Donjobo’s Thoughts: Playing Machi Koro


Well recently, I got the board game Machi Koro, and I’ve been enjoying the game ever since. I’ve played it with my friends and family which I want to share with you.

Originally designed by Masao Suganuma and brought over and translated into English by the ever growing company IDW particularly the IDW Games division in collaboration with Grounding Inc. and Pasdasaurus Games This year of 2014. I found it fun and ever growing with the groups that I’ve played this in. Let’s go over the main questions.

What’s the goal and story of the game?

This game is a resource gatherer like Tanto Cure, Splendor, D&D Lords of Waterdeep, Smash Up, and The Settlers of Catan. The goal of the game is to race against the other players to be the first to build all four of your to be Landmarks which are the Train Station, Shopping Mall, Amusement Park, and Radio Tower. You get these cards at the beginning along with a pre-set of resources and 3 copper.

The story of the game is you’re the new mayor of the town but the town is not developed at first along with the other rival mayors, but your citizens want the Landmarks to become local in your town. You only have a wheat field, a bakery, and a die to begin with.  At this point, it’s up to you and you alone to make your town out grow your neighbors and become the first one to have built the four Landmarks.

NOTE: These Wheat Field and Bakery cards at the beginning have no cost on the card.

How many players can play at a time?

2-to-4 players, but with my experience having 3 players as a minimum will always give you and your friends a fierce and fun time.

How long is the rule book and game playing time?

The rule book is 4 whole pages with 5 pages of game explanation, 1 page of introductory story, the last page is the credits, and obviously the front page is the cover. The quickest I’ve played a game was 20 minutes but deepening on who you play with it could last for hours.

How easy is the rule book to read?

It took me about fifteen minutes to read the book the first time. I did have to read the manual two more times to answer a few questions, but when I first play tested this with some friends after explaining  the rules and winning conditions the game began to be as simple as picking up sticks after the first round of playing.

How is the clean up and organization of the box?

Clean up is very quick and easy. With each card having its own top number and color, the after game sorting will take you less than 2 minutes. Taking and placing back into the box is simple, gives you the space to neatly take out the items without hamming the product. There are two downsides when getting the product, but both are minor.


  • You have to deal with a punch out pog sheet which are the coins, but there only two sheets and it does give you a bag to store them. This is extremely minor especially with a low pog sheet and a bag given. If you love punching out pog sheet then get the Space Trucker basic box set, Seasons, or Puzzle Strike: Bag of Chips.
  • How you put the box back. If you close the box either a quarter turn either left or right, the box (or at least my box) gets suctioned tighter together; however, if you close the box in its original placing or a 180° turn, the box is easy to open. When it’s easy to open without harming get boxes the bottom box should slide out slowly since it has to fight with a slight suction. So how do you know if you’re closing the box correctly? By matching the upper box art with the bottom box art which I like to call matching the sands. (like the pic below shows)


What are the game play mechanics?

Since this a resource gatherer it’s simple to understand.

The play order goes as follows:

  • Roll a die (by default unless you buy the Radio Tower which gives you a choice of 1 or 2)
  • Earn Income (the top number of a card will indicate what number rolled will activate the ability before the color tells you it’s restrictions)
  • Construct (One purchase per turn either on any establishments or Landmark. The cost is located on the lower right corner of the card)

The colors of each card have different and restricting effects based on their die/dice roll as follows:

  • Blue: Effect(s) will happen on anyone’s turn. You will earn income from the bank.
  • Green: Effect(s) will happen on your turn. You will earn income from the bank.
  • Red: Take coins from the player who rolled the number listed on the card listed at the top.
  • Purple: Effect(s) will happen on your turn. Mostly take coins from player(s) or manipulating establishments.

Symbols within a card which are:

  • Straw of wheat
  • Cow
  • Gear
  • Hut/Loaf of bread
  • Tea cup
  • Sky Tower

These symbols will be used to identify what cards to be grouped for synergy effects in the game.

Landmarks: There are four of these as a reminder they’re:

  • Train Station, cost 4, effect you may roll two dies now
  • Shopping Mall, cost 10, effect Tea Cups and Huts/Loafs will earn an additional coin or +1 coin
  • Amusement Park , cost 16, Roll doubles take an extra turn
  • Radio Tower, cost 22, once a turn you may re-roll your dice

When you get a land mark card it’s placed on its grey side and not active yet. When it’s purchased the card is now flipped onto the yellow side where the effect is now in play when applicable. Once again the first one to buy all four wins.

Coins… there currency … let’s list the types and values:

  • Copper/Orange, value 1
  • Silver/Grey, value 5 (like a nickel)
  • Gold/Yellow, value 10


Got any quick strategies?

It’s more fun to figure out your own but here are a few for beginners. Keep in mind that any strategies are not set and with dice being the control of the game events are random with no favoritism.

Here is one that’s great to build on.

Mayor Mc Cheese: Buy as many cow labeled cards (Dairy) and Cheese Factories get the Train station purchased and hope you can roll a 7. Same can be said with the Furniture Factory and Fruit & Vegetable Market with their respected synergy.


I really enjoyed this game and hopefully this has helped more people know of its existence and might improve its fan base. I would love to see an expansion pack in the near future. I just learned that their is one. :3

Right now the sells price for a new copy of this game is $30.00 and can be found locally at Wal-Mart, Analog Gaming store(if you can play Magic the Gathering there you’re in the right place), and book stores (The big chain ones will but ask if not sure). All else fails go to your online retailers. (I lke the pic bellow and can be found again from the main site.)


For the main site click this sentence.

Thank you for reading once again. Please like, follow, bookmark, or share this article on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other social media as well as if you found this article enjoyable.

Remember to comment below to let me understand what you think about the article.

About donjobo

Greetings and hello my name is Donjobo!!! I collect anime media like DVDs, Blu-Rays, and VHS tapes. I enjoy and watch many anime series and also review them as well. From the new to the old and from the know to the unknown.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s