Moving away from some of the more classic games we have recent release Honshu. Honshu is a lovely mix of territory building with a small tinge of trick taking built into the selection process. While you are expanding your own territory, you need to keep track of many different ways to score points. Your area can get points from expanding cities, forests, long rivers, and delivering resources to places that need them.
After players are dealt their cards, they take turns playing a card from their hands. The card’s value determine who gets to select cards first - the higher the number the better. Resources can be very valuable commodities--they can be used to make your card a higher value than any cards without resources. Not only that but similar to trick taking games the other players can only play resources matching the first one played. Because they have such value you are only going to want to use them when you really want one of the cards available.
With the new player order determined all the players select a card to add to their territory. When you add spaces you have to cover or go underneath cards already played. You can cover most things, but you aren’t able to cover water with other structures so you need to make sure to be mindful of that if you are trying to make a vast city for points that way. It will be fairly rare that you get a card that is just perfect for your plans. Part of the fun of Honshu is figuring out how to balance all the different ways to score points.
Another bit of fun in Honshu is after the first six cards you will hand your cards to the players on the left before the hand is refilled. So you will have some knowledge of the power of one of your opponents hands and what cards they might have to offer! But if you start off the game with a really great card you will likely want to get it played before you hand over your cards to make sure you are the one to play it!
Having a great art style is one way to get me to really enjoy a game. The art style in Honshu is warm and charming but that is not all it takes to get on the Top 100 as I have played so many games. The quick but difficult choices you make during the game give the game great depth. There are also additional cards you can use to add more depth and strategy to the game. If you are looking for some simple city planning wrapped into a card game make sure to give Honshu a chance!