At a Glance: Machi Koro is a Japanese dice-rolling, cheese factory-building bash that lets you be mayor of a quirky town that turns into a coin-producing machine.
Machi Koro is a Japanese game for 2-4 players that puts you in charge of a town, where you can build various things like farms, mines, stadiums, cafes, and cheese factories of course! Each type of establishment has an associated number, and on your turn you can roll 1 or 2 dice, and whatever number you roll, that establishment is activated. It is similar to Catan in that regard. Be the first to build all 4 of your landmark cards, and you win! The game is pretty simple to learn. The different types of cards might take a play or two just to become familiar with their effects, but the concepts themselves are not difficult to understand at all.
The idea here is that you need to build a good coin engine of sorts, so you can build the landmarks as quickly as possible. Everyone starts slow, with one dice, but soon you’re rolling two dice, and potentially taking home a bunch of coins at once. Things can accelerate pretty quickly, and just due to the luck of the dice, it is possible to fall into a rich-get-richer syndrome, but I don’t find this is too common. It is fun to experiment with the different combinations of complimentary buildings that are out there. However, all this is open information, so if other players notice you favor one dominant strategy, they can buy out the rest of those cards. The supply is finite after all. There is some player interaction as well, as certain cards become active on other players’ turns, and forces them to give you coins (restaurants, cafes).
I really like the simple colorful art. It pops and it’s bright. And the dice feel nice. There have been a couple of expansions released, so the choice of establishments can become even more variable if you enjoy the base game. Actually this game box is one of the worst offenders as far as “boxed air”, so might as well fill that extra space with some expansion cards, right?
Check it out on Amazon! https://amzn.to/2xO1oh5