Flip City Review

Flip City  is a microdeckbuilder by Chen, Chih Fan, published by Tasty Minstrel Games set in a city building theme for 1-4 players.  Build your city, upgrade it, but be warned, citizens may be unhappy if you build too much at once!  Your ultimate goal is to play 8 points in one turn from your cards or play 18 cards in one turn if you have the convenience store in play.  Once you do that, you win, and all others groan in defeat.

There's no hand in Flip City, which makes for interesting play!
There’s no hand in Flip City, which makes for interesting play!

Flip City is unique in many ways.  Each card has two sides, a base side and an upgraded “flipped side”.  Each player starts with 9 of these cards, with plenty of unhappiness in the deck (more on that later).  The decks are shuffled, and carefully, so that no card gets flipped.  There is no hand in Flip City, cards are played directly from the deck into play. Because the cards are double sided, you always know the top card in the deck.

Always have to be careful with the unhappiness!  Don't want to bust.
Always have to be careful with the unhappiness! Don’t want to bust.

You can play as many cards as you choose to in Flip City, but there is a catch.  If you ever reach more than 2 unhappiness symbols in play, you bust and your turn is over!  If you didn’t manage to bust, you have three choices on what to do in your turn.  You may buy a card from the supply, you may flip (upgrade) a card in your discard pile, or you may develop a card from the supply (buy and flip it at the same time).

Getting churches can be essential if doing the convenience store strategy.
Getting churches can be essential if doing the convenience store strategy.

There are ways to handle the unhappiness in your town.  If you flip a hospital, for example, you get the church and are able to up your unhappiness limit.  Also, you can flip the residential areas into an apartment, and later spend coin to give those apartments to other players.  This is the one big interaction in the game, the ability to slow down your opponents by putting more unhappiness in their deck.

Flip City is filled with many viable strategies to win, which is awesome for such a small game.  One may go for filling their deck with churches and convenience stores to go the 18 card route.  Other players may keep their deck small and go for central parks and stations in order to get 8 points for victory.

I believe I won this solo game with both ways to win!
I believe I won this solo game with both ways to win!

Flip City has fun, bright art and high quality cards.  The rulebook is short, succinct, and to the point.  There were no misunderstandings on the rules, and if you’re still unsure, there’s an SR Code to Watch it Played.

If you want a quick deck builder with unique mechanics and interesting art, Flip City is highly recommended.  It could be a great gateway into deck builders or a good intro to game night for experienced gamers.

Special Note: There is a solo variant for Flip City in which you must race against time in order to complete your city.  It’s a great way to learn the game, but also a way to try different strategies without the pressure of opponents.  I recommend the solo play for those who enjoy solo games and want an extra challenge.

Flip City is the English localization of Design Town.  The graphic design and location was done by Adam P. McIver

 

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