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City of Remnants is fun, engrossing game

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 27 2013 4:04 p.m. MDT

Gangs vie for control in the City of Remnants game by Plaid Hat Games.

Ryan Morgenegg

In the latest offering from Plaid Hat Games, players are citizens of a planet devastated by war and conquered by a militant race of humanoids called the Yugai. Gangs battle for control of a city on the planet Gatorum. Players represent gang leaders trying to earn the most renown by the game's end.

City of Remnants is a two- to four-player game that lasts from one to two hours. Players begin by choosing between four refugee gangs with different abilities. Each gang is represented by a set of cards depicting members of the gang and their powers. Detailed miniatures represent gang members as they move around the game board that looks like a grid of city blocks.

With 2,000 ARCs (money) in their pockets, players begin the battle for the City of Remnants. First off, it is impressive how many choices are offered in each player phase. For instance, a player can choose between the following: hire a new gang member, play cards from the player's hand, purchase items on the black market, build a new city block and produce goods, sell goods, move gang members around the city, engage in combat or refresh the player's hand of cards.

The game also has a wide variety of play mechanics that keep things interesting. For combat, card play and dice rolling keep the action moving. For gang recruitment, players compete in a bidding contest. To purchase items, a steady stream of income is crucial from selling goods. Tile placement and area control are also important to build and protect your gang's turf in the city.

The final two phases of a game round consist of random attacks in the city by Yugai police forces and collecting renown for controlling city structures and certain cards. To win the game, a player must have the most renown points when the pool of renown tokens runs out.

City of Remnants is a fun game and completely engrossing. It was brilliantly conceived and play tested. It is also well balanced among gang powers. With all the possible variables, there will never be the same game twice.

My only complaint is the theme. I wish it could have been more family friendly. To see a more detailed look, a free video tutorial of the game is available at plaidhatgames.com.

Ryan Morgenegg is a multimedia specialist for the Deseret News.

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