Calvin’s Commentaries: New York 1901

Among recently reviewed games none have been a more enjoyable experience than New York 1901.

While there have been games which I would rate more highly, on relaxing fun, this one is certainly high on the list.

“Shape the historic skyline of New York City in this skyscraper building game. You will take on the role of land developers competing for glory and prestige in the city’s financial district as you acquire new land, demolish old buildings, and build up skyscrapers to staggering new heights,” details the game’s publisher.

So where to start with this gem?

I could start with the great illustrations from Vincent Dutrait. The back of the game board would look pretty outstanding hanging on the wall of a game’s room. It is that cool.

So when this game is on the table it looks awesome.

The game, designed by Chénier La Salle plays two-to-four, although this is one where the more the merrier holds true. The more competition to control areas on the map of New York allowing players to ‘build’ skyscrapers, the better.

That is the goal here, to build bigger and higher skyscrapers on some of Lower Manhattan’s most iconic streets.

The game has something of a Tetris-feel, in the sense players have to fit building pieces of various shapes into the grid. They gain control of the grid by choosing cards and sending out workers to claim locales on which they can build in the future.

So there is also just a taste of a worker placement mechanic, which works super smoothly here.

Overall, New York 1901, is most reminiscent of Ticket to Ride. If you are a fan of the classic train game are going to feel New York familiar and the game easy to understand, and fun to play.

There are, however, some added choices with the skyscraper builder. You are not left with handfuls of useless cards in pursuit of specific train lines. New York keeps you better engaged.

The one small flaw is that the game provides each player with a visually attractive card for a specific builder, but they grant no special in-game bonuses, which was just a little disappointing.

New York 1901 also has some accolades which suggest how good it is. The awards and honours include;

For great family fun, New York 1901 is a winner on my table too.

Thanks to fellow gamers Trevor Lyons and Adam Daniels for their help in running through this game for review.

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