Friday, December 30, 2022

Reviewed: Santorini: New York

 Santorini: New York is another game from the pile of new stuff this holiday season.  As avid fans of the original we were very excited to give this one a try.  Read on for some more thoughts.

 The first aspect of this updated version that catches your eye are the skyscrapers: giant golden buildings!  These beefy golden components not only look awesome but they play a key role in the game and we were excited to get to place them on the board!

 Gone from the original is the perfectly square map and in it's place is a New York shaped map.  This fits the theme but I feel like it gives up a bit of the "chess like" feeling of the original.  There are nooks on the board that a player will get stuck on (or at least did in our first couple of games).

 Also added to this version as a required feature are role cards that are played each turn that require/allow a player to take a unique action.  The twist is that if the card says "must" the player "must" take the action or lose a worker.  Simple to start but later in games this can be a real problem if, for example, you only have Subway Operators left and there is no free spaces to move to... goodbye worker (of which you only get two!).  

 The roles add some variety to the game and unlike the original where the cards were optional rules they are a core part of New York.  This makes the game a little harder to teach to anyone that has never played Santorini but for our family who are Santorini veterans it took no time to pick up.

Grrrrr... Statue of Liberty!!!!
 One annoying mechanic in New York is the Statue of Liberty.  The player that plays the highest numbered card that turn gets the statue.  You MUST have the statue in order to take a winning move.  If you can take a winning move (of which there are multiple in this version of the game) but don't have the statue you can't win.  I don't feel this really works and in our experience elongated games and punished players who were unlucky in the cards they were dealt.

 In summary the game is fun, but would not be one I recommend someone get if they don't have the original.  The original is superior; mostly for the "no god/role cards: version that is easy to teach/hard to master.  With that said, if you own the original and enjoy it, then New York is worth getting as it kicks it up a notch. 

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