Just getting into my collection under the wire before the end of 2013, Steam Park by iello could be the very best game to hit my tabletop last year. It will hit it again and again in 2014 without a doubt.
The idea of Steam Park, a game created by Lorenzo Silva, Lorenzo Tucci Sorrentino and Aurelien Buonfino, is to create a theme park. But this isn't just any theme park. It is steam powered and intended for us by robots.
Gamers will build rides, attract visitors, erect other structures and have to deal with the dirt accumulated when a group of ready-for-fun robots assemble at the park for 24-hour entertainment.
Steam Park is intended for 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, with an average playing time of 60 minutes. Because a part of the game is played simultaneously, the game will play slightly longer the more players involved, but not significantly longer.
The object of the game is to wind up with the most Danari, the game's currency, at the end of the six rounds covered during the game. The more rides and stands you construct and the more robots you attract, the more dirt you must collect. One of the things you can do each turn is to clean up that dirt because any of it that remains at game's end will cost Danari to dispose of.
The available actions you can do each turn are triggered by dice – six of them that you will roll each turn. But instead of having a set number of re-rolls to decide what faces you settle with, there is a race for each player to get done with the rolling. The sooner you decide on your six choices, the more benefit you get in terms of extra ability to get rid of dirt to getting more dirt for being last. Once only one person is left with dice he or she wants to re-roll, that person is limited to 3 more re-rolls.