Meeple Land: Build a Better Park
Step right up!
Design your Meeple Land theme park – full of fun rides and attractions for all kinds of meeples.
Wait. Where’s the bathroom?
Meeple Land is a tile-laying and resource management game designed by Cyrille Allard and Frédéric Guérard, with art by Polish illustrator Tomek Larek. Meeple Land is published by Blue Orange Games. You’ll spend a little more than an hour to play with 2-4 players, ages 10 and up.
How to Play
Your goal is to make the best theme park for the meeples that come to visit. At the end of the game, you’ll lose points for meeples waiting at your gate and paths that are cut off inside the park. But you’ll gain points for the meeples enjoying their stay and the variety of attractions you have.
Meeple Land is played over 4 rounds. Before each round, all players receive a grant of money to buy attractions. Then they start taking turns.
On your turn, you may either buy a tile, advertise, or pass.
To buy a tile (small, medium, or large), pay the cost listed on the tile, then immediately place it in your park. You must connect the path on the tile to at least one existing path in your park.
Some attractions work more effectively when they have a “service” tile adjacent and connected by a path.
If you’re running out of space, you could buy a plot extension instead of a tile; or if your paths are all blocked off, maybe you should get an extra entrance tile to make another path into the park.
Advertise if you can’t get the visitors best suited for your park. Pay $2 and take the top tile from the pile of small attractions (face-down they show an ad). Then take the two meeple visitors pictured and place them in your park.
Pass if you cannot or don’t want to buy. Once you pass, you cannot take any more turns until the next round. Pick a Bus card from the parking lot, along with all the meeples on board.
End of the Round
Once everyone has passed, the round ends.
Now it’s time to welcome visitor meeples, moving them from the bus card to your park entrance and into your park. Place meeples on available spaces matching their color.
Any visitor meeples that can’t be placed must stay outside your park entrance. Try to place them in a later round – because any visitors left outside at the end of the game will be very unhappy!
Once everyone is done placing visitors, it’s time to receive income. Each visitor inside your park earns you $1. Visitors outside the park don’t spend any money, so you earn nothing for them.
The player with the least money becomes the first player for the next round. Draw new Bus cards and fill them with meeples, it’s time for another day at the park!
End of the Game
Calculate points after the fourth round, using the handy score sheet.
You’ll get points for variety in your park (2 points for at least 7 types of attractions, increasing up to 25 points if you have all 12 types of attractions).
Gain points for each visitor who is happily inside your park: 1 point each for blue and green meeples, 2 points each for yellow and pink. But you’ll lose points for each unhappy visitor still waiting at the entrance.
Finally, face up to any poor layout decisions inside the park. Each path that is cut off by another tile subtracts 2 points. (Paths that lead outside the park or into undeveloped land are fine.)
Whose park will earn them the best reputation?
I think it does. This is a game that combines the physical puzzle of tile laying (don’t forget to match up those paths!) with planning to accommodate visitor meeples, while allocating money to buy the best choices.
But all those components together means it’s easy to get sidetracked. If you focus too much on one aspect, you will lose sight of the other pieces you need to succeed. Packing your park tightly may mean you don’t have the right allocation of meeple spots to earn money for the next round. Focusing on getting just the right visitor spots may leave you without much variety in attractions.
Unfortunately, the luck of the draw can also work against you in the quest for variety and balance. Attractions that no one wants (eg. an expensive ride for only pink meeples when no one has pink) can clog the market, and there’s no way to cycle them out. If there’s nothing you want, you could always pass… but then you risk starting the next round with significantly less income than your opponents.
The combination of choices and luck means this is a puzzle game with lots of room for improving your choices. If you enjoy the puzzle, you’ll want to play it again and again; “I can do better next time!”
Not Too Much
While Meeple Land is attractive and thematic, the pieces aren’t deluxe. The meeples are undersized and slippery (we dropped them a lot), and the boards and cards are rather flimsy.
But that’s all right; it keeps the price low and there’s a good amount of stuff packed into the box. You don’t need deluxe components to make a great game.
Find Meeple Land for about $30 on Amazon or ask for it at your friendly local game store.
The Family Gamers received a copy of Meeple Land from Blue Orange Games for this review.
This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
Number of Players: 2-4 players
Age Range: 10+
Playtime: around 60 minutes