Machi Koro. The dice is still getting rolled, income is still getting collected and players are still running to develop landmarks – but there are hidden changes that unlock deviations as things proceed. The all-new 10-game campaign consists of hidden objectives coupled with an astonishing narrative arc set.
Machi Koro: Deluxe Edition
This game, which is for 2 to 5 players, features the base game together with Machi Koro Millionaire’s Row expansion, Machi Koro Harbor expansion, two sculpted dice, upgraded punchboard coins, six copies of “Convention Center” card, six copies of exclusive “Diamine” card, and an exclusive drawstring coin bag.
Machi Koro Fussball
In Machi Koro Fussball, players get to participate in the historic process of construction projects associated with the mega-sporting event – The World Cup. You can participate as an investor who is developing multiple building projects. You can watch what others develop, take risks, and aim for profit from your very own football world.
How To Get Started
In this review, the vlogger demonstrates how to play the two to four player game, Machi Koro by Pegasus and IDW games.
He explains that each player takes on the role of a mayor, but your city is just a wheat field and a bakery, so not very significant you’re going to have to gather and maybe steal some resources to build up your city the quickest and win.
So join him at the table and let’s learn how to play to set up. Each player collects the for starting landmarks: the train station shopping, mall, amusement park and radio tower before the landmarks are built.