parts of the game spread out in a grid-like arrangement

For my semester project in New York, I created a board game highlighting various elements of life in the Big Apple.

The objective: travel across Manhattan utilizing taxis, subways, and bikes and race to collect “token cards” from select locations. The game teaches a little bit about New York’s geography and references quirky elements of life that residents can relate to: missing your stop when the local train becomes an express and you can’t hear the announcement, paying far too much for cereal at the convenience store across the street, watching the Village Halloween parade. Due to the timeline of the semester, the design process was rushed and I completed the majority of the work over a single month. I was also unable to run product tests and receive feedback that would have been critical if the game were going to market. Since presenting in class, I conducted several tests with assorted rule variations and I've thought of many design tweaks that would enhance usability; I would love to create a second, revised version one day and implement some of these changes.

How do I play?

Travel across the game board and race to collect Token Cards from select spaces representing the Statue of Liberty, Union Square, and other prominent locations. To win, collect a card from each category: Apartment, Park, Museum, Eatery, and Attraction.

The gameplay

On your turn, perform a series of actions.

1. Collect your paycheck. Unless you have a job card, this is $10 per turn.

2. Move. You may walk to any adjacent space, bike two spaces if you own a bike, or take a taxi to any space on the board for $30.

3. Collect a card. If you are on a space associated with a Token Card, collect this card and follow the instructions as directed. For example, before collecting the Guggenheim card you must pay the entry fee. If you cannot collect a Token Card, draw an Action Card from the pile.

4. Spin the subway wheel. All players at a subway stop may move if their train comes, regardless of whose turn it is.

The subway

At the end of each turn, players spin the subway wheel. All players currently at a subway station have the opportunity to take the subway to another space along the line.

There are two types of trains: express and local. If an express train comes, players may move to any space along the line. (For example, a player on Wall Street may choose to move to Fulton Street, 14th Street, Times Square, or 96th Street.) If a local train comes, you may move one stop in either direction. (For example, if you are at Columbus Circle you may move to either 14th Street or 145th Street.) This is to simulate the real life experience, in which local trains stop about 10 extra times between each of the stations marked on the game board, making them quite a bit slower.

The cards

There are four types of Action Cards: City, Event, Object, and Job. City cards remain in play until they are replaced by another city card and affect all players. Event cards occur once and may affect all players or the active player, as specified. Object cards are kept by the player for the duration of the game. Players may have more than one object card at once. Job cards are optional. Should you choose to take a job, you must follow the instructions for as long as you have the card, but may always choose to discard it at the end of your turn. Income from a Job Card replaces your regular paycheck.

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