Neoville: City of the Future
Build the best futuristic city in Neoville.
Construct the most organic cityscape, where skyscrapers have flowing waterfalls, branching treehouses, rigid stonework and vibrant red clay, The object of Neoville is very clear; build a 4×4 nature-based city and earn the most Harmony points to become the envy of all the competition.
Play Neoville over 16 rounds, building a complete personal 4×4 grid of tiles to earn the most Harmony points. On your turn you’ll carry out the following actions in order:
1. Add a tile to your city
Choose a tile from your hand and play it face up to the table. Each tile consists of four squares with up to four district types: earth, forest, rock and water. A grouping of connected squares create Districts. Districts can spread across multiple tiles.
Rules for tile placement:
- Connect new tile to any previously placed tile with at least one side fully touching – no offset placement
- Tiles DO NOT need to have any matching terrain squares touching
- A player may rotate a tile before placement
- Not allowed to connect 2 districts if both districts currently have a Skyscraper
- City cannot exceed a 4×4 grid
2. Add a Skyscraper or Utility
During this step players may place a Skyscraper, a utility, or nothing at all. A skyscraper can only placed on a terrain square that matches its type. e.g. Waterfall skyscrapers go on Water Districts. There can’t be more than one skyscraper in a given district, unless there is no other option available. They can’t cover terrain squares with park or sports facility symbols.
Placement of Utilities are simple: they can go anywhere as long as they don’t cover Park or Sport facility squares.
3. Draw a tile
Take a tile from the available face up tiles or from the top of the draw stack, to keep your hand at 3 tiles.
End game Scoring
The game ends at the end of the 16th round, when all players will have completed their 4×4 city. Now players score Harmony points for meeting the requirements of their buildings!
Each Skyscraper has its Harmony Point value listed at the top (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, or 12 Harmony Points). Determine the size of the Skyscaper’s district by counting all orthogonally adjacent terrain squares it resides in. If the size is greater than or equal to the Skyscraper’s value, it scores positive Harmony points. But if it’s smaller than the Skyscraper value, it scores negative points.
Ecomobiles patrol along their terrain square’s row and column and score either 5 or 8 points apiece based on a feature displayed on the token. If there are enough features in that row and column, then add the Ecomobile’s Harmony Points to your score. Unfulfilled Ecomobiles lose points equal to their value.
More than one Ecomobile may be in the same row or column and one feature can apply to multiple Ecomobiles.
Windmills are worth 4, 5, or 6 Harmony Points and are score based on their location. Players lose points if they aren’t in the correct spot in the city. More than one Windmill may meet its requirements on the same group of tiles.
Biodomes are worth 5, 6, or 8 Harmony points and only 1 Biodome scores per district. Points score if the district’s shape and size that match the requirement shown on the piece. Any Biodome that doesn’t meet the district requirements (or a second Biodome in the same district) subtracts from the player’s score.
Parks and Sports Facilities earn 5 points respectively to the players with majority in either. Tied players all receive 5 points.
The architect with the most harmony points is the winner!
Neoville initially attracted me for two reasons: it’s a city building game, and it’s designed by Phil Walker-Harding.
City building games lure me thanks to many hours spent building fledgling metropolises in SimCity in my youth. This game’s spectacular aesthetic remind me a bit of the futuristic SimCity 3000 version. Neoville‘s fantastic table presence will attract fans of the genre and those who like puzzley games.
We at the Family Gamers are big fans of designer Phil Walker-Harding. His designs are elegant, easy to teach, and downright fun. Neoville didn’t disappoint our family and will stay in our library for years. It’s a casually chill game, that won’t burn your brain too much.
Neoville is very family friendly because everyone is working to build their own personal city. Though I suppose you could pick a tile someone else needed out of spite, it might not necessarily help you. I particularly loved that I could take a large Skyscraper early on and work towards building out districts throughout the game.
A hand of 3 tiles aided planning ahead, minimizing downtime. And the option to draw a tile blindly has a 50/50 chance of being helpful. The only secret information in Neoville is your hand of tiles; allowing you to conceal which Utilities or Skyscrapers you might opt to grab in a future turn.
Two and three player games require fewer Skyscrapers and Utilities in play. Regardless of player count, only two Utility types are ever in play. In beginning games or with kids I suggest using Windmills and Biodomes as they are much easier to work with.
Utility scoring increases the competitive nature of the game by having players race to obtain valuable structures before others. In games our family played, it was rare to lose points. a satisfying feeling.
Neoville wouldn’t truly be a Phil Walker-Harding game if it didn’t include some type of polyomino style shape somewhere. He didn’t disappoint thanks to Biodome scoring.
Ready to take on the challenge of creating a city of organic architecture? Find Neoville on Amazon or at your friendly local game store.
Blue Orange Games provided The Family Gamers with a promotional copy of Neoville for this review.
This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
Age Range: 10+
Number of Players: 2-4
Playtime: 30-45 minutes