The sky is the limit, not in Cloud City.  Build your skyscrapers higher and higher into the clouds and try to get the most votes from City Council members by building walkways between your skyscrapers. Do you have what it takes to make the best cloud city?  Let's see if you head is in the clouds!

 Cloud City Cover

Cloud City (2020)
Designer(s) Phil Walker-Harding Artist(s) Fabrice ROS Publisher

Blue Orange Games

2-4 10+ 30m

Cloud City is such a neat and simple game to play; you are building an amazing city in the clouds that contains walkways between the buildings that award votes from city council members.  The game is played over 8 or 11 rounds, and whomever has the most votes, wins the game. 

Box and Components IMG 9132

I love the texture of the box.  It is very glossy and a little texture where the title of the game is on it.  The artwork truly captures the concept of the game where you are continuing to grow your city into the clouds and build walkways between the buildings.  

Components:

  • 96 Buildings: 3 different types (river blue pieces, forest green pieces, sand tan pieces), and 32 pieces of each color.
  • 93 Walkways: 31 River Walkways, 31 Forest Walkways, and 31 Sand Walkways.
  • 48 Cloud Tiles: Including 4 starting tiles (these have pictures of birds on them, 1 bird is first player, 2 birds goes to 2nd player, 3 birds goes to 3rd player and 4th goes to 4th players, however if only a 2 or 3 player game the extras goes back to the box).
  • 10 Special Request Cards: These are used as an objective you are trying to achieve to gain more city council member votes.
  • Rulebooks: One in English and One in French.

The materials for the buildings are a hard plastic and sturdy material.  The walkways and cloud tiles are made of heavy cardboard material.  The special request cards are made from a thinner material and are about an inch by an inch in size. 

Mechanics

Setup

Set up is very straightforward.  You begin by removing the 4 tiles that contain birds on them; these are the starting tiles.  First player receives the tile with 1 bird on it, second player receives the 2 bird tile, and so forth.   On each players starting tiles, you will place the buildings that correspond with the colors on the tile. If you are only playing a 2 or 3 player game, you will put the remaining starting tiles back in the box. 

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Shuffle the remaining regular tiles together and creating a draw pile.  Put out 3 tiles face up next to the draw deck; these will be used as draw tiles in the game. Deal 3 cloud tiles to each player. 

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Player Turn

There are 3 or 4 possible actions you can do on your turn, which much be played in the follow order:

1. Expand the base of your City (mandatory)

You will select a tile from your hand of 3 tiles and put it in play.  The tile is valid if it at least touches 1 side of a previously played tile.  On your first turn, it must touch your starting tile.  You can rotate the tile any which way.  In a 2-3 player game, you are building in a 3x4 tiles configuration, and in a 4 player game, you are building 3x3.

2. Choose and place Buildings (mandatory)

On each cloud tile, there are 2 building colors that you must build on.  The colors may match (e.g. two brown buildings) or could be a combination of of the colors (e.g. brown/blue, blue/green, or blue/green).  The color is the color of the plastic building that should be placed on top of the tile.  

3. Build Walkways (optional)

The walkways allow you to connect two buildings together and gain votes/points based on the length of the crosswalk.  There are three different colored crosswalks that corresponds with the different building colors.  You can only build blue to blue, green to green, and brown to brown.  You can build as many crosswalks as you would like on your turn and it is possible to connect several buildings in this way.  There are six stipulations about placing crosswalks:

  1. Cannot build if it passes over an empty area of the city that doesn't contain a cloud tile. 
  2. Cannot build a walkway if it crosses another at the same level of your city.
  3. Cannot build a walkway diagonally.
  4. Cannot build walkways between different height buildings.
  5. Cannot build walkways over 3 or more buildings of the same height.
  6. Cannot build more than two walkways to a single building. 

So keep those in mind when you are building your crosswalks.

4. Draw a Cloud Tile (mandatory)

After you have completed your 2 mandatory "phases" and possibly built your walkways, you must draw a new Cloud tile so you are back up to 3 tiles in your hand.  You may either select from 1 of the 3 face up tiles or the top tile from the draw pile.  If you pick from the 3 face up, you must replenish from the draw pile. 

Play continues clockwise around the table.  

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In a 4-player game, the game is played over the course of 8 rounds, which results in making a 3x3 tile cloud city.  In a 2 or 3 player game, the game is played over 11 rounds, which results in making a  4x3 cloud city.

End game

When all players have completed their city, the game is over, and votes are counted.  You will add up your council votes for each walkway built in your city.  The player with the most council votes wins the game.  In a tie, the player with the most council votes on their river walkways wins.  If another tie, then the player with the most votes on the forest walkways wins.  And again, if another tie, then the most votes on the sand walkways wins.  If for some crazy reason a tie still results you can share the victory, or play again. 

Variant Rules

In the box, the game includes variant rules that provides an objective to play towards in the game.  In a lighter variant game, turn one card face up, and if you want a more exciting variant, play with 2 cards face up.  The remaining cards are returned to the box.  These "objectives" can provide additional points for all players at the end of the game.  

Final Thoughts

This game brings a lot of variety to the table, as most Blue Orange games do.  I was a little hesitant upon opening the box and seeing all of the pieces, but the rulebook is straightforward and easy to follow.  Once you play a round or two and understand the turn order, the game goes fast, but it can prove to grow more difficult as you continue growing your Cloud City and find buildings begin blocking each other. 

The game also has some nice table presence and would attract players at game shops when played. It is colorful, good quality, and easy to teach. If you like light games and building your own city, this game is worth checking out.  Find it at your local game store or online.

Cloud City Portrait

Here is our video review for the game: 

A playthrough of Cloud City during our Thanksgiving 2020 Stream: 

Links/Media

Cloud City Board Game Geek Page 

Publisher Product Page

Amazon Product Page  (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Disclosure

We received the product in order to write an honest review; all reviews reflect the honest opinions of the writer.

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