The Game Crafter News: And the winner is…

Posted: October 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

The winner of the Steam Punk Design Challenge is: City of Gears

Our guest judge, Ben Haskett, had this to say about City of Gears:

City of Gears is a fantastic worker placement game that plays incredibly fast; of the three play sessions I participated in, the game never ran much more than 30 minutes. However, it is very much a full game. It offers players a breadth of options each turn, mainly focusing on expansion and personal upgrades. 

One of my favorite things about City of Gears was how quickly the entire city gets up and running. The game starts off with nine tiles placed face-down in the middle of the table, but 15 minutes later, the city has been woken up and the entire play space is littered with player pawns and colored gears. Bombs were used at every turn to knock pawns back to their respective factories, players fought for control over certain tiles, and in the end, after the scores were tallied it was almost always a close win. And that’s a another thing: end game conditions and scoring mechanics are two of the greatest things about this game.  

Of course, City of Gears is not perfect. It would be great if the game came with more bags so that all the various pieces didn’t have to be separated each time I brought it out of the box. Another boon would be putting an abbreviated turn sequence list on each of the player mats to avoid constant grabs for the rule sheet. More importantly, however, is that the dice could use a bit of a redesign. One play session was pretty frustrating due to about six consecutive turns of bad rolls; I was unable to act at all and felt more like a spectator than a participant. It’s worth noting, however, that this situation arose out of a very unique setup that would be hard to replicate. Still, it could be easily fixed.
As the guest judge in The Game Crafter’s steampunk contest, City of Gears caught my eye immediately—I knew it would be a finalist from the moment I saw it, and a read-through of the rules proved that it had the potential to be a gem. In the end, it proved without a doubt that it is, indeed, a quality experience. City of Gears feels like a finished product, freshly plucked from a store shelf. Congratulations to Chris Leder!

Ben Haskett will be posting a review to all of the finalists game pages to let them know what he thought. Thank you to all the participants in this challenge. Don’t forget that we also have the new Co-Op Design Challenge going on right now!

from The Game Crafter News


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