Picks and Pans Review: City Scene Games
About the only people who aren’t likely to think these games are a stroke of genius are the folks at Parker Bros. Inc. It was clearly their Monopoly that inspired the Groovy Games company to spin off this otherwise innovative line of board games that use local streets and institutions in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington instead of those from Atlantic City. The rules are the same for each city—players advance by dice roll to properties they then try to buy—but each edition is unique. Thus the random events cards include “Northwestern Beats Notre Dame in Football—You Suffer Heart Attack and Lose 1 Turn” (Chicago Scene); “You enjoyed an evening in the West Village until your favorite gal turned out to be a guy—lose next turn due to shock” (New York Scene) and “You want to buy his and her submarines—advance to Neiman-Marcus” (Houston Scene). The games can take an hour or a day, depending on the greed and stubbornness of the participants. Each game has a centerpiece drawing of its city, and they are all ugly. That is the major shortcoming. The games are available in department stores at about $12 apiece, making them as good a bargain as, say, Baltic Avenue.