Board Game Review talked to Dr Reiner Knizia recently about his latest board game, My City. Published by Kosmos, it is a competitive legacy game in which 2-4 players develop a city on your own playing board through different ages. It’s a game that he is personally ‘very much looking forward to’.
Reiner Knizia is aiming to put his own twist on the legacy genre – as he has done for other genres in the past. With deck-building games for example, Knizia looked at the ground-breaking game Dominion and asked himself ‘how can I reach a wider audience with this fantastic mechanism?’ The result was The Quest for El Dorado. Knizia continued ‘I think I succeeded, in that it gave a much wider access to the general public to play this type of game.’
He certainly did! El Dorado won game of the year in Germany, Italy and France. While chatting he hints towards a ‘big 11 language coproduction’ coming out in the first quarter of 2020 to celebrate the game too.
Reiner Knizia then brings the conversation back to My City. ‘Legacy games can be quite deep, can be quite challenging, sometimes they are relatively long and involved. So with a similar approach [to El Dorado], I asked myself can I not create something which is much easier, much simpler, much more visible?’ From my point of view Reiner Knizia often takes an exciting mechanic, shakes it up and makes it more accessible. His games are often easy to learn, yet tricky to master. Hopefully he will apply the same brilliant game design to My City. It is clear that it’s certainly his intention.
The game will see the progress of a city in its early preindustrial stages, progressing through industrialization. During each game, players customize their experience by adding elements to their personal boards and adding cards to the game. Players’ choices and actions made during one session of gameplay carry over into the next session, creating a personalized gaming experience.
For players who do not want to experience My City as a legacy game, a double-sided game board offers an alternate set-up for repeatable play. Knizia said he had long discussions about this, as he knows there are differing opinions. With Cosmos, he developed the other side of the board to cater for a non-legacy version. Picking an epoch roughly in the middle of the development players can play a non-changing version to give it more replayability. This is also handy if you want to play it outside of your usual gaming group but don’t want to ruin the legacy element.
All in all, My City sounds like it will be a brilliant entry level family game experience and Board Game Review are eagerly awaiting its release.