Become the mayor of your own mini-metropolis in Happy City! Buy buildings to attract residents, increase their happiness, and earn an income because you’ll need money to grow, but in the end only the satisfaction of your citizens counts towards your final score. Strike the perfect balance to build the happiest city in town!
Happy City includes rules for two ways to play: a family version and an “expert version” that features more interaction and strategy.
Game Genre: Strategy Game / Family-fun
Kids / Family Friendly: Yes
No. of Players: 2 to 5 players
Suitable for Ages: 10 and above
Games Duration: 30 mins
• 140 Cards
• 30 Tokens
• Rulers of Play
How to Play?
Happy City is a charming small-box card game that plays like a stripped-back version of modern classic Splendor. Instead of hoarding gems and building up your influence to impress po-faced Renaissance nobles, here the objective is simple: create the happiest place to live by adding the right buildings to your city.
Your city itself is two rows of five cards, for a total of ten by the end of the game. You start with just one, the Happy Market, which provides the basic income collected at the start of each round. Then, players take it in turns to buy one of three cards in the central grid – with the option to discard and redraw a card first – and add it to their city. Unlike Splendor, you can’t reserve cards for later, and there’s only a single currency to worry about – no need to scrap over the last red gem chip.
Buildings are divided into three decks by their price range, but only three cards of any combination are ever up for sale at once – allowing players to draw only cheaper buildings at first, then work their way up to pricier museums, stadiums and theme parks. The tight list of options each turn keeps things moving quickly, with Happy City clocking in at a tight 15 minutes to half-an-hour tops with the snappy setup included.
Cards provide the income necessary to afford more expensive cards, but more importantly add extra residents to your city and provide the amenities necessary to make them happy. Scoring is straightforward: the number of citizens multiplied by the number of happiness hearts on your cards. Balancing happiness with population becomes crucial to totting up a big score – focusing on just one will severely limit your points haul – but keeps the post-game mental maths to a minimum.
Players can also grab special buildings, granting bonus symbols, by picking up the matching combination of building types. A slightly more complex ‘expert’ variant introduces extra requirements and gameplay effects, providing a solid reason to play again with a new combination of cards.
Watching your city grow and increase your income to fund better cards brings to mind the pleasing momentum-gathering of Machi Koro, minus the luck of rolling dice. Not all cards are purely positive, either – in the vein of classic city-builders such as SimCity, adding industrial buildings such as factories will boost your economy at the cost of popularity, while the most adorable haunted house you’ve ever seen might nevertheless see one of your citizens flee in terror.
Card Sleeves needed for sleeves: Aquamarine 45x68mm
No. of Cards sleeves needed: 3 packet of Aquamarine