Review: Tenpenny Parks

Build epic theme parks to attract visiting people and inspire thrill, awe and joy.

Review: Tenpenny Parks

Build epic theme parks to attract visiting people and inspire thrill, awe and joy.

Designed by Nate Linhart and published by Thunderworks Games
👤  1-4 players
🧩  Worker Placement, Tile Placement
⚖️  Light


At dawn, the trumpets sound, Mayor Tenpenny’s shovel breaks ground, and the race is on! You have five months to transform the humble town of Fairview into the home of the world’s greatest theme parks. Gather your team of bankers, realtors, contractors, builders, and arborists. Construct rides through the stone age, the American old west, the age of fantasy, the cosmos of space, and the depths of the sea. Inspire thrill, awe, and joy in your guests to earn their tickets, for whoever attracts the most vistors at the end of the race will be awarded Fairview’s Golden Key!

—description from the publisher


Tenpenny Parks is played over 5 rounds (called months). Each month is divided into 5 steps.

  1. During the Income Step players gain income based on their concessions and attractions.
  2. During the Actions Step players take turns placing their workers onto the main game board. By doing so players may remove trees, expand their property, gain money and build concessions and attractions.
  3. The Bonus Step awards the players bonuses by evaluating the 3 emotion tracks: Thrill, Awe and Joy. Having the most Thrill emotion in your park grants you an extra worker next round. Awe makes you the start player and lets you rotate the Carousel during Cleanup. Being furthest ahead on the Joy track gains additional money.
  4. After that players may advertise during the Advertising Step. Each build attraction comes with an Advertising option that lets you convert money into VP.
  5. Lastly, during the Cleanup Step the available concessions get refreshed, workers are returned, the carousel is rotated by the new start player (by rotating the carousel certain attractions on display will get a discount while others get a price increase) and the month marker is advanced.

After 5 rounds players score additional VP for their personal goals, build attractions, the emotion tracks and total number of attractions. The player with the most VP (Visiting People) wins the game!


Look I like Theme Parks. I've played loads of Rollercoaster Tycoon and I really like Unfair, another Theme Park themed boardgame. So whenever a new game is announced with this theme it always piques my interest. Has Tenpenny Parks hit all the marks? Lets find out.

Tenpenny Parks is definitely a light game. The rulebook is relatively short and you can get playing from the rulebook in about 10-15 minutes. This is definitely a plus as I think this could become a family favourite in many households and I think that players of a lot of different ages can enjoy the game. The game flow elegantly and smooth.

While in most Tile Placement games you try to place tiles adjacent to each other. Tenpenny Parks introduces something entirely different because you can't place pieces orthogonally adjacent. This makes space super limited and the gameplay super tight because you need to consider every space carefully. Trees block placement and the icons preprinted on your property and expansion board offer bonuses when covered with tiles.

Thunderworks Games usually does not disappoint with their production quality. Tenpenny Parks is definitely no exception. The cardboard is super thick and durable. It has beautiful wooden trees and meeples and the card stock is absolutely fantastic. They couldn't have done a better job and I was properly impressed when I first opened the box. This makes handling all the components a joy and fantastic experience. It almost feels like a deluxified Kickstarter edition. All this and combined with the always beautiful and unique artwork by Vincent Dutrait make it an absolute gorgeous game. I just wish there were even more different attractions in the game as each attraction card is stunning.

A gripe I have with the game is replay-ability. There is not much variability in set-up (besides the personal goals) and you use almost all attractions cards in higher player count games. Extension boards are also all very similar I feel they definitely could have done something there. After 5 plays the games are already starting to feel a bit the same.

The MSRP for Tenpenny Parks is around $60,-. While I understand where this comes from, as noted above, I do think that this is too high for the relatively short and light experience Tenpenny Parks offers. Since I consider it a good gateway game for families I think a price around $40,- would have been more appropriate. Especially as it needs to compete with Bärenpark that is a more affordably priced alternative. I think I prefer Tenpenny Parks over Bärenpark but considering the price point you could get Bärenpark + expansion for the same price as Tenpenny Parks that combined offers more replay-ability and variability.

👍 Smooth and tight gameplay, with unique placement rules
👍 Fantastic artwork by Vincent Dutrait
👍 Fantastic production with high quality components
👍 Easy to learn rules

➖ Replay-ability and variability is limited
➖ Expensive for a short and light experience

Tenpenny Parks

Tenpenny Parks is a fantastic production with beautiful artwork and components. The gameplay is smooth and perfect for players of all ages. The tile-placement offers a unique challenge and the competition on the emotion tracks is a fun twist. I do think the game is a bit expensive for what it offers but component wise it's definitely worth the price. If you like tile-placement games and theme parks, definitely check out Tenpenny Parks.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

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Looking for alternatives or similar games? Have a look at Unfair or