In Machi Koro, 2-4 players roll dice and spend money to buy properties for their city. The first player to construct four special building completes their city first and wins the game.
Each type of property (wheat field, bakery) have their own effects normally related to income. Some effects can happen on anyone’s turn and others only happen on the active player’s turn. Some of the cards are more useful during the early stages of the game and others are more useful during the end of the game. The variety of card mechanics means there is no one specific way to win.
Pros: The base game is simple and easy to learn with the expansions adding different layers. Even when teaching new players, games last about 30 minutes. There is a good mix of strategy (which property do I buy) and luck (you need to roll dice well to win).
Con: Although you can play with 2 players, I suggest at least 3 players. The problem we ran into when playing with only 2 players is it removes much of the strategy. While there is no guaranteed “buy properties in this order” method of winning, having only 2 players made it much easier to do the same thing each game and consistently win. There is only a limited numbers of each properties. With 4 players, you may not be able to buy the properties you want. With only 2, you pretty much can buy exactly what you want. At that point, the game becomes only about dice rolls.
This is a fun game that is easy to teach new players, is quick to play, has light strategy, and is expandable with the expansions. If you like building style games, give Machi Koro a try.