Mini Fairway’s Mini Review: Machi Koro

Fairway’s son, Owen, takes a look at one of his favorite dice-rolling games: Machi Koro. This review is written by a nine-year old with very minimal editing.

Have you ever built a city? No? Then go ahead, do it. Okay, fine, it’s hard. If you just want practice, try Machi Koro. Machi Koro is a game about building the city of, three guesses here, Machi Koro. Rolling dice, building buildings, I bet no one has ever built a city in less than half an hour! Oh, yeah, there is also the problem of your rival mayors…

Overview ^

In Machi Koro, you have been elected as (one of) the mayors of Machi Koro, and you need to build a better city then your rivals. First you roll dice to determine how much money you get this turn.then you spend that money to build power giving buildings, or landmarks that get you closer to victory. Let’s go over how to play.

How To Play ^

On one turn of Machi Koro, you do three things,

  • Roll dice
  • Collect income
  • Construction

 Roll dice phase ^

In the roll dice phase you… roll dice. Wow! That’s a surprise! You take one die and roll it. (two if you have train station and would like to use it.)

Income phase ^

Take the number you rolled (or the sum of the two numbers), and check your buildings, and your rivals buildings, for that number. If you see one that has that number, it activates! Use its power if it is your building. If it is a rivals building, it activates if it does not say “on your turn only.”

Build phase ^

During the build phase you can build one building or one landmark, by paying the cost that’s in the bottom right hand corner. ( But only if your holding it the right way up, of course.) Add it to you city if its a building, flip it to the completed side.

Victory ^

You win if you build all of your landmarks.

The plus side ^

Playing on other turns

The fact that you can rob other people, or gain coins on other peoples turns is an aspect I love. It also means people don’t leave when its not their turn.

 The randomness

I know this is a downside to other games, but here, its good. The dice every game different.

The art

I love the art for this game. It shows every single detail, from the grapes in the truck in front of the winery to the life preserver on the mackerel boat.


The down side ^

The setup

The setup is a real pain. You have to sort every single card out into piles, so setup and cleanup sort of ruin the replay factor.

The final grade ^

To add all of this up, I give Machi Koro a



2 thoughts on “Mini Fairway’s Mini Review: Machi Koro”

  1. Nice review, Owen! I’ve been wondering about this game and your description makes the gameplay and appeal really clear. Hope you’ll do more! I’ve seen an expansion or variant of the game at Target called Machi Koro – Bright Lights, Big City. Have you played that one? Is it basically the same? Thanks!

    1. Owen: No, I have not played Bright Lights yet, but all that seems to be different is that there are new buildings/landmarks. Also, just clarifying, Bright Lights Big City is a new base game, although there already are 2 expansions, Harbor and Millionaires Row.

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