Recently I received a copy of Quadropolis and I can’t stop thinking about it! Thankfully, those I play with want to play it too so I’ve been a happy camper. As you know, I’m always on the lookout for great games to cover on The Game Aisle. And while this one definitely has more strategy than most I cover on this site, I think if you like Splendor or Ticket To Ride you’ll probably really enjoy this game too.
How to Play Quadropolis
Quadropolis has each player building a city in 4 rounds. During each of the 4 rounds, you’ll have 4 chances to take a building from the centerboard and place it on your board. The game pretty much centers round how you take and place buildings with the scoring only happening at the end. Each player starts with four “Architect” arrows numbered 1-4. You place your arrow on the edge of the centerboard and then count that number of tiles into the board and that’s the building you take. So if you place your number 2 Architect arrow pointing up from the bottom of the board, you’ll take the 2nd tile in. Easy, right? Then you’ll place it on your board somewhere in the row or column numbered 2 (because you used your number 2 Architect). Again, pretty simple once you get the hang of it. Here’s a quick trailer video that shows what I’m talking about:
The way you get and place tiles is really easy – it’s just that being able to get the building you want and placing it where you want on your board ends up being limited by those darn Architect numbers! Taking buildings is also limited by the large mover you saw in the video, as you are forbidden from taking a building in the row or column it’s standing in. This limits your choices, but since it jumps to the spot on the board you take a building from, it provides a GREAT way of blocking a player from taking a piece you think they might really want.
A round consists of everyone taking turns placing architects until they’ve placed all 4. At this point all of the tiles left on the board are discarded and you place the tiles with a number 2 on the back on the centerboard and repeat the building selection process.
When you take a tile you might collect “energy” (the red pieces) or people (the blue meeples). The upper left tells you what you collect and the lower right tells you what you need to place on the building to “activate it.” You don’t have to place your stuff until the end of the game, but it helps to do so during the game so you know what you’re missing (and you can always move them around before the game ends).
When the four rounds are over, the game is over and you score the activated buildings in your city. All types of buildings score in different ways; some examples:
- Taller apartment buildings score more points.
- Stores score more points by having more meeples in them.
- Parks score based on the number of adjacent apartment buildings.
My Thoughts on Quadropolis
That’s a general overview of the game. It’s easy to pick up on once you get started and there are lots of varied strategies so the game continues to be interesting play after play. Once you feel confident with the classic game you can move onto the expert level. This game plays well with 2 players. In both the 2-player and 3-player version of the game you won’t place all of the tiles on the center board; you’ll discard some of them and leave empty holes which keeps the tile selection process challenging. The only thing I don’t like about Quadropolis is the time it takes to reset after a round, but that’s just me being lazy (I just want to PLAY!). Overall, I think this is a very enjoyable “gateway” strategy game. I enjoy challenge of getting the tiles I want, that I’m not certain who the winner is until the end of the game, that I haven’t found a go-to strategy that works every time, and that the box has a nice insert to keep your pieces organized.
~$50 at Quadropolis Amazon and local game retailers
~30-60 minutes (decision time can make this long but we’ve kept games to 30 minutes)
Tip: Once you buy the game I highly recommend watching the video to get a pretty good handle on how play goes. The video is long, but it covers both the classic version and the expert version and you don’t have to watch that one to get started playing.