$10.00

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User Rating Comment Status
Dick Hunt
United States
Ovid
Michigan
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10
Mar 2012
Acquired via BGG trade for Belfort. A great trade! Urban Sprawl is a blast!
2012-03-18
Owned
David A
United States
Los Angeles
California
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10
Jul 2013
I really love this game. Diceless but with enough randomness in the building draws to make every game different.
2013-07-19
Owned
Remy Gibson
United States
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10
Nov 2011
12 Nov 11

I am absolutely adoring this game. I have played 3 times (well, 2½; the first one was aborted) and I like it more each time I play.

Before my first play I was reading/watching reviews and came across the nice and comprehensive one from doubtofbuddha (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/719051/urban-chaos) in which one conclusion he draws is that there is too much chaos in the game for him. This review caused me some concern, making me wonder whether it would be too chaotic for me. After these initial plays, I can most definitely say that it is not TOO chaotic for me.

The Metropolis deck does have some crazy powerful stuff going on in it. But it seems clear to me that familiarity with the decks is going to yield a huge advantage in planning. I'm already seeing some trends in the cards, like the fact that the Mayor is probably not the best politician to have in the City deck or the fact that those powerful Metropolis cards (as well as many City cards) require 3 or 4 permits.

The flow of the game is very smooth and turns seem to go by pretty quickly after the initial shock of available choices wears off. Though I haven't played with 4 players, looking at the differences between 2 and 3 makes me think that the more players you have, the less strategic/more tactical the game will become. This could lead to some analysis paralysis among those inclined. I will also say that the staggering number of things that can happen at the end of each player's turn -- because of payouts and events -- can make it easy to lose track of whose turn it is. A computerized version of the game would probably make that go much faster, but I would probably lose that close, tactile feel of what is going on in the game.

Each time I've finished playing the game so far, I've had that urge to play again as soon as possible. This is the same feeling I've had after first playing some of my favorite games, like Le Havre, Race for the Galaxy, and Twilight Imperium.

My "9" rating for this game is provisional (I feel like it could definitely go up) and is relative (to my other games).

I've played this with my 10-year-old son all three times; he's beaten me twice. I think experience will likely turn the tide there in my favor (since I don't foresee him doing the deeper analysis that I find myself doing), but the actual mechanics of the game are uncomplicated enough for him to play with almost no guidance from me.

Some notes I'll put here about strategy pointers that I want to share when I teach the game, as far as where to build:
- Try to build next to other buildings of the same color.
- It's very important to have the most valuable buildings in a color (at least by the time the City deck opens), for the politicians.
- It's very important to have the most buildings in a given row, for payouts.
- It's good, but somewhat less important, to have the most buildings in a given color, for certain events.
- It's important to grab any contract that will let you place one of the wealth/prestige payout dots.
- It's probably a good idea not to spend all of your permits all the time. (This is the idea I'll be trying in the next game.)

In short: Fantastic. I love this game and have no regrets about the ~$60 I dropped on it.


30 Nov 11

If possible, I'm liking it even more now than I did three weeks ago. I've now squeezed 7 (6½) plays in; for a game that takes over two hours, that's an impressive feat in my schedule.

This has the potential to be one of my top games. The feeling I have about it, the excitement to play again and again, is one that I've only had with a couple of games previously, Twilight Imperium and Le Havre; I considered TI my #1 game for years, and consider Le Havre to be so now. So US is in good company.

The way I've jiggered my ratings is to have a more-or-less sequential list of games, using tenths of a point to differentiate them and with only 2 "10"s: one for a heavy game and one for a light game. Until I resequence them again, though, I'm putting US as my third 10.
2011-11-30
Owned
Paul Nomikos
Canada
Kingston
Ontario
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10
Nov 2011
Simple and elegant rules result in a city development game. This is a great game. People will argue that there is a lot of randomness in the game, but the purpose of the game is to handle this randomness. It is not a luck game. It is a strategy game. You will have a great time for 4 hours. It has the same stochastic behavior as Dominant Species. I prefer for now Dominant Species mainly because of the theme. In both games, you play against your opponents and a system of randomness. You have to take care of both!!!
2011-11-26
Michael Pavelich
Norway
Nordfjordeid
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10
Feb 2012
Takes a few plays to get to know how to plan a strategy. You'll have to decide for yourself if it's worth the effort. It is for me.. I love reacting to the chaos!
2012-02-28
Owned
Andrea Martella
Italy
Roma
Roma
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10
Dec 2012
Sometimes I think that this could be Hotel with a harder level of playability and without 3-d buildings.
But there's more in this game.
Thanks, Chad Jensen
2012-12-14
Owned
Noah Ban
United States
Buffalo Grove
Illinois
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10
Jul 2014
I enjoy this game more and more as I play it. Definitely best with 4. Sometimes the randomness seems a bit too much, but this game definitely creates a narrative of the city, and every card fits the theme. A great ride each time.
2013-05-01
Owned
Jeff DeBoer
United States
Jacksonville
Oregon
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10
Nov 2012
I find this game fascinating, challenging and super fun to play. A complete gaming experience. Being a business person, the mtheme is of particular interest and helps my rating. Yes, I know there is a little bit of chaos, but I actually prefer that in my gaming as I game for fun, not to escape all the wonderful chaos in the real world in some abstract perfect paradise as many here on the geek seem to prefer. Yuck.
2012-11-12
Owned
Paul Beasi
United States
Easthampton
Massachusetts
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9.8
Oct 2011
Big swing at the end, but wow did I thoroughly enjoy this game.
2011-10-27
Owned
Tony Brum
United States
Ewa Beach
Hawaii
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9.8
Apr 2014
This is a great game. This has the potential to be one of my top games. People may argue that there is a lot of randomness in the game, but the purpose of the game is to handle this randomness. It is not a luck game. It is a strategy game. A game where you need to think ahead and gamble on the opportunities and resources you have each turn. And what's the best - The uncertainty that comes into play before each players turn. You will have a great time for 3 hours. I've only player to player games with my wife, and she likes the game.
2014-04-28
Owned
Chris Keates
United States
Salt Lake City
Utah
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9.5
Oct 2011
My favorite game of 2011. This is a city simulator, and we are just going along for the ride, fighting tooth and nail each turn to do what we can. Chaotic? Yeah, I guess. But aren't most cities that way?

UPDATE: Your first game will be a learning game, in the sense that you need to run through the cards (and their events) to see how everything works. On your second play, you'll realize that each card is really just a variant on some very basic "type" of card that you encountered early in the game- "take that" cards, high/low value rewards/penalties, etc.
2011-10-30
Jayson Myers
United States
Clermont
Florida
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9.5
Apr 2012
I had a great time with this game and it became one of my favorites! I only played with two, so a lot of the elections were back and forth. I think with 3-4 players it would take a lot more time.
2012-04-02
Owned
Bob Long
United States
Woodbridge
Virginia
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9.5
Nov 2011
another great game by Chad Jensen. not as mind twisting as DS. A game that plays easy but highly strategic. a fun game
2011-11-27
Owned
Mark Okke
United States
Minnesota
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9.5
Apr 2012
If you are looking for a game that deal with the politics of building a city, this is definitely the game to get. I was a little unsure but it wasn't until UndeadViking's review that finally made me pull the trigger. Definitely a buy!
2012-04-28
Owned
Stephen Slotten
United States
Saint Charles
Missouri
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9.5
Dec 2012
Wild, unpredictable point swings, but it's a great city building game!
2014-01-21
Owned
Justin Dee
United Kingdom
Lancaster
Lancashire
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9.5
May 2014
Urban Sprawl never seems to get a lot of attention, but I'm a big fan, I love the inter-game variation brought about by the different available buildings, and it looks and feels great.
2013-10-15
Owned
Gordon Stewart
United States
Bowie
20715
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9.4
Oct 2014
Fun even though 1ST GAME was a learning/discovery game. Interesting
to toy with the interaction between a multitude of moving parts (like playing
w/ clockwork). Likes: tile laying on the column/row grid, planning for upcoming
cards (as they slide down in cost), funny card wording, catch-up mechanisms,
election roundel, etc. Be interested in variants that reduce/distribute the
chaotic luck of placing/moving the row markers.
Definitely one for many replays!
2011-11-04
Owned
Want To Play
Gary Heidenreich
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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9
Dec 2011
I love city building games. This one has meat, an excellent look, and a lot going on. It's a game of surprise moves and screwage (later in the game). The first play might seem random but I would call this chaos management. I can see after some more plays, you know what to expect from the event cards. Hell, even during the first play, you are reshuffling the planning deck so you see some of the same event cards coming up. I know now that Media can get you little points all the way through the game if you can hang onto it. It's area control and tile laying. I have to play it again, soon.

A quote that I think is appropriate for this game: Luck is where preperation meets opportunity.

Update: pushed up to a 9. The last game was so different than the others. Plots got expensive very quickly. Huge commercial district. Very fun. After five plays you know what cards, for the most part, are in the deck and you can plan appropriately.
2012-03-08
Owned
Remus McRhymus
United States
Pennsylvania
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9
Nov 2011
p500
2011-09-30
Prev. Owned
Aaron Cinzori
United States
Holland
Michigan
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9
Dec 2011
Initial impression: this game rocks! There is a lot of chaos flying at you, but it feels like good play matters. This game has the same sort of interacting majorities as Dominant Species (here it's majorities on rows vs. majorities on colors) as well as working on maintaining a good number of vocations.

The theme is well-integrated, and I like watching how the city develops. Individual buildings are amusingly themed and so are the politicians. End game scoring is important but not overwhelming.

Looking forward to more.
2011-11-13
Owned
Allen Sam
Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur
WP
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9
Oct 2012
GMT P500 *2. Got an extra copy (in shrink) up for trade

I really enjoy the chaos and randomness of this game. Chad Jensen's game really click with me...
2012-10-31
Owned
Carl Patten
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
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No, no, I'm fine. How are you?
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9
Nov 2011
Pre-ordered sometime in April 2011 because I have a friend who is deeply into urban planning as a career. He approved. The manual redefines some terms in a way that is initially confusing, and fails to make clear an important concept when calculating the value of a square, so that is a step down from Dominant Species.
2011-11-30
Owned
Shaun Esau
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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9
May 2012
Much like Dominant Species, Urban Sprawl seems to be a game of "controlled chaos". The urban-planning theme sticks nicely, even though (again, like DS) the actual game is little long in the tooth by the time the end arrives.
2012-04-08
Owned
Markus
Switzerland
Berg (Daegerlen)
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9
Jan 2015
Superspiel!
2012-08-24
Owned
William (Andy) Anderson
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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9
Nov 2011
Love the game. Only problem is game length.
2011-11-01
Owned
Jared VZ
United States
Stockton
California
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9
Dec 2011
The problem with the game, as I see it, is that it's just too much fun!
2011-12-07
Owned
Joel Eddy
United States
Coeur d'Alene
ID
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9
Oct 2012
Nearly perfect fun.
2011-12-18
Owned
Gonzalo de Antonio
Spain
Pozuelo de Alarcon
Madrid
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9
Nov 2011
Plenty of chaos but also plenty of fun. Strategy modification is required quite often which makes each game a new experience.
Full of challenging decisions and different alternatives to win.

Chad Jensen made it again Congratulations!
2011-11-17
Owned
Preordered
Brian Moore
United Kingdom
Bolton
Lancashire
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9
Dec 2011
Another Jensen game following the success of DS. From just having 6APs each turn this game has a surprising amount of depth.
2011-12-02
Owned
Christopher Hill
United States
Wilmington
North Carolina
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9
Oct 2011
Another awesome addition from Chad Jensen and GMT. Chad has fast become my favorite designer and US doesn't disappoint at all.
2011-11-01
Owned
Steve Jones
United States
Leland
North Carolina
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9
Nov 2011
Chad Jensen hits another home run! Love this game!
2011-11-02
Owned
Bill Morgal
United States
Elkridge
Maryland
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Experiencing senility daily since... I forget.
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9
Nov 2011
* * * * *
Chaotic at first, but the more you play, the more you realize that the right decisions can win out over chaos. At least most of the time.
2011-12-20
Owned
Andy P
United Kingdom
Worcester
Worcestershire
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9
Jun 2012
Wonderful design. The events make an unpredictable ride at times, but its so full of decisions, even when other people are making them that you cant take your eyes off the game. Would be a 10 for me if it was a little bit shorter.
2012-06-10
Owned
Scott Hinze
United States
Fort Worth
Texas
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9
Dec 2011
BGG.CON 2011 - Mastered rules after 4th play. Pretty close to infatuation here... definitely want more. [brotherjo]
2012-05-14
Owned
Tony Hamen
United States
Austin
Texas
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Music sucks now....
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9
Oct 2012
I love this game. It is frustrating, contains every game design no no, takes a long time, and has a lot of math but for some reason I love it. It is a very intriguing design that is like no other game I've ever played. There is a beautiful narrative arc to the game, and seeing the city unfold is magnificent. I like this game immensely.
2012-01-04
Owned
Arnold Neumann
Canada
St. Albert
Alberta
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9
Nov 2014
This is a REALLY fun game. Yes there is chaos. Yes there are twists and turns. Yes there is fate. BUT you can also make your own luck, and the decisions you make significantly improve your chances of winning the game, It does, take at least one game play to understand the strategy. I really like the story-lines that accompany this game (like deliberately puttingthe landfill by your neighbor, owning almost all the towns elected officials etc). I am now of the opinion you can't go wrong with a Chad Jensen game.
2011-11-25
Owned
Geri
Hungary
Debrecen
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9
Jan 2012
10.000 HUF
2014-04-22
Prev. Owned
Jennifer Schlickbernd
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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9
Apr 2012
Chaotic strategy game. Love it! Gets better with every play!
2013-03-28
Owned
Want To Play
the scrub
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
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9
Jan 2012
Random chaos as everyone says but really, it's not mindless chaos. Adapting to the payouts is where the game is at. Only tried as two-player but still a standout game. Good job Jensens!
2012-01-21
Owned
Shanizan Herman
Malaysia
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9
Jan 2012
acqsn January 2012 from BGC's BFS
2012-01-07
Owned
M. S.
Germany
Blaustein
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9
Mar 2012
Very good game. Sometimes it`s a little bit frustrating, but anyhow: Hey, it`s just a game and it makes incredibly fun.
2012-03-30
Owned
Ronald Carlson
United States
Austin
Washington, California, Oregon, Texas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, Colorado, Nevada, Hawaii, etc. :-)
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9
Nov 2013
G074
2013-11-06
Owned
Want To Play
Jonas Björklund
Sweden
Lerum
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9
Feb 2015
[Bought from Ldsdbomber:bradspel.net 2012-04-23]
A chaos game for sure.
But so very funny.
Take a couple of games to start to know the cards.
But it get better every game.
A very fun game.
--- update ---
Played a full game now.
Ohh, how fun. Has some similarities towards DS.
Especially with the chaos in the game.
Raise the fun in the game, as you have to tag along the bumpy ride. No time for AP here. Heads down and do the best you can your turn.
Ohh, so much fun. 8)
2015-02-14
Owned
Toms Reizins
Latvia
Riga
Riga
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9
Jan 2015
I've played this game once, but all I can say - it is AMAZING. This is truly a strategic game where you need to think ahead, gamble among the opportunities and resources you have each turn. And what's the best - The uncertainty that comes into play in before each players turn.

Probably after second play I'll give all 10. It is just perfect.
2012-06-02
A. B. West
United States
Beech Grove
Indiana
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Why aren't you PLAYING a game?
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9
Jun 2013
Currently my very favorite game. Yes, it is long and this is probably the one quality I hold against it. But I think what I enjoy the most is the way the game develops over a play. It truly does build up into a crowded city with price and value fluctuating and wonderful events wrecking and rewarding everyone. The vocations are thematic and strategically important, the political offices are a joy and offer large end game points - and it plays very easily albiet driving you to complete analysis vapor lock. Highly replayable - this one is a winner for me. I just hope I can get it to the table!
2012-12-27
Owned
James Deignan
United States
Fremont
California
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9
Nov 2012
Very complex game that borders on pure chaos sometimes. Has a luck element that can be hard to mitigate but is really a "screw your buddy" type element. If the player sitting in front of you in rotation is a guy who likes to hose you out of your options rather than do what's best for him, this could easily become frustrating.

Those quibbles aside, I think this game is great. Not quite as great as his Dominant Species, but it's a wonderful ride. Complaints about it being purely luck driven are drivel.
2012-10-23
Owned
Nathan Walker
United States
Riverside
California
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9
Nov 2012
I enjoy this every bit as much as Dominant Species. Another masterpiece by Chad Jensen.
2012-11-20
Prev. Owned
Markus
Germany
Kiel
Schleswig-Holstein
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9
Mar 2013
Among equally skilled players, luck will play an important role in a game of Urban Sprawl, since it is very important which cards are available at a player's turn. Also, if you are expecting Urban Sprawl to be a pure Eurogame (as a lot of people did) you will most likely be disappointed after your first game. This game cannot be categorized solely as a Eurogame, since it also includes direct conflict through razing of buildings.

I was aware of all this before playing the game for the first time, so I was pleasantly surprised with its thematic and engaging gameplay. If you like thematic, card-driven games and don't mind a moderate dose of luck in a game then you should definitely try this out.

PS: I always play this game with 3 or 2 players. I would only recommend this game for 4 players, if they are not bothered by large downtimes between turns.
2014-07-17
Owned
Tong Chi Wai
Hong Kong
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8.9
Nov 2011
Action point system
After 3 normal games and 1 short game with 3-4 players, I think the importance of the end game scoring of politicians is much more important. The scoring through procession of vocation markers is diluted in short version, because of the length of gaming is shortened, the number of times the markers score is decreased.
2011-11-28
Owned
Dimitris Vasiadis
Greece
Vari
Attiki GREECE
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8.8
Jan 2012
It's a perfectly nice area influence economic city building game, although I would be more grateful if there was some artwork on the cards and if the character (dictated by the different events) of each of the four building types was apparent somehow on the board.
I prefer it from Dominant Species.
2012-01-23

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