The year is 1901, the city is New York. You start of with only a small property in Lower Manhattan, but at the end of the game you’ll feel like a you have build and empire of giant skyscrapers.
What is New York 1901 like?
In New York 1901 everyone starts with the same set of bronze, silver and gold buildings. Your goal is to build as many of them as possible, but for that you need land to build on. So each turn you take one of the 4 lot cards and place one of your cool looking workers on that piece of land to claim it (you only have 4 so be careful). You can then chose to build one of your buildings on any piece of land you now own. The larger buildings require you to own more adjacent land, so you have to plan ahead. Once you build a new building you get back your worker and score points equal to the value of the building. The larger (and more space they take up) the more points they’ll give you.
This sounds simple right?… And it is. The trick is that you can only build bronze buildings until you get a set amount of points. Then you can start building silver buildings. Later you’ll be able to can build the gold buildings. The silver and gold buildings get bigger and bigger, so you’ll need to tear down some of those old and less shiny buildings, to build these new towering monuments. But there is a catch, you can only tear down older buildings to build newer ones, so you need to think about what you tear down and where you build.
The game ends when the lot cards run out or when a player only has 4 building titles left.
There is also a set of bonus challenge cards (that change from game to game) and will give various bonus points based on different criteria. These card can be left out if you are playing with people unfamiliar with board games or playing the game for the first time.
For me this is the game that replaces Ticket to Ride. It has the same lightness and ease of play but in a completely different way. I really enjoyed playing it and I’m sure it will hit the table again often. I highly recommend this if you are new to the hobby, or if you want to introduce other people to it. It’s quick to plays has easy to explain rules and just looks great.
Playing without the bonus challenge cards is a great option for new players not familiar with these kind of games.
This game is a blast to play. It’s like solving a puzzle, but not to a degree that makes your head hurt. You feel involved, even in other players turn, hoping and praying they don’t grab the lot card you need to be able to build that nice golden building of yours.
A grumpy person could say this is a very abstract puzzle game and that the theme is very thin. But I think the theme is very much there, helped along by the stunning visual style and the high quality components. You really feel like you are building better and better buildings and that you need to tear down your old ones to make room for the “future”.
Stunning, just stunning. Vincent Dutrait has really done s great job here. He’s unique style really gets to shine in this game.
Not only are all the building titles a nice thick quality, but the rules are also well written. What really makes my day though, is the great custom insert and the scoring tokens and workers.
- Players: 2 – 4
- Playing time: 30 – 60 minutes
- Suggested age: 8+
Would you like to know more?
If you hate reading rules I highly recommend Watch It Played – How To Play Instructions: