Cityscape Review

Cityscape game in play
Another spatial reasoning game that I've played recently has been Cityscape.

In Cityscape, each of the players chooses one side of the board to play, and then secretly decides what the skyline should look like (from their vantage point). However, since each of the players is using a different side of the board, the skyline that one player is attempting to build may directly contradict the skyline of a different player. Once each player has selected his skyline "goal", each of the players takes turns placing a building piece (there are several sizes of these) on one of the places on the board (thus adjusting the skyline). This continues until the entire city has been built (there are no more pieces remaining). At this point, each of the players reveals his goal and scores points based on which of the 4 aspects of his skyline were correct (if any).

There are two main things that I like about Cityscape - the planning and the execution. (Isn't it good in any game if you like these two things?) First for the planning. I like that there are several different options here. You can select for each row whether you think there will be 1, 2, 3, or 4 buildings visible, or you can select that you want two (or more) buildings to be the same height or, finally, you can select that row to have the tallest building. Each of these options is a different number of points - the harder the option, the more points it is worth. (After all, it's pretty easy to make sure that you can only see one building on that row; just make the one in front incredibly tall.)

Now for the execution. This is really where Cityscape shines the most. Since you have a different vantage point from all of the other players, what is in your best interest will normally range from "not helpful" to "outright contradictory" to your opponent. Consider the situation in which you and the person sitting across from you both have decided that you will have 4 buildings visible in the same row. You will probably both fail miserably at this and get frustrated at each other in the process (and, if you're lucky, annoy the other players, too). However, if you've decided that one row has the tallest building, and the person opposite you has decided that they want to see all four buildings in that row, they could be helpful to you... as long as you're gigantic skyscraper is the one in the back! I could go on and on, because I really like this aspect of the game.

The only real con to Cityscape is that, to me, it is a bit of a filler game. Since each round of the game is so short (around 5 minutes), I do not envision myself playing it for hours on end. I think it would get repetitive at that point. With that said, playing it for 30 minutes could be a fun endeavor.

Overall, I give Cityscape an 8.0/10. It is a fun spatial reasoning game that wound up exceeding my (very small) expectations for it. If you run into this game or if you're a fan of the spatial reasoning genre, you should try to check it out.

As a final note: the 6 options for each row are represented by 6-sided dice.  A rule variant that we have tried and enjoyed is to force the players to roll their dice to select what their skyline will look like instead of selecting what is on each die.  This will force experienced players to make the best of some potentially bad situations.

If Cityscape looks interesting, you might also check out Gipf, Pentago, and Punct.


  1. nice review thanks. Pity you dont do war games too!

  2. I occasionally will play a war game, but it's not really my "go to" genre. I've enjoyed Risk 2210, Twilight Struggle (which I need to write a review for), and a few others, though.