Here’s a game that ended up at #9 on the GeekBuzz at Spiel this year:
Steam Park is a game designed by Lorenzo Silva, Lorenzo Tucci Sorrentino, and Aurélien Buonfino that was published by Craniotomy Creations and Iello. It’s a 2-4 player game that takes an hour to play. Basically, you will be running a steam powered amusement park, building rides, attracting visitors, keeping it clean, and making as much money as possible.
In the game, you get 18 stand up rides, 42 visitors, 20 stands, 4 16-square starting ground tiles, 20 additional 4-square ground tiles, 4 turn order tokens, 1 turn track, 1 turn counter, 1 final dirt track, 48 dirt tokens, 4 pig boards, 34 bonus cards, 4 reference cards, 24 dice, a cotton bag, and 84 bank notes. Each player begins with 6 dice, a pig board, and a starting ground tile. They also get six bonus cards, from which they’ll choose three. One worker of each of the six colors is placed in the bag.
Steam Park lasts for six rounds, each with four phases: roll, dirt, actions, and income.
ROLL: Simultaneously, all players start rolling their six dice. If you don’t like the results, you can re-roll any number of dice. Dice you don’t re-roll are placed on your pig board, and can no longer be rolled. When all of your dice are on your pig board, take a the first turn order token available. When only the last turn order token is left, the last payer has three final rolls.
DIRT: In this phase, each player takes one dirt token per dirt icon on your dice. For each visitor in your park, take one dirt. Take 2 dirt tokens if you’re player #4 in turn order, take none if you’re #3, discard two if you’re #2, and discard four if you’re #1.
ACTIONS: In turn order, spend all of your dice to take actions. There are six possible actions:
- Build Rides – You can spend tool symbols to build rides. Each ride costs one tool per visitor space. You can build up to three rides, but not more than one of the same size during a turn. Rides are placed in your park, with small rides taking up one space, medium rides taking up two spaces, and large rides taking up three spaces. When built, rides can’t touch stands or other rides, unless it is of the same color. Connected rides are considered to be a single ride for the rest of the game.
- Build Stands – Spend one tent icon per stand you want to build, though not more than one of the same type during the turn. Each stand has a special ability – redraw a visitor, put visitors on free spaces of rides even if it’s a different color, change the result of a die on your pig board, or count single results on your dice as two.
- Attract Visitors – For each visitor icon you spend, you can put one visitor of your chosen color into the bag. Then shuffle the bag and draw an equal number of visitors (there will always be a minimum of six visitors in the bag). Put the visitor in a free space of a ride of the same color if available. If not, it goes back to the pool.
- Clean Dirt – For each shovel icon, discard up to two dirt tokens.
- Play Bonus Cards – For each dirt pile symbol, you can play one bonus card from your hand. This will earn you money based on conditions in your park.
- Expand the Park – By spending any symbol, you can buy an additional ground tile and connect it to your park. You can’t build more than two additional grounds per turn. Each additional ground must have two squares connected to already built grounds.
INCOME: For each visitor in your park, take 3 money (called Danari). If you have fewer than three bonus cards, draw two and keep one. Repeat this until you have three again.
After the sixth round, the game is over. Each player will have to pay money based on how much dirt they have left over. If you have 30+, you lose all of your money and the game. The player with the most money after this wins.
This is the first steampunk based amusement park game I’ve seen, and honestly, it feels like the steampunk part was just slapped on. This really could have been a regular old amusement park game, which is still a not-very-often-used theme. The steam part just adds a little more flavor.
Mechanically, this game seems pretty simple to understand. You roll dice quickly, you resolve your actions, you do it again. I think it looks pretty good – I like real-time elements in games, and I like being able to use dice as resources. The presence of dirt gives you some extra tension in the game, which probably helps. There looks like there’s some strategy in when to use your bonus cards, and some luck pushing as you try to pull the right visitors out of the bag. Overall, I think this will probably be a pretty good gateway game – easy to understand, some introduction to more gamery elements, and a non-threatening theme. Time will tell, of course, but this is one that has piqued my interest and I look forward to trying out someday. Thanks for reading!