Our New York 1901 review, what we have to say about the space drafting and interesting configuration building game that puts you in the role of real estate tycoon at the turn of the century. Many games dance in this arena, but most of them have you working on your own tableau instead of on one central board. The additional battle for space creates a tight tension in this race for the highest point total and helps make this title one of the best at what it does.

We took a look across fun, replayability, player interaction, quality and art & style to come up with the overall score for our New York 1901 review. See the breakdown by category below.

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Fun (9 out of 10)

For the fun section of the New York 1901 review, we award a great 9 out of 10. The game masterful fighting over space and then turning that space into an ever-evolving skyscraper empire. You need to manage your workers and make tough decisions about whether to expand your land or improve your buildings. All this so delicately balanced makes for a very fun experience.

On your turn, you have lots of options with only so many resources to do it all. The board is a large set of spaces divided by a series of roads. You want to not only build buildings but put them along the best streets (which change from game to game). You do this by drafting clusters of land from the few options available and then play buildings from your supply to fill them. Not only do you need workers to get this going, but you have to really decide what you are going to build. The multiple paths but lack of resources to take them all make for a very exciting and fun experience.

Replayability (8 out of 10)

For the replayability section of the New York 1901 review, we award a very good 8 out of 10. There are a few things that change from game to game, but more importantly, everyone is fighting over a vast space that could be filled with hundreds of different combinations. Games are not close in how they unfold, they vary dramatically from one game to the next. Playthroughs are incredibly fresh each and every time.

The street cards, which dictate which lanes to be by to get the biggest points, change from play to play and they make a dramatic difference. Picture moving the importance of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills to somewhere in rural Idaho, it feels that different.

Player Interaction (8 out of 10)

For the player interaction section of the New York 1901 review, we award a great 8 out of 10. There are several different levels of it here and everything is working harmoniously together. Most importantly, you are fighting over clusters of space. Everyone is eligible for everything so it is a race and one misstep can destroy everything. Plots are fluid, so your strategy can be too, but the right cut off move is how you are going to keep other players at bay.

In addition to getting the best land you also need to get the best buildings. It may not seem like much, but games are won and lost on the legendary building. In the game, there are four unique building that any player can build once they reach gold status. Each player can build any of them but only one and it is first come first serve. You really need to set your self up in advance with a plan to get the right property in your empire as soon as possible.

Quality (8 out of 10)

For the quality section of the New York 1901 review, we award a wonderful 8 out of 10. A big nod of respect to designer Chénier La Salle. Many of the things that happen in New York 1901 have only happened in personal tableau spaces in other games. Here, everything is layered on top of one communal space and it is done so beautifully. To advance in status (and build better buildings) a player needs to reach a certain score. This is brilliant because it is something that people all do separately but still together.

Not only does the game have this massive balance to bring many different things into a communal space, already difficult, but the game itself unfolds with a glorious drafting and engine building mix. You are drafting space, but then once you have that space, there are still tons of decisions to make about how you are going to use it. Even though there is a ton going on, intensity levels are kept at a solid medium and everything tends to flow seamlessly

Art & Style (7 out of 10)

For the art & style section of the New York 1901 review, we award a good 7 out of 10. You may not be aware, but this painted realism style of the game is actually very indicative of the design of that time. Hats off to artist Vincent Dutrait for really staying true to theme and delivering a great and cohesive package.

There are tons of components in this game and they each have been paid special attention too. This game could have easily reused the same art, and they did to a certain extent, but they made sure to create a ton of unique materials to enrich the gameplay experience.


New York 1901 Review | Board Game Halv

We hope you have enjoyed our New York 1901 review. This is an industry leading area control meets empire engine building game. The draft mechanics to acquire and fight over space are as top notch as anything else on the market and this all blends beautifully with the building of your skyscraper empire. You have a lot to manage but everything comes down to deciding between acquiring the most space versus building it up as wonderfully as you can.

Product Brand: Blue Orange Games

Product Price: $35

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:

See the full explanation of the judging criteria here.

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