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Danger City

Description

Danger City is a speedy card game where you can win in one of two ways: you can side with the Neighbourhood, or with the Robbers. Either have the fewest robbers in your hand and the most points on the table once the final house has been built – or reveal 5 Robbers at once from your hand, and you have won.

Danger City takes its inspiration from so-called “Gated Communities” that one may find in plush suburbs of North American (or English?) cities, and the idea that you must either be a very paranoid person to live in one, or have very good reason to want to protect yourself from someone!

We are taken to an idyllic neighbourhood that is in full-blown development – houses are being built, as well as parks, amenities, services and the like.
But somewhere things go wrong: a gang of robbers have arrived. The neighbourhood takes decisive action and starts to install surveillance systems, to thwart their enemies. But who will win out?

Basic Rules

Players take turns in building the neighbourhood, by playing Neighbourhood cards from their hand onto the table. Each card has a specific value – a Garage is worth 5 points while a Golf Course is worth 15. Cards circulate round the player from player to player: you draw or play a card and then pass one on face down. Lurking in their midst are a rabble of robbers. Chances are you either want to collect them or get rid of them, but you cannot play them like Neighbourhood cards. If you collect 5 of them, you can reveal them all at once from your hand and win. You have “sided with the robbers!”

Otherwise the game ends when a specific number of House cards have been played – twice the number of players. At that point the game stops and the player with the FEWEST robbers in their hand wins. If there is a tie, then Neighbourhood points come into play – whoever has played down the most points wins.

And that’s pretty much it!

Strategy

Essentially the game has been designed so that it is equally likely that the game will be won after the final House card has been played, or via the Robbers. You are as likely to draw House cards as you are Robbers, so either route is viable.

The game hots up as the final few Houses are being built – no-one wants to be left with a bunch of robbers after the last House card is played, or indeed if you are collecting robbers, you need to make damn sure that you manage to get five of them before the last House Card gets played. So as the game draws to its end, players are frantically trying to lose robbers…or collect robbers…or indeed play Neighbourhood cards. But the skillful player will realise that it’s not just the final sprint that counts.

Obviously you know what card you are receiving from the player on the right and which card you are feeding to the player on the left, so chances are you have a fair idea of where robbers might be amongst your competitors – and working out who is trying to do what is key. E.g. If you have been receiving a glut of Robbers that suddenly dries up – that should tell you something. You can also win by playing the turncoat, or looking like you are doing one thing while secretly doing another.

The game is currently only available in mainland Europe, but is set to become available imminently in the UK, retailing at around £7.
See www.isimat.fr or email muellbauer@lycos.com for details

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