TableTopTakes: Welcome To…
It’s the 1950’s and it’s time to build your perfect neighborhood. In this flip and write game, you are trying to make the best combination of fenced off neighborhoods to attract the most people to your neighborhood. You build parks, give the houses house numbers, and make pools, but will your neighborhood be better than others?
Welcome To is a flip and write game where you are filling in houses, circles, and drawing fences to make the best neighborhoods that you can. It’s also a game where everyone goes at the same time, which is an interesting thing. There are three stacks of cards and one card is flipped from each one of the stacks. Each player than gets to pick one of the sets of two cards, the one on the top of the stack that gives you a house number, and the ability that the back of the card gives you on the card that was just flipped. They fill it in on the board where they think it’s going to be best.
However, things might not fit in like you’d want them to. You have to fill in houses so that the house numbers are in numerical order per street, but do you want to fill in a high number first or a low number. Maybe the number is in the middle, where do you put it on your street? Along with that, when do you build fences and where do you build fences? You also have to put effort into building up parks, building pools, and increasing marketing in certain neighborhoods so that they are worth more points. But, every time you have to put the house number down, everything else is optional, and if you can’t, get you a building code violation and that loses you points.
Now, I’ve only played this game solo, but it was a lot of fun. It’s a really good puzzle where you can count cards to possibly get an idea of what will be coming next, or what might be left, but the combo of the ability and that number you need might not be what you want. In solo play, it’s even trickier, you go through the whole deck a single time, grabbing three cards from the top of the deck, and building based off of that. So while a multiplayer game can go on a whole lot longer, you have a limited time to get points. I was looking on Board Game Geek to see what a good score was, and people have scored around 115-120, whereas for myself in my first game, I got 79 points, so I feel pretty good about that.
I think that this game is fairly easy to teach. Going over the rules, a lot of it make a decent amount of sense so they can be taught thematically. However, there is still a fairly abstracted feeling to the game as well. You can create a “bis”, which isn’t a term that they really explain, but it allows you to have two of the same number. I’m not sure if they mean it’s a business or what, that’s something that just felt out of place for a thematic reason why it was done. But things like the house numbers going in a particular order, having to have put a house number of a house with a pool to be able to build a pool, those things make sense. The fencing also makes sense as you look to complete building plans.
This game says it goes from 1 to 100, and that’s because that’s how many sheets of paper come in the game. That does mean you could be limited in the number of times you can play, or, as a lot of people do, you can just laminate the game and use a wet or dry erase marker on it and then you can play forever. I’ll probably try and do that at some point in time so that we don’t run out of copies. Welcome To falls nicely into that category of game that I want to break out at board game night, because it is good for a large group, there aren’t turns, so everyone is engaged all the time, and it’s more of a game than a lot of party games. That’s the main reason that I got it, because building a neighborhood in the 1950’s isn’t all that exciting in terms of theme.
Because of this game, and because of the trend towards it, I’m interested in trying more roll and write or flip and write games. Especially if the game can go to a very high player count, that is going to be make it something I can pull out in a lot of situations. Welcome To is a fun foray into that area of the modern roll and write and a game I can see playing with family members who enjoy Yahtzee already.
Overall Grade: B+
Critical Grade: B
Casual Grade: B+
Have you played Welcome To? What have you thought of it, was the theme interesting for you?
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