Sorcerer City – Druid City Games – Review

A fun, quick game with lots of options to make it extremely replayable.

Steve Mayne

MeepleGamers

8.75/10

Theme and What is it?

8.5/10

Sorcerer City is looking for a Master Architect. Over the next five years you and the other hopefuls will use your talents to build up your own districts in order to see who can create the most profitable, mystical, influential, or prestigious. Whoever does the best job will be crowned the Master Architect. Of course, there’s also the problem of monsters.

Sorcerer City is a speed tile placement game where you’ll need to build your city with an eye towards points in four different categories. You’ll have to be fast, creative, and deal with the ever increasing number of monsters.

Are you up to the challenge? Can you build the best city? Will you spend your resources better than the rest? Or will the monsters overrun you and leave your district in ruins? The first year begins in 3…2…1…

Gameplay Mechanics

8.5/10

Sorcerer City relies on tile placement and resource management. The first part of every round is a time portion where you’ll turn over your stack of city tiles one at a time and use them to build your district. Then, once time has expired, you’ll calculate your points based on how will you placed your tiles around the few shield tiles that give points for being a part of three different style of patterns.

Points are amassed in four different categories. There’s Influence which is used to determine who gets the best round reward and who shops first during the buying phase. Gold is used to purchase new tiles that will be added to your stack. Wild magic is transformed into one of the other three categories. Prestige is collected as victory points at the end of the game.

After you build your cities and calculate your points, you’ll go around the table in influence order and use your gold to purchase new tiles. These tiles offer more ways to score, additional special abilities, or scoring opportunities at the end of the round.

Additionally, every round has a series of rewards. These are drawn from a large deck of different reward cards. These cards mix up the game adding new goals and abilities to each round.

Once players have purchased their new tiles and are ready for the next round a monster tile will be added to their stack. These are obstacles that can force you to remove tiles from your city, destroy scoring shields, or move pieces around. The monsters also allow for clever play if used correctly.

At the end of five rounds the player who has scored the most prestige over the course of the game is crowned the new Master Architect.

Initial Impressions

9/10

I like Druid City games. I enjoy the theme of them and am always looking forward to how they’ll play. I’d seen a couple of videos on this and was looking forward to how the game played in my own hands. The rules laid out everything very clear and concise way and that helped me set my expectations going in.

Game Build Quality

9.5/10

I’m always impressed with the quality of Druid City games and Sorcerer City was no exception. The tiles are all excellent quality and clearly labeled for sorting after the game but not in a way that becomes distracting during play. The card stock is a nice quality and should hold up well. The victory point coins were nice quality cardboard with interesting edges to make sorting and identifying them easier. The game comes with a custom insert that holds up well to transport loose in my trunk without anything coming out.

The rulebook is also well laid out with nice placement for rules that made looking things up easy and quick when we had questions.

Overall everything was handled very nicely. A top tier production.

Artistic Direction

8/10

It’s a decent quality art for the game. Mostly, the art is the various monster tiles which isn’t amazing but is clear when playing the parts and easy to identify. Each of the different districts is represented by a different color and building type which makes identifying everything in play much easier. I’m not sure how useful that will be for someone with different types of colorblindness but the different buildings are unique enough that I feel like it will be helpful.

Fun Factor

8.75/10

This is a speed game first and foremost. Your attraction to speed games with a mild dexterity element will be what you’re looking at here.

The game can also suffer from a bit of solitaire syndrome. While you won’t be interacting with the other players, there isn’t really a lot of time to do it during the round. You will basically be playing against yourself with the exception of one or two decisions that come up over the course of the game.

Age Range & Weight

9/10

The box says 14+ and that feels right to me. I think the rules are simple enough that someone of that age should be able to keep up and do well. The introduction of a new monster each round might slip them up a little but the monsters are all very straightforward with very simple rules so I don’t feel that it will be too much of a problem.

Conclusions

8.5/10

I had a lot of fun here. I think the game plays well and gives a lot of options to all the players. It’s fun and frantic and has lots of options. The selection of reward cards, monsters, and the order the different building tiles come out and give this game lots of replayability.

However, this is a speed game at its heart and that will affect if you will enjoy this. If you don’t like speed games, this one probably won’t change your mind. I think the market phase helps to mitigate this a little by allowing you to focus the types of points you’ll go for.

The rules are simple to implement and none of the creatures, building types, or rewards are overly complicated. If you can’t figure them out right away the rule book is organized very well and a lengthier explanation of everything can be found inside quite easily.

One of the other problems is the sand timer. As with most games that feature a sand timer it’s easy to ignore it for what you’re doing in front of you. There is a free timer app that you can download and it works very well. It also allows for additional times you can use. The music builds to a crescendo that helps focus your attention. I think the app is much better to use for the game than the sand timer.

Over all I enjoyed this game. I’m not particularly good at it, but I had fun. I enjoyed how everything fit together nicely and like the package as a whole. I’m looking forward to playing more games of this and trying to improve how I play.

As always, try before you buy. If possible head to a convention or local game store and see if you can get a game in. Honestly, if you like speed games with some solid decisions, you’ll probably have a lot of fun with this one.

Until next time, be well.