"The latest Günter Cornett design reworks the 18XX series (of train games), managing to finally make one worth playing, at least to this reviewer's taste. For one thing, the stock market is completely jettisoned. Instead, this game of leading tourists around the ever-changing Greentown and its many attractions is one of route planning and tile (re)placement. Players have no choice in the tour demand cards they receive; thus they often must help opponents even while competing with them. Victory goes to the one who can best intuit how routing is likely to change and who can best imagine what the effects of new tiles will be.
Although the rules are simple, decisions are not. Still, duration is only about forty-five minutes. Greentown appears to be the place where Age of Steam, fanatics and "soft core" game players can happily rendezvous.
Strategy: Medium; Theme: High; Tactics: High; Evaluation: Low; Personal Rating: 7"
(source: review at http://spotlightongames.com)
Mini Review: GreentownXX A Pleasant Surprise
Gunter Cornett has endeavored to create an accessible, 18xx style network game. As a long time 18xx player, I believe he has done so admirably. Of course, the stock component is out the window, ... But the heart of the building system -- touch these locations for a payout, upgrade tiles trying to get longer routes, upgrade tiles to screw with your opponents plans -- all that stuff is still here in spades. Yet, it is also in a digestible, 60 to 90 minute package.
I love the 18xx games, but I just don't have time to play them. This game will satisfying that same itch without swallowing a whole Saturday's gaming.
Greentown is not light. There is serious analysis that goes into it. However, like a good 18xx, you can also do much of your analysis and planning between turns. Yes, your opponent's can mess with you (primarily by taking your trees), but this should also be part of your planning.
I am beginning to think that Gunter mis-marketed this game. Had he presented it graphically a bit more like a conventional 18xx game, I think he would have found his target audience more easily. ...
Well, having chanced upon it, I think this is a superb adaptation of the general features of an 18xx game. ... If you are looking for Hey That My Fish II, look elsewhere, but if its a manageable 18xx you are looking for, you have found it.
(Jason Matthews, see full review at www.boardgamegeek.com )
What do you think of it? Will I like it?
I like it a great deal. It's surface charms give way to a game of surprising depth and strategy. There's a lot of possibility at the beginning of the game, and it packs a lot of thinking into roughly an hour. It's not a nice game, despite the pleasant pastoral feel of the tiles. You're attempting to screw other people out of profitable routes while getting them to help you make money. If you don't like that sort of game, then Greentown isn't for you. It's also not a great game to play with people who suffer from analysis paralysis; there's a constant nagging feeling that you somehow 'could have' made another buck by planning something better-- it may be true, but you'll die of old age waiting for someone to take a turn.
Greentown is a pleasant surprise, a light goofy theme fronting a solid, thoughtful design with plenty of open-ended possibility with each play. There are even alternate 'set ups' for you to try if you feel the initial one is becoming played out. Each group of people I have taught it to seemed to have enjoyed it as well. A real gem.
(Orthodork, see full review at www.boardgamegeek.com)