Thank you to 'Fritz' at Oak Lounge Games for sharing the preview version of their new game Prestige: A city building game on Table Top Simulator. So without any further ado, let's get on with this and share our thoughts...
If you want to get in before anyone else, make sure to check out the Kickstarter using this link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/oakloungegames/prestige-a-city-building-game
Game Time: 30 - 45 minutes
Prestige is a semi-cooperative city-building game in which you play as tribal chiefs helping to build the prestige of this ancient city. You add cards each round to build and expand the city, ideally adding cards into the city that match your favoured tribe as the winner is the player with the most cards in play that match their tribe. Of course you only win if you manage to get enough prestige before you run out of room to build the city any further, and assuming you keep your population alive and unscathed from those nasty invaders.
The objective of the game is to build a city with enough prestige to last the test of time, either by earning enough prestige directly or exhausting the gained favour event deck. At which point the player with the most cards in the city matching their tribe will be the winner. However, if you run out of population or deplete either the lost favour or invaders decks then all players will lose.
The set-up for the game is pretty easy, with a single starting card shared by all the tribes. The city decks are then constructed by taking some core city cards and a number of each tribe's building cards based on player count, and shuffling them to form a combined deck. After starting cards are dealt to each player, this deck is split into three equal piles with one pile face up. I love the option of the face-up pile giving you the option to have more precise information about what cards to draw instead of simply relying on the card backing to indicate the building type.
Once you have set-up, each player will take turns. A turn starts by checking if you need to resolve an event based on where the city resources are currently. For example having a happy city will earn you gained favour events, which should benefit your city.
There are three types of events:
Gained Favour - your people are excited to be here and good things are happening in the city
Lost Favour - your citizens are not happy with the current rule and may take matters into their own hands
Invader - outside forces are looking to take advantage of your city while it's weak.
Each of these events are resolved by drawing the top card of the corresponding deck and reading it aloud to all players, resolving any effects that may be shown, or leaving in play as a modifier for a period.
Once events are resolved you make take one of four actions:
Placing - playing one your city or unit cards into the tableau
Discarding - risking invaders to refresh your hand of cards
Restoring - repairing damaged building within the city
Unique Actions - perform one of the unique actions shown on a city card
Players keep taking turns until one of the victory conditions has been met or you have run out of cards and lose! While I haven't looked at the solo variant much the premise is simple enough, with you having goals to achieve in how you build out the city. Equally, there are additional variants for an easy fully cooperative game mode and a more cutthroat harder gameplay allowing you to adjust the gameplay to suit your group.
Okay so you know the drill with these TTS previews, we can't comment too much on this side but I will say it is very clear the artwork is just brilliant and if that is anything to go by I expect the rest of the game will match.
So let's break it down for you in our key areas:
Replayability - With the way the decks are constructed each game I wouldn't expect any game to feel the same, with it taking many playthroughs just to see all the cards in the first place, and the strange combinations they can create with those all important adjacency bonuses.
Production Value - As above, we had a TTS preview, so not much to say here really, other than I hope the final product matches the high quality of everything else we've seen.
Theme - The theme is sold for me through and through, mostly from the stunning artwork which really sells that ancient feeling and transports you to another time.
Complexity - The game is a nice light-medium weight complexity with some challenges coming from managing shared resources and maximising opportunity for adjacency bonuses while keeping an eye on tribal balance.
Rules - While these are still a work in progress, the rules are easy to follow even if we did make a small mistake at the beginning, great job guys with keeping it so easy to follow.
Uniqueness - While I can't speak for the whole world this game feels really unique to me, playing off classic concepts in new ways with the use of cards instead of tile in your shared tableau.
Value - Not really sure about this yet but watch out for the Kickstarter coming soon
Overall I enjoyed playing this game, and the artwork is just absolutely gorgeous. Prestige plays on classic game themes and is a solid entry point into the hobby. For me, the game could perhaps use a little more crunch in terms of end-game scoring. That said, we haven't tried out the mini expansion yet; it promises additional gameplay in the form of hidden objectives, which is something I look forward to trying.
Your friendly DoaLG rules lawyer
George E Ohh
If you wan to know more, check out the recording below of our live show Let's Talk Boardgames in which we caught up with the designer Fritz.