My City – Marvelous Municipal Creation

My City - Reiner Knizia

After a long journey, you’ve settled in a new land. It is time to create a new place to live. Can you build the most efficient city? Come back again and again, and keep trying to piece together your meager metropolis.

My City is a polyomino tile-laying legacy game by Dr. Reiner Knizia, published by KOSMOS.

Play My City over 24 episodes with 2-4 players ages 8 and up. Each episode takes between 15 and 30 minutes – if you can play just one.

Player board for My City with a large white envelope covering most of the board. Envelope is printed with "Chapter 1: The New Land".
Let’s go!

How to Play

A single play session of My City is called an “episode”, and episodes are grouped into “chapters”.

Before starting your very first episode, let each player choose a board in one of the four animal/color combinations, and give them the 24 building tiles with the same logo on the backs.

My City is a legacy game. This means that the board(s) will change slightly after each episode, and it is best to play with the same group of players every time, if possible. Create a “Starter pack” for each player with their pieces and their point tracking cube, and setup will take seconds.

A bear icon next to the handwritten phrase New-beary-port
Each player can name their city. We picked puns, of course.

Playing an Episode

One player takes charge of flipping cards in the construction deck. Each card shows a specific building (color/shape). All players must play their building that matches the card, or take a 1-point penalty. There are three colors and eight shapes for the buildings for 24 unique cards / tiles.

Each new episode introduces new rules, but here are the basics:

  • The first building placed must be touching the river.
  • Subsequent buildings must touch at least one other building.
  • You cannot build a building that straddles the river (but it can “touch” a building across the river).
  • Buildings may only be built on the light green spaces, not on the forest or the mountains.
  • Buildings cannot be moved during an episode.

When a player cannot (or does not want to) place any more buildings, they may end their participation in the episode. Then they do not take a point penalty (but cannot build any more buildings this episode). They can make this decision after seeing the card without taking a penalty for that tile.

When all players have chosen to end participation, the episode is over. Time to score! Again, this gets more complicated as time goes on, but basically players want to cover as much of their board as possible, covering rocks and empty light green spaces but keeping trees visible.

The winner of an episode colors in two bubbles next to their scoreboard. Second place colors in a single bubble. Third and fourth place get no bubbles, but usually get a sticker or other reward that will make future episodes a little easier or more rewarding. (In a two player game, the loser takes the “fourth place” reward.)

Chapters

The My City box contains eight sealed envelopes. Each one represents a “chapter” in the story of your competing cities, with three episodes in each. We’ll keep mum on the details, but the first three chapters are:

  1. The New Land
  2. The Churches
  3. The Flood

The first chapter sets the baseline rules as listed above, adding a “continuous color” bonus in episode two, and finally a well sticker in episode three. The new rules layer on top of one another, making for a gradually more complex game as the players work through the episodes and chapters.

As players open up new chapters and see how the story of their new town progresses, more interesting (and challenging!) rules and mechanics emerge. Can you accrue the most points to finish the 24 episodes with the best city?

Chapter 3: The Flood - Episodes 7 to 9
Unremitting rains have rendered the area to the left of the river impossible to...(covered)
Each episode has three chapters, introducing new rules and tile types.

Impressions

My City is a simultaneous tile-laying legacy game, which blends two game mechanics we absolutely love. Much like Scarabya, Karuba, or Tiny Towns, every player is active during every turn of the game. This is super helpful in a family game, because it keeps everyone engaged. Nobody likes the player who retreats into their phone and stops paying attention, and My City‘s simultaneous play keeps that from happening.

Leave your Legacy

It’s also a legacy game, which means each players’ board slowly changes over time. Less skilled players will get benefits and bonuses to make their gameplay easier as the episodes progress, leading to a natural balancing out of the difficulty level of each players’ board. We love this balancing factor, especially because it’s part of the core mechanics of the game. Even less skilled players who are savvy to parents modifying rules won’t feel like they’re being condescended to.

This style also allows for a narrative thread to carry forward the episodes. New building tiles and board stickers come out in later chapters that can fundamentally change the way players use their boards. This keeps My City feeling fresh even ten plays in, and players having their own altered tableau from previous plays makes it feel more personal.

Building More than Just a City

We love the slowly building rule set, too. Just like a game like Magic Maze, these successive rule additions allow players to jump into the game immediately and learn as they go. It feels great to get into the game and put the layers on after understanding the base mechanics.

The Neverending Story

Each My City board has the same back, which includes some of the items added in the narrative chapters. This enables continued play once the story is over, and My City has such a pleasing gameplay loop that I can see our family returning to it. The randomized card draws make the game different every time, but the perfect information nature makes it a compelling challenge to beat one another.

We’re well into the narrative of My City so far, and we’re looking forward to completing it. The game has provided us hours of gameplay, complete with cheers and groans, and we know it will for you, too.

Get your own copy at Amazon, or look for it at your friendly local game store.


The Family Gamers received a copy of My City from KOSMOS for this review.

This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.

My City
  • 8/10
    Art - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Mechanics - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Family Fun - 9/10
8.5/10

Summary

Number of Players: 2-4

Age Range: 10+

Playtime: about 30 minutes

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