Designer: Steven Aramini, Danny Devine, Paul Kluka
Artist: Loïc Billiau &Danny Devine
Publisher: Button Shy
Year Published: 2018
No. of Players: 1-4
Playing Time: 15-20 Minutes
Main Mechanic / Theme: Tile Placement, Cooperative
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com
Sprawlopolis is a compact, 18-card game where you and your friends work together to build the best city you can, scoring points based on a variety of scoring conditions found on the backs of each building card.
Gameplay and Mechanics:
As the active player in Sprawlopolis, you will select 1 of 3 cards to add to the city, pass your remaining 2 cards to the next active player, and then draw a single replacement card into your own hand. You will work together with your teammates to build patterns and routes that adhere to the 3 unique scoring conditions you randomly selected during setup. Solo play works similarly with you holding 3 cards during each turn (until the deck eventually runs out, limiting your choices in the last 2 rounds of play). Regardless of player count, you aim to score more points than the collective values printed on each of the 3 scoring condition cards selected.
Theme, Artwork and Illustration, Graphic Design and Layout
The artwork for this game is minimal and serviceable, utilizing effective graphic design to help clearly illustrate the manner in which each card will score. The colors are a little bland but there's plenty of fun packed in this game to make up for that!
Sprawlopolis is excellent as a solo experience but, personally, I feel that it loses some of its shine with each additional player invited to the table due to the analysis paralysis that it may invoke with some players.
What Can Be Improved:
I would love a retheme of this game with new artwork. The simplistic aerial view of city terrain reminds me a bit of the artwork from the very first Grand Theft Auto video game. However, this is a minor nitpick and I still think the game is great.
As someone who has played and owns a handful of Button Shy games, Sprawlopolis has to be my favorite! Everything about this game is quick from setup to cleanup. The variability created by the scoring condition combos is very satisfying. I highly recommend this fun and thinky wallet-sized game.