I bought a copy of Paris: La Cité de la Lumiére from Devir for myself back in December and I’m in love with this game about the city of love. I was drawn to the game in the first place because Paris + polyominoes, but I mulled it over before I purchased it. Did I really need another 2-player polyomino game (ahem Patchwork)? What pushed me over the edge? The owner of one of my local game stores (Cat and Mouse Games) posted about how much she was enjoying it! I’m a firm believer that toy and game store owners KNOW THEIR STUFF. The last game I reviewed, Arboretum (which I love), I heard about ages ago from the owner of a game store in DC called Labyrinth. Kicking myself for not buying that one sooner too!
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How to play Paris: La Cité de la Lumiére
Paris: La Cité de la Lumiére is a game for only 2 players played in 2 parts. First part, players will take turns laying tiles in the box to make the streets of Paris or selecting buildings they are going to try to build in the second part of the game. The tiles in the first part have streetlights, which will earn your building points if they are adjacent to your building, but more importantly they have three colors: Orange, Blue, and Purple. The Orange player will be able to place buildings on the orange spaces in the second part, the Blue player on the blue spaces, and BOTH players on the purple spaces. No one can cover up a light post. So in the first part you’re literally laying the groundwork for the second part.
Once the tile laying is over, whatever buildings you have collected are the only ones you’ve got to play with and you’ll mark them with your color chimney. In this second part, you’re going to take turns playing your buildings or using your action tokens to do special moves. These special moves are on the backs of the lovely Paris post cards in the game. They’re everything from being able to switch a building with an unchosen one, to adding a light post anywhere on one of your board spaces, to adding a painter character to collect bonus points, to other little twists that will help you score. The second part ends when each player has used their 4 action tokens and they’ve played all of the selected buildings they can.
How to Score
To score in Paris: La Cité de la Lumiére , players first need to calculate each buildings score. Count up the number of “squares” in each placed building and then multiply it by the number of light posts that touch the building. Light posts on diagonals don’t count. A 5 square building touching 2 light posts would score 10 points (5*2). Once this is done for all buildings, players count up the largest building group, which is any buildings that are touching. So if you have a 3-square building touching a 6-square building and that’s your largest group, you’d score 9 bonus points (3+6). Lastly add any bonus points awarded by the postcards and subtract 3 points for each unused building. Player with the highest score wins!
My Thoughts on Paris: La Cité de la Lumiére
As in any game, the first time though Paris: La Cité de la Lumiére was a bit of a learning experience but we immediately wanted to play again. The instruction do give some hints to help you out in your first play through, like take 3-4 buildings and select certain postcards to play with. We found this useful, but now love the variety the different postcards provide.
I felt this game was a bit similar to New York 1901 (which I previously reviewed) from Blue Orange mostly because of the city theme, the polyomino use, fighting for land, and vying to get the best building on a space. Granted New York 1901 is for more players and doesn’t have the dual phase. Still, while there are similarities, these games are quite different and I’m thrilled to have both in my collection. Can’t wait to play Paris: La Cité de la Lumiére again soon and maybe we’ll make a themed game night out of it… I can almost taste the wine, cheese, and baguettes!
Paris: La Cité de la Lumiére Stats:
$25 at local game retailers — sorry friends I don’t have an Amazon link but call and make friends with your local game store. Seriously, it’s worth it! (also ask about some of the titles I’m putting below)
2 players only
An Amazon Associate I will earn from qualifying Amazon purchases. I’ve put the links to some of the other games I mentioned below just so you can see the pics of them. Also a Paris postcard coloring book that is pretty awesome if you need to distract a child. Please buy local if you can.