Our Cloud City review, what we have to say about the abstract strategy tableau builder that has you creating paths into the sky. The game is a good one and while it may lag behind some competitors in a few areas, it makes up for it with some unique aspects and tailored things that are really going to appeal to a more puzzle driven board gamer.

We took a look across fun, replayability, player interaction, quality and art & style to come up with the overall score for our Cloud City review. See the breakdown by category below.

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Fun (7 out of 10)

For the fun section of the Cloud City review, we award a good 7 out of 10. As far as the abstract strategy game genre goes, this game hits its target. The game is very well made and it plenty fun and anyone out there could enjoy it, but it is fair to say that about 30% of the quality titles in a similar lane are more fun. While the limited options make for the need for a tight strategic strategy, it brings down the overall pizazz and excitement.

The style and theme does add in the fun unlike other games like this. Most abstract strategy games are themeless and have uninspired pieces, but this is the complete opposite. While the necessary dexterity precision required may taunt the shakey handed, it is a ton of fun building this cube of interweaving paths upward into the sky.

Replayability (6 out of 10)

For the replayability section of the Cloud City review, we award a solid 6 out of 10. As you will see in the next category, the lower player interaction that exists also is the biggest factor harming replayability. These abstract games are about finishing better than your opponent. All these games have parts that almost all completely change from game to game (tiles, patterns, configurations, etc) and this is not different. Since games change from one to the next, that helps, but what really drives them is the player versus player aspect which is driven by that replayability.

Like many modular games based on tiles and lots of components, pretty much everything about them changes from game to game and that does really help with replayability. In the case of Cloud City, your options are just too limited for that to make a gigantic difference. There are only 3 different types of building and so many places on a tile they can go.

Player Interaction (4 out of 10)

For the player interaction section of the Cloud City review, we award a not great 4 out of 10. Even for a game of this type, the interaction is pretty low. This is all about you racing to a higher point total before other players so it is not surprising it was not a focus, but it needed more. There are special objective cards that are added in to keep things fresh and add new scoring possibilities but they can only do so much.

You have a few different things that are beneficial. There is a limited number of each pathway type, so it is a race to get there first. Since players already have to weigh how quickly they want to build paths, this adds pressure. You also are fighting over tile options. There is a river of 3 communal tiles you can choose from to refill your hand, good options are few and far between so you don’t want to focus on something the other players are doing. That being said, there are only 3 colors, and so many positions, so this isn’t a very big factor.

Quality (7 out of 10)

For the quality section of the Cloud City review, we award a very good 7 out of 10. Designer Phil Walker-Harding (Sushi Go, Imhotep, Gizmos) is a legend and has brought some of his magic to this title. There are many games in this abstract strategy, pattern-building/set-collection, tableau building, draft-ish genre, but Cloud City manages to carve out something unique that is backed by a creative theme. It is probably not the best in the field, but if you live more puzzle driven games in the field, this is great.

This game has 237 pieces all so you can construct your intricate 3 x 3 tile grid of buildings to the sky. The large plastic buildings are study, ornately designed and have quality notches that help hold gameplay together. Everything is top notch and has a place to be organized into for easy access. For how much there is, it is very easy to manage, except those occasions where you need to go digging for one of the smaller air bridge pieces.

Art & Style (8 out of 10)

For the art & style section of the Cloud City review, we award a great 8 out of 10. You have to give designer Phil Walker-Harding big credit for creating an interworking puzzle that spills into the 3 dimmentional. To craft something that so masterfully intertwines, based on a crazy “walkway in the clouds” theme took a lot of creativity and was applied with plenty of style.

This might also be one of the hottest board game instagram photos you can take right now. It is hard to nail, but if you can really get into that dimensionality and low perspective, you could put together something that looks very cool. Very much like the game Tokyo Highway, the depth and layers make for a very artistic composition.


Cloud City Review | Board Game Halv

We hope you have enjoyed our Cloud City review. This is a great abstract strategy game that takes tableau puzzle-solving to new heights. Pun intended. In a genre dominated by the themeless, it is fun to play a title about building crazy paths in the sky. Compared to similar titles, it lags behind in player interaction and the breath of paths to victory but makes up for it with some of the cool unique things it brings to the field. If you like this genre, but want something that kicks interweaving path building into a more 3d problem to solve, this is a great choice for you.

Product Brand: Blue Orange

Product Price: $25

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:

See the full explanation of the judging criteria here.

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