Released back in 2021 Happy City was designed by Toshiki Sato and Airu Sato and published by Gamewright. In the game you play as the mayor of a small city. Your goal as mayor is to grow your city and turn it into the happiest city that you can. This involves generating revenue, acquiring citizens, and constructing buildings that will bring happiness to the people of your city. Can you create a happier city than your opponents in order to win the game?
Year: 2021 | Publisher: Gamewright | Designer: Toshiki Sato, Airu Sato | Artist: Makoto Takami
Genres: City Building, Engine Building, Family
Ages: 10+ | Number of Players: 2-5 | Length of Game: 20-30 minutes
Difficulty: Light-Moderate | Strategy: Light-Moderate | Luck: Moderate
Components: 20 1 coins, 10 5 coins, First Player card, 5 Happy Market cards, 12 Residence cards, 66 Building Cards, 18 Family Bonus Building Cards, 38 Advanced Bonus Building cards, instructions
Objective of Happy City
The objective of Happy City is to create the most total happiness in your city.
Setup for Happy City
- Sort the Building Cards into three different decks based on the images on the back. Each of these decks should be shuffled separately. They will then be placed face down in rows in the center of the table. This will begin the building supply.
- Sort the Residence cards by their type. The cards will be placed in three piles where everyone can reach them. Each Residence pile will have a number of cards equal to the number of players minus one. The unused cards will be returned to the box.
- Place the coins where all of the players can reach them. This will form the bank.
- If this is your first game (or you want a simpler game) you should return the red Expert Bonus Building cards to the box. You should then shuffle the pink Bonus Building cards. A number of cards equal to the number of players plus two will be placed face up on the table.
- Each player is given two coins and a Happy Market card. The Happy Market will be turned so the white side is face up.
- The player who most recently visited another city takes the First Player card. They will be the first player in every round in the game.
Playing Happy City
Happy City is played in rounds. Each round has two phases.
- Income Phase
- Action Phase
At the start of each round all of the players will count up the number of coin symbols shown on the bottom of the cards that make up their city. They will receive coins from the bank equal to the number of coins shown on their cards. To begin the game each player will receive one coin (the Happy Market has one coin on it).
Each action phase begins with the player with the First Player card. All of the players in turn order (clockwise) will get to take their choice of actions during this phase. During your turn in the action phase you will take the following actions.
Discard Cards from Building Supply
This action is optional.
You may choose to discard one of the face-up Building cards in the Building Supply. When you discard a card, it will be placed face down at the end of the corresponding row.
Players may never look at the Building cards that have been discarded on previous turns.
Reveal Cards for the Building Supply
The current player will then get to start turning over Building cards to create the Building Supply. The player can choose to reveal a card from any of the three decks. If a deck should run out of cards, you will shuffle the corresponding discard pile to form a new draw deck.
The player will keep revealing cards until there are three face-up Building cards in the Building Supply.
Purchase a Building
During this step you can choose to take one of three actions.
Option #1: First you may purchase any one of the face-up Building cards from the Building Supply. To purchase a card you must give coins to the bank equal to the number in the top left corner of the card you want to purchase. After paying the cost you will add the Building card to your city.
Option #2: Instead of purchasing a Building card, you can purchase one of the Residence cards. The process to purchase one of these cards is the same as buying a Building card.
The one rule when purchasing Building or Residence cards is that you may only have one of each type of Building/Residence in your city. Basically you can’t have two cards in your city that have the exact same title.
Option #3: If you either can’t afford or don’t want any of the Building or Residence cards, you can choose to not purchase anything. If you choose this option you will receive one coin from the bank.
Before you end your turn you should compare the cards in your city to the requirements on the face-up Bonus Buildings. Each Bonus Building card will feature a number of color symbols along the top of the card. These colors correspond to the different type of Buildings you can add to your city.
If you have enough Buildings in your city that meet the minimum requirements of a Bonus Building, you can choose to take the Bonus Building and add it to your city. There is no cost outside of meeting the requirements to add a Bonus Building to your city. If you don’t want a Bonus Building, you do not have to take it.
During the game you can only add one Bonus Building to your city.
End of Game
Once one of the players adds a tenth card to their city (this includes your Happy Mart), the end game is triggered. A player may never have more than ten cards in their city. The current round will be finished so everyone gets the same number of turns.
Players will now calculate the happiness of their cities to determine the winner. On each card in your city there will be symbols along the bottom of the card. You will count up how many citizens (green people symbols) and hearts there are on the cards in your city. Some cards can subtract citizens or hearts. Your happiness is calculated by multiplying your citizens by your hearts.
The player with the most happiness wins the game. If there is a tie, the tied player with more coins remaining, wins the game.
For younger players you can choose to use the variant scoring rules. With these rules you just add the number of citizens and hearts together to get your total happiness.
Expert Variants for Happy City
For experienced players you may want to consider playing the expert game. This includes two adjustments that you can make to the game.
During setup you can substitute the red Expert Bonus Building cards for the pink Bonus Building cards. These cards give additional benefits and further tweak how you will build your city.
You can also choose to use the colored sides of the Happy Market cards. After revealing the Bonus Building cards, the Happy Market cards will be placed in the middle of the table colored side up. Starting with the last player and moving counterclockwise (right) each player will choose one of the Happy Market cards. This card will act as the color of the card’s background.