Since we started to collect board games, we have discovered we like many more kinds of board games then we initially thought. We started our board game journey with only heavy cooperative board games, but started buying more and more competitive board games, and also light and medium games. We also discovered, one of the game mechanics we like the most is tile placement. So we decided we were going to try out something new with something familiar. That’s how we came across Megacity Oceania. In this game you have tile placement mechanics, but you also have to build your abstract building to score points. We were very excited to see what buildings we would create, what would stand tall and what would fall.
How to Play.
The set up for this game is very easy and fast. Give each player four parks (the green platforms)and a color of player tokens. Place the Central Park in the middle of the table and shuffle all the remaining tiles into a stack, then flip three platforms beside the stack to form a supply. Put all the building pieces into the bag and mix them. Also separate out the four landmark contract cards (with a white back) and set them aside. Then the rulebook asks you to shuffle the remaining contract cards, deal them out at random with the amount depending on the amount of players, and if you don’t have two contracts of each four building types at least, you need to reshuffle and do it again. We didn’t like that since we sometimes had to reshuffle four times with two players only. We simply sorted each contract, picked two out from each type at random, then we reshuffled and took the remaining cards we needed so you always have the right amount of contracts. Separate the contracts by color once more and place them in four face up columns to choose from. After the contracts, place the awards bar on the table with the award tokens on their marked spaces together with the tallest building marker and rulers. Lastly, place the prestige tokens nearby to form a supply. The first player will receive no starting building pieces, the second receives one, the third two, and so on. Now you are ready to build.
On your turn, you may perform two standard actions (three in a two player game), you may perform an action multiple times. You can choose one of the top contracts from one of the four columns and place it face up near your player board. A building contract tells you how high a building minimal has to be, how many pieces you can use and what special architectural requirements you have to meet for a contract to be completed. Like creating a building with five pieces of minimum 35 height (use the ruler to measure the height) and it must have a lower archway for example. You can also take a platform as a standard action. On platforms you can build your buildings. Each colored contract, need to be build on the same color platform in order to complete the contract. The platform also has three utility ports and a vent. You cannot build over the vent directly, you may only do this with a second floor with a piece that is overlapping for example. The three utility ports however must be connected to your building, meaning you have to build over all three off the ports in order for the building to be complete in the end. You can also take three building pieces from the bag as an action, or look for one building piece of the material that you need from the bag. You might need this to gain bonus points in the end since you get more points if a building is build completely from the same material. You may only have 15 pieces in your play area at the same time.
Other then gaining building pieces, you can rezone a platform. Each platform is double sided. If you need a different colored platform for one of your contracts, you may flip one of the platforms in your play area if the other side holds the color you need. You can also choose to refresh the platform supply and place three new platforms to choose from. Lastly, you can reorganize building contracts. To do this, take a front contract from a row and place it in the back of the column, this will reveal a new contract. If you completed a contract, you may attempt to deliver it. This will cost you one action and you can only do this once on each turn. If you meet all of the requirements on your contract and platform, you can carefully slide the platform with your building to the spot where you want to deliver the building. The first building must touch the Central Park. After that, each platform added to the city must touch at least one other tile and all platforms must be within three tiles of Central park. If your building falls, take back your pieces to try again in your next turn. If you succeed however, score the prestige points on the contract, then you can either choose to place the park tile you received during the setup in the city, as long as it’s not next to another park tile. Or you can place a monument on a park tile. To do this, take on of your building pieces and place it on an empty park tile, this will give each adjacent platform bonus points at the end of the game. If you place a monument on the Central Park, you also take a prestige token. You can also gain a bonus prestige token for having the tallest building or delivering a building made out of one sort of material.
When the last standard contract has been taken. The four landmark contracts can then be placed on the table. They are now available to chose from if you don’t have any standard contracts left. When the final standard contract has been completed, each player takes one last turn. You can then choose to deliver one last time, or recycle. To recycle, place all your remaining building pieces back in the bag and take one prestige token. Then the game ends. Now the specialization awards of each color are handed to the players who have the most contracts completed of that awards color, they are worth two prestige points. If players have build at least one building from each color contract, they also gain the diversity reward giving three extra points. The player with the tallest building will also receive the tallest building award giving another three extra points. Then add the points of each completed contract, awards, bonuses like platforms adjacent to monuments and substract one point for every three building pieces that remain in your player area. The player with the most points win the game.
Playthrough of the game.
As we were expanding the city, I was trying to complete contracts the best I could. I picked up the right platforms with the right contracts, tried to gain the best building pieces that I could use and I was building in between every turn to see what I could create. But I wasn’t the only one doing that of course. Tomasz was also building megastructures with every chance he got and he was trying to build complicated contracts with complicated buildings. So much so in fact, that each time it was time for him to deliver, I could just sit back and enjoy the show. He didn’t care about a base structure so the building would have some strength. It just needed to be the tallest building possible with as many pieces possible and it also had to look as abstract as he could build in the progress. This resulted in many hilarious deliveries where I definitely didn’t try to distract him even more so the buildings would collapse. But his hard work payed off in the end. Because he had many buildings build from the same material and a lot of tallest buildings rewards, he won the game. This is just one of the many fun experiences we had with Megacity Oceania.
This is a really easy light game that is easy to teach to other people and it’s also a great gateway game since it’s not fully a board game. You also have almost no down time since you can build your structures in between your turns. There are many different contracts with different objectives, but also the vents and utility ports are also placed on different sport on each platform which can really add to your challenge. But since there are many different shapes, forms and colors of building materials you can gain, almost nothing is impossible. You can really try and create the best buildings with amazing structures, or you can simply try and complete the contract. The park tiles also gives you a little more strategic choices for if you don’t want to make a taller building every time since you can gain one more point for each adjacent platform if you place a monument. Lastly, the quality of the components are quite good, but we did notice that some edges of some building pieces aren’t completely straight, probably from cutting the pieces in the factory. This could give you some issues if you want to build a complex structure. Lastly we think the box is to big for it’s components. It has an easy insert, but with the bag holding most of the components, a smaller box would definitely have been an option to making it easier to take the game with you to friends for example. Now the box is pretty massive.
Megacity Oceania is an abstract strategic city building game where you have to gather the best contracts and building pieces in order to gain the most points and win the game. You can create complex buildings with many pieces to give yourself a challenge, but you can also try to structure your building well and create height with one big piece for example. The most fun in this game is delivering the buildings itself since you have to physically slide the building to the place where you want to put it. If you have made a strong building, this is of course no problem. But if you like to build abstract high buildings, you might want to slide with care. The pressure from watching opponents will naturally rarely help. Megacity Oceania is a fun light gateway game that you can teach anyone who don’t play board games. We haven’t played a game like this before and we are happy we could add it to our collection!