Suburbia board game: a simple, subtle economic simulation


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Intriguing. I wonder if it accounts for race – white flight, redlining and economic evisceration of black neighborhoods, wonderful schools in lily-white suburban neighborhoods and grossly underfunded ones in inner-cities, and so on.

The Wink Fun link at the end of the post appears to be broken (missing the .net suffix on the tld).

Castles of Mad King Ludwig is arguably a better game. It’s made by the same guy (Ted Alspach) and fixes some of the problems that Suburbia has. Not to say Suburbia is a bad game, though.

I haven’t played it yet, it does sound very good, though. And it doesn’t have the abysmal art direction of suburbia!

Suburbia is one of my favourites, though. There are a few broken tiles here and there, but it’s wonderful to play.

It’s not much better, though.

Definitely not.

“there is almost no luck”

The review lost me right there. I’ve played this game a couple times, and it is a fairly high luck game:

  • which end-game bonus cards appear (shared) and which you have in your private draft: do they line up or clash
  • which tiles are in the draw set – about 1/3 are not, which makes many choices a gamble as to whether they will pay off or not
  • the order the tiles appear in; does the tile you want appear a couple turns before yours so you can afford it, or right on your turn so that either you cripple yourself with the cost; or it is gone by the time things get back around to you. Or a critical tile you need appears several turns before yours, and a player before you is able to grab it, without you being able to do anything about it.

The Hamurabi for our time.

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The closest thing to it: there is a “Housing Projects” residential tile that grants +10 to population (highest value of any tile in the game), but also a -2 to reputation for virtually any adjacent (non-lake) tile.

Played the Code of Hamurabi on my TRS-80 model 1 way (way) back in the day. Good times!

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Me too – TRS-80, the beloved “CoCo”. Good times indeed!

I played HAMURABI on other systems too, even earlier than the CoCo days, and subsequent to CoCo as well. One of those formative things, HAMURABI … made me fall in love with programming.

(Update: I keep all-capping HAMURABI, but that was an early name; many versions went by variant names.)

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