Suburbia Comes to the App Store


Suburbia was one of my favorite games to play at BGG Con, and it’s easy to figure out why. It has city building, economics and even a bit of Dutch auction in it, which are all things I love to see in games. That’s why I’m so pleased to see the game show up in an iPad version.

The rules are simple. Each player is building a borough in a jointly-owned city. When it’s your turn, you pick one of seven face-up tiles in the center to add to your part of the city. Each tile represents different kinds of buildings, from mobile homes to post offices or skyscrapers.

Tiles change how many people you have in your city and how much tax income you earn. They may also have special effects based on other tiles in the city. Cinemas make more money when surrounded by residences, and office supply stores like to see new offices spring up in the city.

It’s usually easy to pick out which tile will benefit you the most on any given turn, but the catch is that the seven tiles come at different prices. The newer a tile is, the higher its price. As older tiles get bought, the existing tiles slip downwards in price, so you can get a bargain if you’re willing to wait — and if none of the other players snatch the tile you want up first.

There are a few special goal tiles that spice things up by encouraging players to build the most government buildings or parks, but the game is pleasantly straightforward. All you have to do is pick out tiles, keep an eye on your opponents, and try to have the most population at the end.

The short turns and clear strategies make Suburbia an excellent candidate for conversion into an app, and it looks like developer Jeremiah Maher has done a good job with this it. Check it out in the App Store if you get a chance!



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