There’s a city. A city I wish to build. A city where the harbour lies in an elegant line (and not a higgildy piggildy mess). Where the parks are surrounded by wondrous towers housing happy workers. Where civic buildings are scattered about so no one notices them and the shops are full of people who have nothing else to do. This city, this city I shall call Quadropolis!
Now, if only the planning department wasn’t total s**t.
Quadropolis tasks you with building a city with the help of 4 architects who are specialised to the point of ridiculousness. They are numbered 1-4, and when placed adjacent to a row or column of the central board they will let you take the building tile that many places from the edge. Pretty anal right? But wait, it gets worse, because they also require you to build it in the correspondingly numbered row/column of your player board, or city, as it’s more commonly known. But wait! It gets worse! Because you can’t place your architect where someone else has placed one of theirs, making it even harder to grab the tiles you want. BUT WAIT! It gets WORSE! Because when someone takes a tile, the black pawn of F*** You goes there and you can’t place an architect that points at him. Because he’s touchy about that sort of thing.
There are futher considerations to make, like the fact that each tile needs to be powered by people or… power in order to score, which just requires getting other tiles that produce these resources, at some point before the end of the game. There are also tiles that offer tasty VP bonuses. Or the first player token, because you really don’t want to be going last in this game! All this adds up to a ludicrous puzzle with ample room for messing up everything your opponents want to do. Yet it is simple enough that most people should be happy to play it.
After my first play I am certainly very intrigued by this central puzzle but I do fear the game is, ultimately, soulless. At the end of the day it is still just a city building game. A theme that sort of felt pasted on to an abstract tile selection and building system. It has so far lacked the wonderful satire that brings Suburbia to life for me. I definitely enjoyed building my city and figuring out where and when to place my architects to get the best tiles I could, and I am intrigued to play with the advanced tiles that are said to add more variance to the game. I’m certainly keen to investigate the game more in the future, but I am conscious of the fact it will need to go some to surpass Suburbia for me.