SNAP Review – Supertall: The Sky’s the Limit!

Supertall

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… a skyscraper! Build the tallest and best buildings in Supertall, a micro game designed by Nat Levan and published by Button Shy Games.

In Supertall, two or three players build “towers” of cards adjacent to the towers of their neighbors. Listen to Anitra’s thoughts in about five minutes, or read on below.

How to Play

Each card depicts a floor of a building. Floors come in “tax assessment values” from $0-$5, and in one of four plan types: Residential, Commercial, Entertainment, and Natural.

Rooftop Garden, Fine Dining, Luxury Condos, Executive Suites
Natural, Entertainment, Residential, Commercial

On your turn, draw a card from one of three draw piles, and then choose an action:

  • Submit Design – place the card on top of any tower (or empty tower site); your own or another player’s. The previous top card of the tower must have a value less than or equal to the new top card.
  • Scrap Plans – place the card on top of “City Hall” in the center of the table.
  • Rezone – use the card’s special ability, then place it underneath one of the three draw piles.

The game ends when the cards in the draw piles equal the number of players. Then everyone gets one more turn, and it’s time to score your buildings.

Bodega ability: Move a top floor to an adjacent tower
Boutique ability: Swap any 2 top floors
Nightclub ability: Rearrange floors in any tower
Rezone abilities may allow you to move a top floor, swap top floors, or rearrange floors.

Scoring

Any player who took fewer turns gets 1 point.

Residential floors, valued $0-$5

The player with the highest “tax assessment value” (most valuable buildings) gets 2 points.

Each tower is scored in a special way. Any towers that are topped with a floor type that matches the plan on top of City Hall do not score. All other towers have special scoring dependent on the plan type of their top floor.

Towers topped with a Natural floor score for groups of 2 or 3 cards with matching tax assessment values, with each group worth 3-7 points.

Towers topped with Entertainment score well if they either contain only Entertainment floors (5 points), or if they have all 4 plan types represented (8 points). If they have 2 or 3 plan types, they don’t score many points (0-3).

If its top floor is Residential, the tower scores 2 points for each floor. Subtract 2 points for any adjacent building topped with a Commercial floor.

A Commercially-topped building scores points for every Commercial and Entertainment floor in the building, and subtracts points for adjacent buildings with a Natural top floor.

Impressions

Supertall feels meaty. Every time you draw a card, you must ask yourself how best to use it. Should I build my tower? Place it on an opponent’s tower to limit what they can build? Send it to City Hall so no one can use it? Or use the Rezone ability and hope I can add it to a tower the next time it comes around?

Unfortunately, that meatiness is also limited. We always run out of cards too soon, just as we’re starting to get in the rhythm of building and rezoning.

The limited number of cards and the slow start to the game can also mean that early cards don’t feel like they give any choices. You can’t us a Rezone ability if there aren’t the floors available to use it on; and you don’t want to throw away cards into City Hall too soon, either. Usually, you’ll just want to put cards in your own tower, or try to handicap your opponent by placing a $5 floor in an empty tower slot to prevent them from building.

I was able to play it with my 8-year-old son, but he quickly got frustrated by trying to make plans based on only a few cards available to draw.

I recommend Supertall as a meaty but quick game that’s easy to carry. But I have to play with friends who are serious gamers, because there’s a lot to keep track of for such a small and quick game.

Supertall in play
A three player game. Each player has two towers, surrounding City Hall.

Find Supertall at Button Shy’s website, along with many other ultra-portable card games.

The Family Gamers received a copy of Supertall from Button Shy Games for this review.

Supertall
3

Summary

Number of Players: 2-3
Playtime: <20 minutes
Age Range: 8+

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