Dream Home: Do you want a game room? a sauna? a treehouse?

Dream Home: Do you want a game room? a sauna? a treehouse?

Only a few people out there know that I started off as an architecture major in college but I quickly switched to industrial design.  Deep down I still love the idea of being an architect, thankfully though, I knew enough about myself to know that LONG design projects aren’t really my cup of tea.  Much like games, I’d rather spend my time on a bunch of projects than just one.  When I saw Dream Home from Asmodee and Rebel I had to get my hands on a copy.

The illustrations in this game are amazing.  Every card — even if they’re the same room type — is different and the detail is impressive.  The goal is to build your Dream Home (did you see that coming?!) — which of course will have the highest value at the end of the game.  Everyone starts with a large home board that has 3 levels.  The lowest level only has 2 spaces — for special “garage” or lower level cards (wine cellar anyone?), and then the top two floors can be whatever you’d like them to be.  There are a few rules you have to stick to:

  1. Once a room card is placed, it cannot be moved (unless you have the special card that allows it at the end of the game).
  2. You must have a room below that room to be able to build.  So you can’t start with a room on your second floor.
  3. Rooms can be expanded by placing more than one of that type of card next to each other (up to a max number).  Once you place a “decoration” in a room, you cannot add cards to expand that room. So if you want a 3 card living room, do not place the cat house in it until you’re done.

The game is played in rounds and during each round everyone selects a pair of cards from the board.  There are 2 rows of cards on the board, the top card can be special help cards, decoration pieces (worth bonus points), or roof cards and the card below it will always be a room.  You take a pair of cards that are on top of each other — or the first card on the board pairs with the 1st player token which means you’ll get a room and you get to go first the next round (which can be super helpful!)

After all of the rounds have been played, any “helpful people” cards are resolved — the “Supplier” allows you to select a card that was discard it and swap it with a card in your house.  Then the scoring starts.  Each room has a value and larger rooms have greater values (these are easily visible on each card). You also get bonuses for “home functionality.”  You get 3 points for having a bathroom on both of the top two floors and/or 3 points for having at least 1 kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom.  You collect bonuses for any decor you collected.  And lastly, I briefly mentioned that you can collect roof cards along the way.  If you have 4 mismatched roof cards you get 3 points for a non-uniform 4-card roof ,you get 8 points for a 4-card uniform roof, and either way you receive 1 point for each window in the roof.  The fun thing about roof cards is once you collect them you turn them over so you have to remember what you’ve got!  Player with the highest point total is the winner!

Overall the game is fun and easy to get.  It’s all about managing the spaces you have and hoping you don’t shoot yourself in the foot by waiting too long to put in garage cards, or passing up that room you’d like to add to that other room.  It’s all about decisions — the rooms, the decor, the helpers — and the planning, which is similar to building a real home, only this game takes less than 30 minutes and you don’t have to constantly be playing phone tag with your contractor.  YAY!

The one thing I will say about the game that I didn’t like was that I wanted more rooms.  There are lots of typical home spaces, but I wanted lots more to truly build my dream home.  Yes, there’s a game room, and some bad-ass kid’s playrooms, but what about the crafting room? The home office we all dream of (or at least I do!)?  The home theatre?  The bowling alley?  I would have love to see some of these wackier rooms — maybe we’ll get lucky and see those in an expansion pack!  Fingers crossed!

Dream Home Stats:

$40 Amazon and Local Game Stores
2-4 players
~25-30 minutes
Ages 7 and up