I’m sure someone else has used this line: Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you could build it in 60 minutes. I mean, you could, if you were playing Foundations of Rome, by Emerson Matsuuchi. It looks like a really fun game for 2 to 5 players. Here’s how it’s played:
The goal is to build the grandest, most elaborate city of Rome you can, owning as much property and placing the largest buildings on it. There are three actions you can take: take income, buy a deed to land, or construct a building.
Sounds simple enough? There are three rounds, and each round ends with totaling up the scores for the round. A round ends when the deeds run out.
It seems like it would be harder to explain, but a good game (for me) is one that isn’t too short, isn’t too long, has rules that make for clear winners, and isn’t too complex to play.
Foundations of Rome looks like it achieves balance between these competing forces. Sure, you have to manage the cards on the deed board. But the number of deed cards and usable game board shrink relative to the number of players, so you don’t end up with a 2 player game that takes too long.
That’s the simplest explanation I can give of Foundations of Rome. There are expansion packs, that mostly consist of more deed cards, more buildings, and monuments, cosmetic upgrades, hidden objectives, invocations, and more. That is to say, the game can be more complex, but at its core, it’s elegant and fun.
Foundations of Rome is a Kickstarter-only exclusive. It won’t be sold in retail. It’s already funded to the seriously impressive amount of $991,796 USD, from a game-maker with past experience shipping games successfully. I’d play it. Go get it at kickstarter.com.