Review: Underwater Cities
Develop future cities on the seafloor through politics, production, and science.
Designed by Vladimír Suchý and published by Delicious Games
👤 1-4 players
🧩 Worker Placement, Hand Management, Network Building
⚖️ Medium-Heavy (For Experienced Gamers)
In Underwater Cities players represent the most powerful brains in the world, brains nominated due to the overpopulation of Earth to establish the best and most liveable underwater areas possible. (from the publisher)
Underwater Cities is played over 3 era's. Each era is divided in a number of rounds, each round a player may take 3 actions by placing one of their action tokens onto one of the unoccupied action spaces on the main board. Using these actions player expand their personal network by building tunnels, building/upgrading factories, cities and connecting metropolises.
Each action space is associated with a colour (green, red and yellow). When you perform an action you may play one of the cards from you hand, if the color of the card matches the color of the action space you also get to perform the bonus from the card. If the card color does not match you may only perform the action of the action space.
After your turn you redraw up to your hand limit from the current era deck. Each era comes with its own deck of cards and players play a card each action they perform. When the color matches you can either get a one time bonus, production bonuses, assistants, passive effects or end-game scoring cards. Players can also acquire extra powerful "Special" cards.
At the end of the era a production round occurs where all buildings on their personal board produce resources. Some cards may provide bonus production that further increase your production output.
After 3 era's final scoring takes place and the player who has accumulated the most number of Victory Points is declared the winner!
- Lot's of strategical depth with straightforward rules
- The matching color card play is really interesting and offers interesting decisions.
- It's awesome seeing you personal network grow, definitely take some time to admire the end result!
- High replay-ability due to large amount of cards in the game and different player boards
- City Dome components are pretty awesome and never seen before in a boardgame.
- The network rules can be a bit ambiguous and hard to understand in the beginning.
- The artwork is not the best out there.
🎨 Artwork & Design: 8/10
While the Art might not be the best, the components and iconography is one of the best out there.
🎲 Gameplay & Innovation: 10/10
Underwater Cities offers an unique mix of mechanics and elements that is rare to find.
📖 Rules: 9/10
The Rulebook is very good and clear. The player aids provided are also top-notch and guide you through the production round and end-game scoring.
♻️ Replay value: 10/10
The base games offers loads of variation with the shear number of cards and player boards.
😀 Fun: 10/10
Underwater Cities is one of our favourite games and will be for a long time to come. It's always a joy to play Underwater Cities.
Looking for alternatives or similar games? Have a look at Terraforming Mars