Designer: Phil Waler-Harding
Artist: Fabrice ROS
Publisher: Blue Orange Games
Year Published: 2020
No. of Players: 2–4
Playing Time: 30–60
Main mechanic / Theme: Tile Placement, Route Building / City Building
As the city rises, people need an easier way to get between the buildings.
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Cloud City is a three-dimensional combination of tile placement and creating routes between buildings. There is some competition between players because the number of walkways is limited. It is more about figuring out the best way to use what you have.
Gameplay and Mechanisms:
The rules for Cloud City were easy to understand and three of us were able to quickly start into the game itself. To determine the first player, there is a set of beginning tiles. The tiles determine who goes first and provides a balance for the players based on the building the tiles have.
Each player has a hand of additional tiles to choose from each turn. They indicate the height of the buildings that are placed on it. Extra tiles are drawn from the center of the table to replenish your hand. The walkways are in a community pile, but once one size for that level of building has been used there are no more.
Play a tile in front of you and place the appropriate buildings on it. Each tile must be placed with one full side is touching along its length with a tile already in play. No placing tiles just touching by corners. The placement must also not extend beyond a three-by-three layout.
After you place a tile and buildings, you decide if you want to place walkways. Walkways extend between building of the same height and each building can only have two walkways extending out from it. You don’t have to place a walkway. If you are planning on getting something longer for more points, you might want to wait.
Turns continue until all players have played nine tiles to create a three-by-three pattern and all the walkways have been played. Then it is just a matter of counting the points and seeing who scored the highest.
Theme, Artwork and Illustration, Graphic Design and Layout (optional)
How did the artwork help with the theme and jelp to bring the game to life? Did the layout and design hinder or help game play?
Inclusivity and Accessibility:
The color and height scheme makes it easy for most people to recognize which building needs to be placed on the tiles. There is a level of dexterity requirement in placing the walkways because the buildings are not attached to the tiles and the walkways rest on the buildings.
Learning Cloud City was easy. The strategy of the game is in determining how you are going to build your city based on the tiles you have available. There isn’t much you can do to block other players, except working to use the longest walkways first.
We played two games, and both were in the expected time frame. They were also close in score. We noted that none of us were particularly watching what the other players were doing as we worked on the possibilities of the tiles we had in our hands.
We enjoyed Cloud City as a light strategy game. It keeps everyone involved until the end and the balance was good. It was easy to get started and to clean up and the pace allowed for socializing or stepping away from the table if needed.
The pieces sat well and could withstand a mild bump to the table. The ease of strategy and the changing up of the tiles allows for an easy two or three games to be played back-to-back. If you like games that don’t change a lot between games, Cloud City is a good addition to your library.
About the Author
Daniel Yocom does geeky things at night because his day job won't let him. This dates back to the 1960s through games, books, movies, and stranger things better shared in small groups. He's written hundreds of articles about these topics for his own blog, other websites, and magazines after extensive research along with short stories. His research includes attending conventions, sharing on panels and presentations, and road-tripping with his wife. Join him at guildmastergaming.com.