Review: Walking in Burano

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Walking In Burano - Cover

Burano, Italy is a beautiful island that attracts a large number of tourists who seek the famous lace or maybe stroll the town looking at the colourful buildings. Walking in Burano has you refurbishing a section of houses, trying to attract the tourists and Burano inhabitants.

What is Walking in Burano like?

Walking in Burano is a family game that uses a card drafting mechanism with a shared tableau of cards. The cards are laid out in columns consisting of one upper, one middle and one ground level card. Players will “draft” the cards from this shared tableau.

The goal of the game is to amass victory points by attracting tourists and visitors to your newly refurbished houses. Players select a column of cards from the display and take one, two or all three of the cards. Then they may place them into their row of houses. The number of cards taken will determine the amount of income received. 1 card gives 2 coins, 2 cards gives 1 coin and 3 cards gives no income for that round.

Refurbishing the houses

Players can then build up to 3 cards per round paying increasing amounts of money. Building 1 card costs 1 coin, 2 cards costs 3 coins and 3 cards costs 5 coins. There are a few rules the players must follow when placing cards. Each card represents either a bottom, middle or top and the cards can only be placed in their respective level. In addition, a middle level must be built on top of a ground level and a top level must be built on a middle level. New houses can only be started next to an existing house. Players do have scaffold cards which allow them to temporarily build a level on top of the scaffold instead of a regular level.

When players complete a house they get to choose one tourist or inhabitant to place under the newly completed house. Each visitor has their own end-game scoring mechanism, so players must choose wisely in order to maximize their score. Once 1 player has completed all five houses the game end is triggered and the round is finished.

Players then add up their score to see who wins. First the players score points based on their character cards, most of which are set-collection based on either the house directly above the character or all of the houses. Next the players score points that are printed on the ground floor shops they have built and for the regulatory bonus tokens they still have. During the game the players can break the building rules by making a house multi-colored or by building two houses of the same color next to each other. If they do, then they must pay a regulatory housing token. Lastly, the player with the most closed windows in their houses loses one point per window.

Walking In Burano - Components

Rating

Walking in Burano is a lightweight game that can be played with children and adults making it a great for families. It is strategic and short enough that it would work as a filler game for game night too.

All the pretty houses

Having been to Burano, the game’s theme is done quite well. Once the game finishes, you have completed a very attractive set of houses, which is always pleasing. I enjoy the fact that you are trying to attract not only the tourist, but also the inhabitants as well. Everyone gets to be happy in Burano! I also enjoy the simple drafting mechanism as it provides some good decisions. Since each column consists of a top, middle and ground level sometimes you have to buy a card you don’t really want in order to get the perfect card for your house. Because of this, when you refill the rows the columns may be incomplete and cards will shift over to fill in the empty spots creating different columns for the next round.

One thing that bothered me in the game was the luck factor. Once you start collecting cats, or awnings or shops to try to maximize your points, the cards that come out may not work for you, but there is no way to get new ones until the next round. For a family weight and short game it isn’t a huge deal, but for more experienced gamers it might be a bit too much luck for them. I also struggled with the size of the cards. My large hands absolutely struggle with the tiny cards that come in the box. Beyond that, it did take a couple read-throughs of the rulebook to make sure we didn’t miss anything as some of the rules were a little unclear in the first read.

Good

  • Very easy to play for a wide range of ages
  • Provides a solo option which plays pretty similar to the regular game
  • Bright and pretty art

 Bad

  • The rulebook is a little fuzzy in places
  • The cards are tiny
  • A lot of luck is involved that affects scoring

Facts

  • Players: 1 – 4
  • Playing time: 20-40 minutes
  • Suggested age: 10+

A review copy of Walking in Burano was supplied by AEG.

Follow Jacob Coon:

Jacob is an American living in Germany who loves boardgames but is way better at teaching others how to win than winning himself.

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