This tile-drafting city-building game is thematically nothing new. It shares parallels with many games like Quadropolis (Days of Wonder), Suburbia (Bezier) and Warsaw: City of Ruins (aka Capital) (Granna/North Star). Focusing on the energy production aspect of city planning – but without any resemblance at all to Power Grid (Rio Grande) – it does an excellent job of packing in plenty of strategy and fun into a relatively short game.
Electropolis is designed by Chang Yu Di, Ku Chun Wei and Wang Liang, with art by Freepik and Masha Tace, and it's a compact box game published by Homosapiens Lab. The components and artwork are elegantly clean, simple and clear; with intuitive iconography so that very little text is required in the game. The rules are also fairly straightforward, meaning that you can easily get straight into the business of strategising through each decision.
There are so many considerations to balance against each other: do you want more tiles or the chance to pick tiles first? Do you spread your buildings out across your 5x5 board to maximise flexibility or should you try to focus them to take advantage of in-game scoring opportunities? Do you prioritise keeping your pollution down or offset your resultant lack of popularity with public buildings? Do you compete for end-game bonuses or let others chase those while you do your own thing? There’s never an obvious right answer. And even though the crucial development cards are the same every game, the order in which they and the building tiles appear over the eight rounds will vary enough to make each game feel very different. Electropolis takes 2–4 players. It scales well with different player counts and should be easily expandable in future (there are only six end-game bonuses so far).
For a game with such a small box, humble components and fast play time (the 50-70 mins on the box is not unrealistic), you will be surprised at how engaging, and even addictive, this game is.
(Review by Matt Young)
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