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Sparkworks’ Penny Lane – Kickstarter Preview

In Penny Lane, your goal is to develop the most desirable place to live in town. You will build housing for citizens to live in, places for them to shop and work, and entertainment options to keep them happy.

The player whose lane is worth the most victory points at the end of the game wins!

Setup

  1. Arrange the Main Street cards in the centre of the table. Note that some cards are double-sided. Use the side of the card corresponding to the number of players in your game.
  2. Give each player 3 pennies and a random player board to build their lane from.
  3. Shuffle the building cards. Place the deck facedown near the Main Street cards.
  4. Place the citizen meeples in a pile near the Main Street cards. Do the same for the pennies.
  5. Give the mayor meeple to the player who most recently ran for office, or you can give it to a random player using whatever method you prefer. The player with the mayor meeple will take the first turn of the game.
  6. Reveal the top five cards of the supply deck and lay them out to form the building supply. You are now ready to begin the game.

Setup

Gameplay

Each round consists of an action phase followed by an upkeep phase.

Action Phase

The player holding the mayor meeple takes the first turn of the round.

A player has two options on their turn. They may choose either the Main Street action or the pass action. After completing one of these actions, play continues clockwise with the next player taking a turn.

The action phase repeats until all players take the pass action consecutively. Then proceed to the upkeep phase.

Main Street Action

The player chooses a Main Street action location with an open action space, they must place the required number of pennies on its leftmost open action space. The player then carries out the effect of that card. Job location effects can only be activated by moving a citizen into the vacancy by using The Gazette.

If a player doesn’t have enough pennies, if all action spaces are already filled, or the player cannot carry out the effect of the Main Street card (e.g. they have no citizens to move with The Gazette), they cannot use that card. They must either choose a different Main Street location or take a pass action.

Priority Action Spaces – Several of the locations on Main Street have a priority effect that grants an extra bonus to the first player to use that location during the round. Additional action spaces on those locations only grant the basic effect.

When a player takes a building from the supply, immediately replace it with one from the deck.

Pass Action

The player’s turn is over. On their next turn they will have the chance to choose a Main Street action or pass again. Remember that if all players pass consecutively, the action phase ends immediately.

Upkeep Phase

  1. If any player has ten or more victory points from buildings on their lane, or if there are less than five building cards in the building supply, the game ends and scoring takes place.
  2. Return all pennies and citizen meeples on Main Street locations back to their respective supplies.
  3. Each player resolves all upkeep effects on their lane, including any additional pennies gained from bonus links, and the bonus citizen on their player board if the space is empty.
  4. Begin a new round, starting with the action phase. The player with the mayor meeple takes the first turn.

Scoring

Calculate the total number of victory points each player has on their lane. The player with the most wins the game!

If two or more players are tied for first place, the tied player with the most building cards wins. If there is still a tie, the tied player with the most pennies wins.

Still tied? Then the tied player whose age is closest to 42 wins!

Player Cards
I love how the Player Cards are named after famous Authors. A small thing, easily missed, but brings me so much joy

Penny Lane is a whole lot of game in a small box; but that is what you can expect from the minds that gave us of Mint Works and Mint Delivery, Justin Blaske and Mel Primus. They are the masters of putting a whole lot of game into a very tiny box.

Penny Lane is a new worker placement game for 2-4 players that reminds more of so many beautiful London Laneways…. With more colour and the people are actually happy. I love the use of both vibrant and dull colour palettes of Penny Lane. It feel so much like you are a city planner; with blue prints, colorful models and the different branch of government you need to get plans from.

I actually got this game Monday (7th of May) as in 24 hours before launch, thanks to Australia Post. It has been a whirlwind of a night after getting the message it had arrived. I made a few phone calls and had 3 people sorted to play with…. I may have crashed their DnD night. But luckily, they love me enough to give up a night to help.

I had hoped to play at least 4 games, and only take up an hour of their night. As they were helping me, I didn’t want to take up too much of their time. 3 and a bit hours later I left and headed home to write the review. Games only take approximately 15 mins, but we were enjoying to much, so we kept playing one more. Games are fast, quick and more challenging than I expected. After reading the rules, I expected a simple fast game but quite easy game. 10 games later and I hadn’t won a single game, I realised I had underestimated this game.

Justin Blaske and Mel Primus are really cementing themselves as designers to watch. Mint Works truly was something special; I haven’t played Mint Delivery but have only heard great things. Now Penny Lane has really cemented them as Designer to keep an eye on and they have been added to my instant buy designer list.

Penny Lane

Dann May and Denis Martynets have come together to make this beautiful designer game, sing on the table. There use of bright and vibrate colors make these card pop on the table and the idea to use a dull Main street cards is ingenious. It allows the vibrancy of the Building Card to shine even more. Dann and Denis have also added blueprint styled cards to the Building Supply Card deck, as how can you develop property without Blue prints. This adds another level of depth to the game Building Supply Card deck and adds to the Building theme.

*** Please Note – All the cards will be full and vibrant color, it was only the prototype that will have these Blue Print cards. I have just been advised this fact by the publisher. I really liked these cards, but art and color will make Penny Lane pop so much more on the table

 

Penny Lane had beautiful complexity that I’d expect from a game twice it’s size. If fast, intelligent, small box games are your thing; or you love work placement games or you just love Mint Works, then you need Penny Lane in your collection.

You can check out Sparkworks Penny Lane Kickstarter page here

 

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Derek 'Dez' Maggs

Board Game & Tech Reviewer / Podcast Host of Rapid Reviews on the Boomer Radio Network / Assistant Producer of Creaytors Series on YouTube / Coffee & Hug Addict

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