Game Analysis: Machi Koro

The board game played during BCM300 that I have chosen to analyse is Machi Koro, a city building tabletop game. The YouTube channel ‘Watch It Played‘ has a detailed video on how Machi Koro is played.

The reasoning behind why myself and fellow peers decided to pick Machi Koro from the pile of board games to play in class was due to the colorful, eye catching box art. We instantly pictured Japan when seeing the Mount Fuji-esque landmark on the box, portrayed with the bright colour palette often seen in Japanese Anime’s such as Pokemon. These features were of course complimented by the Japanese flag on the top right corner of the box, further attesting that this game is indeed from Japan. The theme of bright colours continued into the cards, dice and money used to play the game.

Original images

Noticing these themes of Japanese culture made sense as the designer, Masao Suganuma is from Japan, it was also published by a Japanese game company called Grounding Inc. The game resembles Monopoly (the most common game that all other economic board games remind you of), however Machi Koro does not feature a physical game board like monopoly, it only relies on cards, dice and the games currency.

This leads to the most interesting aspect of Machi Koro, its rules and mechanics. Unlike Monopoly, rolling the dice in Machi Koro is for hitting numbers that trigger cards you own. This mechanic is fun as there is a also a rule in the game where certain cards can actually affect more than one player if the number is hit, even if it’s not that players turn, this encourages you to become tactical and acquire certain cards on your way to the end goal of the game. The personal experience playing this game was extremely fun due to these unique mechanics, this view seemed to be shared by other players too as Machi Koro was a Spiel Des Jahres nominee in 2015.

Header image source

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