If you have ever played Sim City or one of its derivatives on the PC you will have a fair idea of the ground Quadropolis covers, or if you have ever played the board game Suburbia, for here we are in the realm of idealised city building. Here you build your metropolis better and further than your fellow players in order to attract the most citizens and the greatest prosperity and, as a happy consequence of that, to reel in the victory points needed to win.
This is a really appealing and fresh design that has the potential to be a huge success, especially with the clout of Days Of Wonder behind it. Within a clean and simple set of rules are hidden a number of intriguing and involving decisions and these combine with an activation and scoring mechanic that means you may well have no real idea how you are doing compared with your opponents until the very end. Given that Quadropolis comes fully equipped with an Expert mode for those who would like a more gritty experience, and an expansion in the box as well, there is a serious amount of play in here, and it appears to be ripe for further expansions. It also plays well at all player counts, ticking along smoothly as a four-player experience, and being pleasantly thinky and involving (and possibly even best) with two. In yet another impressive piece of design you always use the same tiles at all player counts, but when playing with fewer than four some of them remain face down at the start of the game thus blocking certain spaces. It really is refreshing not to have to extract or add certain tiles for different player counts and it is another piece of enlightened thinking by the designer.
Quadropolis could even be considered a stepping stone between Days Of Wonders Ticket To Ride and Five Tribes. Gandon has laid down a strong marker with his first published design, and I believe that he has succeeded in his aim of provoking something fun and deep for gamers and non-gamers alike. I and the players I game with have enjoyed Quadropolis very much and we expect it to become a regular part of my gaming rotation. It will be fascinating to see what this promising designer comes up with next.