Gamewright Games has an incredible variety of games in their product product line. They have card games, dice games, silly games for children, cooperative games and more. Jason Schneider is the driving force behind their games. Jason has a keen eye for exciting new games. He is also a New York Toy Fair legend. It’s said that Jason can teach someone 10 games in 10 minutes. Maybe it’s Jason quest to be able to teach a game a minute or maybe it’s just understanding the customer. Either way, it’s the reason Gamewright’s games are known for being easy to learn. City Square is no exception.
The game is themed as a city building game. However, it’s really just a simple tile laying game. Each player gets a set of 21 tiles to place on their 9 by 9 grid. The 21 tiles are all different shapes and cover between 1 and 5 spaces on the player’s grid. There is also a deck of 21 cards. Each card represents one of the tiles.
The game begins with each player choosing 1 of 4 different city tiles. These are 5 space tiles of different shapes. It’s this starting move the makes each players board slightly different. Each game turn consists of a card being drawn from the deck and both players then must add the corresponding tile to their grid. Tiles cannot be moved once placed and the new tile must fit completely within the 9 by 9 grid.
The game ends when a player cannot legally add the current tile to their grid. If both players cannot add the new tile then the winner is the player with the largest contiguous group of tiles. If that is also a tie, then you look at the 2nd largest group and so on. It’s that simple.
At first glance you might think this is just a rip-off of Blokus Duo from Mattel. What makes this different is unlike the Blokus line of games, each player in City SquareOff has their own board. This makes the game less of an attack the other player affair then Blokus. If you liked the tile laying strategy of Blokus but didn’t like the attack the other player’s position aspect of it then you’ll absolutely love City SquareOff.
One limitation of the game is it only allows for 2 players. That can easily be solved by using a second copy when playing with 3 or 4 players.
Game length runs about 15-20 minutes, provided that neither player suffers from the dreaded analysis paralysis syndrome.
The box says recommended for ages 8 and up. The game is simple enough that younger players should be able to handle it.