Sunrise City is a 2-4 player title from Clever Mojo Games. In it you play one of the founders of the city and you’ll be competing against others to build and score as many points as possible. Will you be the founder that turns Sunrise City into a towering metropolis?
1 City Hall Tile – This is the center of the game and acts as a compass when you are building zones.
16 Role Cards – You hold a draft during the game to select and choose three role cards. A game of Sunrise City is only three rounds so you choose one to use at the beginning of each new round.
Each card has a picture of one of the residents Sunrise City. Each resident has a specific ability that can help you or hinder others during the game. They’re all unique and really fun to use. Each one also has a number listed on them which is important to determine turn order in a particular round. Lowest number is first player throughout the round.
60 Zone Tiles – These are the base of the city. You place these one at a time in turn order forming the area you will be building on top of. Putting a Zone Tile next to another of the same color/type creates a District which can give you some nice points with clever tile placement.
Your goal when placing these is to set yourself up to place the Building Tiles in your hand.
5 Community Tiles – These are played in the same phase as Zone Tiles and they can alter the way Building Tiles are scored during the game. These can be important when trying to score a little more (or in the case of some special Kickstarter tiles, a little less) to get the exact score your looking for (more on that in the Scoreboard description).
24 Bidding Chips – These are used to bid on Zone Tiles. Each player gets six in their chosen color. These are placed one by one in turn order until every player has used all of their Bidding Chips. All that matters in bidding is that you have your bidding marker on top of a specific Zone Tile when the bidding is over, not the amount of chips you bid. So there could be any number of different color chips on the tile and the only winner is the player that placed the top most chip. The exception is when someone is able to put two chips of the same color on a Zone Tile; this means that the tile is immediately won by that player.
Your reward for winning a Zone Tile you are the only player able to place a Building Tile on that particular Zone Tile (1st floor of a building). Others may build on top of your building once you have started but they cannot build there until you create the 1st floor.
60 Building Tiles – These are your buildings. You place these one at a time in turn order until all players have used all of their Building Tiles. These are going to be responsible for most of your points during a round. Each Building Tile has one or two building types (colors), a primary point area in the middle, and two bonus point areas on the sides.
20 Floor Markers – Each player that places a Building Tile on a building with an even number of floors, or creates an odd numbered floor, gets bonus points. These points increase in value as the building gets taller. These markers are placed on the even numbered floored buildings to help you remember to score those points.
For instance, one is placed on a building with two floors, two are placed on a building with four floors and so on.
70 Benchmark Tokens – These are what you collect when you score points.
4 Scoring Pawns – Each player gets one in their color and this keeps track of how you’re doing on the Scoreboard.
1 Scoreboard – This keeps track of how many points you have during the game. Every time you score you move your Scoring Pawn the number of points you’ve acquired, over lapping if you go over the board limit of ten. You get a Benchmark Token every time you accumulate more than ten points. If you can make it so you score just enough to stop your Scoring Pawn at the very top of the board (perfect ten) you get two Benchmark Tokens.
This is where your point modifiers and bonuses can help you out.
The game is played over three rounds. These are the four Phases you go through each round.
Phase One: Preparation -
* Each player will draw four Zone & four Building Tiles
* Select Role Cards (draft)
* Determine player order
Phase Two: Zoning -
* Place Zone & Community Tiles
Phase Three: Bidding -
* Take turns bidding
* Remove all but winning players Bidding Markers from the board
Phase Four: Construction -
* Take turns pacing Building Tiles
The game ends after the fourth phase in the third round.
Sunrise City is a really nice looking game. The tiles are nice and thick, the wooden components are bright and colorful, and it just has a good quality heft to it. The cover of the box looks great, I love the Sunrise City logo. It is a beast of a game weight wise though. When I first lifted this thing I was surprised at how much effort it took to one hand the thing. It really feels like you’re getting a good value with how much stuff your getting in the box.
My game group liked Sunrise City immediately even when we only had the unfinished prototype. While there are a ton of components, the set up time is actually very quick. You only really lay out those heavy tiles as your playing the game so after handing out cards, colored pawns and drawing a few tiles you’re ready to begin. It has the feel of a good intro game like Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride or Pastiche. As a matter of fact those are three of the best intro games in my collection and Sunrise City is just as good in my opinion.
Some of the best moments for me and my game group come from trying to get the Scoring Pawns exactly on the ten. Once your group gets experienced enough with Sunrise City you’ll have to plan your moves carefully because everyone will be shooting for double Benchmark Tokens every time they score. The meta-game/double point grab is in full effect here in Sunrise City and that’s one of the reasons it’s so addictive.
Clever Mojo Games has knocked another one out of the park with Sunrise City. It’s a fresh and unique take on the city builder that has an easy to learn rule set and a play time short enough for multiple plays on a game night. As far as I’m concerned Sunrise City joins the pantheon of great intro games that are fun for beginners but contain enough meat to still be a challenge for the experienced gamer.