Machi Koro

Machi KoroThere are many modern board games that seem to be inspired by Vegas-style games. If you like Craps, then Machi Koro will blow your mind. In Machi Koro, your goal is to build a city, and in order to do that you must purchase buildings. These buildings will then yield income in various ways when the number associated with them is rolled using a pair of dice.


  • Easy to Learn
  • Gameplay
  • The Next Generation


  • 2-4 players
  • 30 minutes
  • Ages 10+
  • Designer: Masao Suganuma
  • Publisher: IDW (U.S.)

Easy to Learn

Machi Koro is easy to learn. The game can become very addictive, which is both good and bad depending on the way you look at it. And, as usual, the game is usually easy to obtain at your local Target or perhaps Barnes and Noble. Or wherever you get your games. But not Toys R’ Us because they’re going out of business. Sucks.


In Machi Koro, the goal of the game is to finish your four major structures before anyone else does by paying money to finish them. Starting with three coins, you build your tableau of buildings slowly but surely by rolling the number associated with the buildings you have, thereby giving you more money. Some of these buildings allow you to earn money whenever you roll a certain number. Some buildings give you money when other players roll the number associated with the buildings. Sometimes, that income comes directly from other players themselves.

The play is quick, easy, and snowballs into a large array of options and income as the game progresses. Expansions for the game give you different kinds of cards and a different way in which they become available to you. All this lends to replayability and variability in game play. However, I usually prefer to play the base game since it’s quicker.

The Next Generation

This week at the GAMA convention in Reno had the opportunity to demo an upcoming game by John D. Clair, Space Base. This game, as well as many games before it, was inspired by the game mechanics pioneered and popularized by Machi Koro. However, Space Base offers deeper game play for those that like crunchier decisions, and you’re involved with every roll of the die, even if it’s not your turn. I would have to say Space Base is probably the game I’m most excited about at this time, and I can’t wait for it’s release. I would also have to say that Space Base saved me from going to the Craps tables in Reno, so for that, my wallet and I thank you, John.


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