When the game Machi Koro came out, it hit like a bomb. The game was released at Spiel 2013 by a small Japanese publisher. The few copies that were available were sold out in minutes. The lucky ones who bought the game or played it were usually very enthusiastic. In no time, this was the game you had to play. But because of the poor availability, that was not so easy. And this scarcity only pushed popularity to higher levels.
In the meantime Machi Koro has been picked up by several publishers and the game is easily available. I thought it was a fun game, but I thought there was little variation. Fortunately, the game lends itself perfectly for expansion. The Port is the first expansion that has been released and the second expansion has already been announced. Moreover, I do not expect that that will be the last.
The expansion consists of two parts: new game material and new rules.
First of all, there are a lot of new building cards in it. Among other things, you receive three extra starting cards per player (two new attractions and a new starting building). There are 58 (!) other new cards in the game, such as a flower field (1 coin if someone throws 4), flower shop (1 coin per flower field if you throw 6 yourself), a pizzeria (1 coin of everyone who throws 7) and the tax office (half of the coins of each player who has 10 or more coins if you throw 8 or 9). You can choose to use part of these cards instead of the cards from the basic game.
Instead (the second part of the expansion), you can also choose to play the game in a completely different way. You have to shuffle all the cards from the basic game and the expansion. Then you open ten different cards (if you open a card that is already there, you place it on the card that is already there). The rest of the game has remained the same (try to build the attractions first).
Machi Koro: Harbor – A Big Hit!
This Harbor expansion is a big hit if you ask me. Not only are there many nice new building cards in the expansion, but especially the new way of playing suits the game very well (this is also possible with the basic game alone). It makes the game less predictable (the basic game often proceeded in the same way).
Here you have to make do with the cards that are for sale and that forces you to play flexibly and get the most out of what is available. The disadvantage of this is that the game can take a bit longer (you play less efficiently). The playing time is further extended because you don’t have to build 4 but 6 attractions (the most expensive of which even costs 30 coins).