Anatomy of a Genre: Role Civilization, Part Three: The Galaxy

Race for the GalaxyIn November, I took a look at a smallest of mini-genres: what I call the Role Civilization genre, which originated with San Juan and which also grew to include games such as Glory for Rome and Eminent Domain. My previous articles covered the origins of the field in role selection and those three games. In this latest article, I’ll be looking at the final major  entry in the category, Roll for the Galaxy, discussing how it simultaneously invented and reinvented the field.

The Shared History of San Juan and Roll for the Galaxy: 2002-2007

Puerto Rico (2002) was the game that brought role selection to the field of serious, dense eurogames. It ruled the gaming table for a few years and was considered the top game in the field. Alea production manager Stefan Brück asked Puerto Rico designer Andreas Seyfarth for a card version of the game, and the result was San Juan (2003), which kicked off the whole role civilization subgenre.

But that’s not the whole story.

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A Deckbuilding Look at Flip City

Flip CityIn a year that was light on original deckbuilder releases, I’ve been pleased to finally take a look at some new ones as autumn deepens. This week I’m looking at TMG’s Flip City, which feels like a companion to their Cthulhu Realms because they’re both mini-deckbuilders, packing a whole game into a small, portable box. Flip City does that with just 86 cards, and more notably just 6 types of cards — but they’re double-sided, offering a total of 12 possibilities.

The Game

Flip City (2015) is a very unusual deckbuilder game that plays unlike anything else in my collection. That’s in large part because of the doubled-sided design of the cards. Not only can you pay to buy cards, but you can also pay to flip cards, which makes them better.

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