Paris: La Cite de la Lumiere (2019)

Fast paced action with a competitve environment fit for a two player game. 

Mark Gillham



Theme and What is it?


In 1889, the world visited Paris, France for the Exposition Universelle. Already being known as the city of lights because of their network of gas streetlights, Paris displayed their implementation of electric public lighting. Visitors took this opportunity to come and see the Eiffel Tower and the city of Paris through this light at the Exposition Universelle.

The players will take on the position of the city’s most influential personalities. Your success will be determined by how many buildings are bathed in light. The player with the highest score at the end of both phases will be the winner!

Gameplay Mechanics


Paris: La Cite de la Lumiere is played over 2 phases. The first phase includes tile placement and “building” drafting. Each player will select between placing a tile or drafting one building. Each player has a set of 8 tiles that will make up the four by four game board. 

You may play tiles against the outside of the grid or attach them to another tile already played. You will only be able to see one tile at a time from your stack. Each of these tiles will have either blue, orange, or purple cobblestones or a streetlamp. How you place the tiles matters because of “building” drafting. 

Buildings are polyominoes that will cover the different cobblestone sections on the board. Players may only cover their color (blue or orange) cobblestones and purple (mixed) cobblestone squares. This phase ends when the last piece of the game board is added. The first player who puts all of his tiles on the game board first will be the starting player in the second phase.

In the second phase, players will take turns either placing a building on the board or using one of the postcard special abilities. Players place the buildings either on their colored cobblestones or purple cobblestones. They will mark that building using one of the chimney meeples of their color. 

As you place these, you will want your buildings to touch up against as many streetlamps as possible. There are also 8 postcards that provide special abilities for onetime use. These abilities can provide additional scoring, ways to get different buildings, or ways to eliminate negative points at score time. Once there are no more legal moves on the board and all the post cards are used, the game ends and players will tally up their scores. The player with the highest score is the victor!

Initial Impressions


On first few plays, Paris is an excellent filler that allows you to make some tough decision at the end. The attempt to make patterns that allow you to play buildings but at the same time prevent your opponent from completing their goal is phenomenal! 

It is also a lesson in timing of placement with the purple cobblestone spots being open to both players. There is very little ‘take that’ in this game as only a few of the postcards have options for placing over the other players cobblestones. Paris is simple enough for both new gamers and experienced gamers.

Game Build Quality


The game board is my favorite part of the build of this game. The box has a 4×4 grid already pre-built into the box. This 4×4 grid is surrounded by raised edges to keep the tiles for the players in place as you are placing your tiles. It is printed with a cobblestone pattern on it to give the illusion that you are building the city from the ground up.
Other than the game board, the tiles are solid card board and are appropriately marked for each player. The buildings are different shapes and sizes and have a three-dimensional element to them. They have little sections around the edges to give the appearance of sidewalks. Each of the chimneeples standard issue, well painted, and differentiated in color. The postcards are on excellent card stock with a nice gloss finish!

Artistic Direction


Oriol Hernandez ties the imagery directly with the theme of this game. The use of the streetlamps in the on the tiles and being able to impact where they lie on the board is a great touch. Scoring based on where you place the streetlamps with where you play the buildings adds to the city of lights theme. All pieces are drawn like an oil painting from this particular time period! 

The postcards have artwork and scenery that ties in directly with the action that can be completed using the postcard. I do wish that they would have used the other side of the postcard that would have been addressed to someone for a small description of the action that can be taken. The general use of the postcards for the bonus actions was a great thematic touch!

Fun Factor


Paris is a quick two player filler. Fast pace action with a competitive environment fit for a two player game. I enjoyed the almost speed-like aspect of playing the tiles in the board while trying to map out my plan for the buildings. The decision making between putting additional tiles on the board vs drafting a building. Then putting that plan into motion for the second phase. There is not very much downtime while still keeping the strategy.

Age Range & Weight


Paris is billed for 8+ on the age scale and I feel this is pretty accurate. The placing tiles and pattern recognition should be easy enough for 8-year-old and up to handle. The toughest part of the game might be when to use the postcards or when to use them. The game is a lightweight game with some strategy.



Paris Cite de la Lumiere is an excellent 2-player light weight game. The tension in placing tiles to provide scoring opportunities to yourself while trying to minimize your opponent’s chances is perfect for the weight of this game. The game goes by very quick with actions being limited to 2 options in both phases of the game. Paris is not a large game, it fits very well in most small bags and is very transportable. Paris gets 2 big thumbs up from me!