The city is booming, but we’re running out of space! Where are we going to house all these people? The urban sprawl just isn’t quite working… There has to be a better way… You there! Yes, you! What are you thinking? How can we create enough housing space for all of these people given our limited space… What was that? “Build up” you say? That just might work! Quick! Contact every building contractor you know and get them sketching up housing plans. Vertical housing plans! Yes, this will do it. This will save us. We’re going to need one big blueprint for a…
Like every good building game, you and up to four other players are contractors working against each other to construct the most valuable structures in the city. Given the limited available space, however, your buildings may end up stacking on top of one another, giving bonus points to your opposing builders. The player with the most money at the end of the game is the winner.
So, how does it all work? On your turn you’ll have up to three things you’ll do in order. First, roll the die to see how many spaces around the perimeter of the building site you’ll move. The space you land on will determine what spaces you can build a column on. The second required action of your turn is building a column based off of where you’re at on the board. These pieces set the foundation for the flat story tiles you have the option to play to increase the height of your buildings. The third action is the only optional action of your turn, and you can only complete it if you have columns in the right positions to play your story tiles. Completing each story nets you cash, and getting the most cash wins you the game! Easy peasy!
However, Casa Grande still has a few tricks up its sleeve that keeps game play interesting. If you’ve been eyeing the picture of the board above, you probably noticed the number track on the left side. This is the bonus point track, and it can drastically change your luck in the game! There’s a couple of different things it does. The most common ability you can use bonus points for is to move yourself extra spaces. If you rolled a 4 and want to move 5 spaces, just subtract one bonus point from the track and move that extra space! If you manage to avoid using bonus points, as well as land on the corner space on the build site’s perimeter, you can exchange 9 bonus points for 9 Casa Grande Lire! Wow!
And that’s it! The game ends when a player runs out of building columns and each player has had the same amount of turns. All in all, Casa Grande is a fun little game about building a city that manages to stay interesting with limited building options as well as with the influence of the bonus point system. If you’re a fan of games like Blokus, Pagoda, or even Jenga, Casa Grande provides a fun, tactile, building experience that is unique as well as simple. Come down to the Castle and build the biggest buildings you can today!