I get told fairly often that my reviews are quite negative, so let’s have a nice time and talk about something nice.
Little Town is a worker placement and tile laying game for 2-4 players and takes about 45 minutes. Players draft building tiles and lay these out along the bottom of the board (there are set tiles to help on your first playthrough) along with the five wheat field tiles, to form a shop. Depending on player count, players get 2-4 objective cards, 3-5 workers pieces, 6-7 houses, and a humble 3 coins in their pockets.
Gameplay is fairly straightforward, in a turn, players may perform one of two actions: Gather and activate, or build a building. To gather and activate, place a worker on the board and they will collect resources from all diagonally or orthogonally adjacent spaces. The board itself (which is double-sided for variety) features a number of trees, mountains and lakes. Trees give wood, mountains yield stone, and lakes can be fished for food. Meanwhile buildings that are on the board will produce resources or victory points as shown on their tile, either directly, or in some form of resource trade. However, if you wish to activate a building you didn’t build yourself, you’ll need to pay a coin to the owner to do so.
To build a building, send a worker off to the building yard at the bottom of the board, pay the cost in resources on the tile you wish to construct. Then place that tile on a blank space, along with a little house to signify that it’s one you built. Additionally, building tiles show a star value, which are immediate victory points awarded when you construct it.
Once each player has sent all their workers out, it’s time to bring them home. At which point they will need to be fed. Each worker will need one food, be that wheat (from fields that have been built) or fish. Failure to feed workers will lose you three victory points each, as they air their displeasure with your leadership.
At any time you can complete an objective card you’ve met the requirements for and claim the victory points shown. Objectives are mostly very simple: have no money, build a building that costs x amount of wood, have twice as many food resources as workers, etc. Although, that’s not to say you might not just end up never quite completing these just depending how things play out.
Finally, move the round token one space and hand the first player token to the next player clockwise and start a new day. At the end of four rounds, add together any end game bonuses from tiles, and one point for every three coins in your coffers.
Little Town is absolutely charming. You’re making a nice town together, there’s plenty for everyone to share and at lower player counts you can almost build separate areas, away from your fellow players. It might be considered a game for children by some (recommended 10+), but there’s enough strategy in the selection of buildings and when (or if) to go for objective cards, to keep adults playing too. It’s not the crunchiest, deepest, most mind bending game in the world, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s just fun, and we could all do with some fun.
- Easy to learn
- Plenty of variety thanks to the tile drafting
- Very affordable
- May be too light-weight for some
- It’s a small box that could be smaller as there’s plenty of empty space
- Unusual colour selections for player pieces.