MegaCity: Oceania Review
Players: 2 - 4
Playing time: 25 - 60 minutes
Designed by: Jordan Draper & Michael Fox
Published by: Hub Games
The year is 2100. You and a group of architects have been tasked with building a city in the middle of the sea, striving to create impressive superstructures on floating platforms in the Gold Coast, Australia. Stakes are high as you and the other players compete to become the most prestigious architect, with the most impressive buildings. Things won't always run so smoothly though, with those frivolous waves take extra care and caution in this city building, dexterity mashup.
- 1 Bag - 150 Building Pieces - 29 Double-sided Hexagonal Tiles - 36 Contract Cards
- Awards Bar - 4 Specialisation Awards - 4 Diversity Awards - 1 Tallest Building Award
- 2 Rulers - 1 Tallest Building Marker - 32 Player Cubes - 60 Prestige Tokens
The majority of components included with MegaCity: Oceania are the building pieces. Available in three different varieties: glass, concrete, and steel all depicted by different colours and textures. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes to make your buildings unique and are perfect to build with. The edges are straight and smooth, meaning there won't be any uneven or wonky edges which is great because these are literally the building blocks of this game and if the pieces don't work well then the whole game falls apart.
The only issue I have with the pieces is when playing a four-player game, there doesn't seem to be enough left to choose from towards the end of the game. This makes it a bit unfair for the players who miss out on building their final structure. Also, when digging through the provided bag that holds all of the pieces, because of the different textures, players can tell which type of piece they are going to pull out if they analyse it enough. This is a small issue though and as long as you're playing with honest players, you shouldn't have a problem.
The rest of the components are pretty standard, the majority of them being made from thick, sturdy cardboard. Apart from the cardboard rulers that are used to measure the structures height (which I think is super novel and fun) which are slightly on the flimsy side but it's really not an issue as they serve their purpose.
The first thing to note about the gameplay is that it's not a cooperative game. Even though all players are working towards the goal of making one MegaCity in the middle of the playing area, you're all competing to become the best architect with the most prestigious points.
There are multiple ways to earn prestigious points:
Completing contracts - the main aim of the game is to collect and complete contracts. These will earn you a certain amount of points depending on how complex the contract is. There will be building and height requirements that you must adhere to and only a limited amount to complete before the game ends.
Awards - you can earn awards by completing a certain amount of contracts such as completing one of each colour or completing the most of one colour out of all the players.
Tallest building - each time a player creates the tallest building in the game, they receive 1 prestige point. Additional points are also awarded to the person with the tallest building at the end of the game.
Single materials - when you complete a building, if it has been made out of one single material such as glass or steel or concrete you gain 1 prestige point.
Park monuments - after completing a building, if it is positioned next to a park you can place a building piece from your supply there to gain 1 prestige point.
So, that's all the ways to gain prestigious points but how does the gameplay out? Starting with the first player you each take up to 2 actions (3 for a two-player game) from a list of things including take a building contract, take building pieces and take a platform. Alternatively, you can choose to 'Deliver' on your turn which means you are attempting to add a structure to the main city. I say attempting because it can all go horribly wrong, a wobbly structure can lead to disastrous events. Especially in one game I played where the group thought it would be a good idea to play over an un-ironed tablecloth... disaster.
Once all of the contract cards available have been taken by players, the Landmark contract cards then come out and once a player has successfully delivered one of these, the last round is triggered. Each player gets one more chance to deliver or recycle unused pieces, if they don't they could be worth minus points. Prestigious points should then be added up and the best architect is crowned as you all marvel at the spectacular floating city you've built together.
There is so much fun and frustration to be had with this game. The first time I played it as a two-player game, we were halfway through and one knock on the table caused the whole city to go tumbling. Me and my partner both burst out laughing because we knew it was inevitable. The good thing with this game and what's different compared to a lot of others is that, if the play area is completely destroyed the game can still continue because the designers expected moments like this.
I then played with a bigger group and one thing this game is great at is creating laughable moments. Everyone got into the spirit of things and was trying to build the most ridiculous structure you could ever think of. It's a very light game and should be taken as such, you can plan out what you're going to do as much as you want but one shaky hand and it's back to building you go. It also doesn't penalize people with a heavier hand either. I played with my sister who is notoriously clumsy with her hands, she was really frustrated at the beginning as building after building kept collapsing on the way to the MegaCity but she actually ended up winning the whole game as she got more and more determined.
From my experiences, the game seems to scale really well whether you're playing with the required minimum or maximum amount of players. I do think it's a lot more fun with more though as it's a lot more intense and the style of structure becomes more and more diverse.
There is very little downtime due to being able to build structures outside of your turn.
The set up is simple, only taking a couple of minutes.
Doesn't punish clumsy players.
A unique and diverse city is built each time which is extremely satisfying.
A lot of fun for all age ranges.
Just falls short of enough pieces available in a 4 player game.
Players could cheat by feeling what type of building piece you are reaching for in the bag.
It can be frustrating for some people if their structures are consistently falling.
Not a lot of variance in the contract cards, it would have been nice to see some more complex building requirements for advanced players.
MegaCity: Oceania was the first dexterity game I played and after my first playthrough of it, I instantly wanted to get more. It's fun, interesting and you can be as creative or not as you want to be. There was a lot of laughter each time I played this with various groups and it was so refreshing and a nice break from some of the more serious high complexity games we play. I would 1000% recommend this game. If you've never played a dexterity game before or you've played a ton, MegaCity is still one you need to check out. A great, fun game for all ages.
Disclaimer: MegaCity: Oceania was kindly gifted to me by CoiledSpring Games but I am not being paid for this review and all opinions are my own.