You’re the mayor of Machi Koro and the city’s moving on up to the ritzy side of town. Machi Koro: Millionaire’s Row adds plenty of new twists and we’ll get to them in a bit, but let’s cover the technical stuff first.
The Fiddly Bits
Designer: Masao Suganuma
Publisher: IDW Games
Date Released: 2014
Number of Players: 2-5
Age Range: 10 and up (8 and up still works)
Setup Time: less than 5 minutes
Play Time: around 40 minutes
We’ve covered the base Machi Koro game earlier, so we won’t go into detail about Machi Koro: Millionaire’s Row gameplay. If you missed our Machi Koro review, here’s a link.
In short, each player rolls the die (or dice) at the beginning of their turn. The die rolls, and when the numbers are rolled, affect which buildings produce money. Buildings are represented by cards and players can purchase new cards with their money but it’s the player who finishes all of their landmark cards (a group of cards each player begins the game with) first who wins the game.
Machi Koro: Millionaire’s Row, like Machi Koro: Harbor Expansion, changes up the game. The biggest difference between the base game and Machi Koro: Millionaire’s Row is that all games which use only the Machi Koro base game begin the same way: all of the purchasable buildings cards are available at the onset. Machi Koro: Millionaire’s Row adds more building cards, and since you have extra cards to choose from, you shuffle all the building cards together and deal out ten unique buildings.
Sample new cards in Millionaire’s Row
Machi Koro: Millionaire’s Row also adds remodeling tokens, allowing players to shut down their opponent’s buildings for a number of turns, as well as some other buildings, which shake things up.
For being named Millionaire’s Row, the Machi Koro: Millionaire’s Row expansion doesn’t introduce big bucks to the game like Machi Koro: Harbor and yet that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good expansion. I still like the random selection of cards you can choose from—I won’t bore you with my thoughts on that, since I covered this in Machi Koro: Harbor’s write up (here’s a link just in case you missed it)—and Millionaire’s Row’s new cards add some variety to game play—I like the inclusion of Loan Offices, the Renovation Company, and Demolition coins—but while you should be able to add both expansions to the base game, I wouldn’t recommend it.
Green cards from Millionaire’s Row
Loan Offices make building the four base landmarks easy—a fifteen minute game easy if you play your cards right—but adding in Machi Koro: Harbor’s two extra landmarks you have to construct, cause the Loan Offices you pick up to become a thorn in your side. Having to pay back a loan doesn’t hurt so much when the game’s over in less than thirty minutes, but adding both Harbor and Millionaire’s Row turns Machi Koro into an hour game or longer. Half of the gamer in me likes the additional challenge, while the other half argues Machi Koro is supposed to be a thirty minute game. Usually, the second half wins.
Purple cards from Millionaire’s Row
Millionaire’s Row is still a great addition to Machi Koro. I like being able to shut down my opponents’ buildings and you can when in an instant, when you don’t also play with the Harbor expansion. I also enjoy how the vineyards stack with wineries. The same could be said of Harbor and that’s where you’ll find the strength of both Machi Koro expansions: they’re more thematic than their predecessor.
I’d avoid playing with both expansions unless you want Machi Koro to last much longer than it normally does, and if you do choose to play with only one expansion, you can’t go wrong with either Harbor or Millionaire’s Row. It comes down to how you want your gaming experience to go. If you want fish and sushi, pick Harbor. If you wine and a possible shorter game, go with Millionaire’s Row. Unfortunately for Millionaire’s Row, Machi Koro is a Japanese game and most gamers will pick Harbor on flavor alone.