Hip Town from Endless Games challenges players to build the hippest neighborhood faster than anyone else. Being trendy is always in fashion, and new businesses pop up as fast as someone can come up with a clever name. The trick is to get there first, but it takes money to do so. All these wacky principles of property becoming hip form up the lightning-fast play of Hip Town.
A game of Hip Town begins with each player receiving some Hip Coins as usable cash and a hand of Property cards. The hilarious names of the potential properties add to the fun. Some are bars like Eire Jordan, the Irish sports pub. Others are heavy on the puns, like the Russian sports memorabilia shop Bolsheviktory. From the Prove Your Pointe esteemed ballet academy to Strollers, the power-walking dojo for parents, players will have a blast assembling the coolest-sounding neighborhood on their way to winning.
For each player’s turn in Hip Town, they begin by rolling the die. This gives the players chances at five more Hip Coins, a draw from the REAL!TY deck, a draw of Properties, or the choice among those options. The REAL!TY deck is random bonuses or penalties. Good things might come as a free Property draw or quick cash. Alternately, players could face heavy taxes draining their funds or even zoning violations cutting off their chances to build that round. After performing their roll, the player has the chance to build, adding to their neighborhood from one of the Property cards in their hands.
One of the key components of Hip Town is the auction. If the player rolls to draw Property and decides they do not like it, the Property goes up for auction. Other players can bid, starting as low as a single Hip Coin, potentially getting a steal. Strategy comes into play not only in opponents blocking each other from getting property cheap but also getting types of property that might give them bonuses as part of a set at the end of the game.
Play in Hip Town continues until one player completes a block of ten properties, at which point all players add up what Hip Points their built properties offer. Crafty players will lock down the win with the Connected Businesses bonus, which gives extra points for having the same type of business, such as a whole Food district with four or five restaurants next to each other or across the street.
Hip Town is a card game for two or more players aged thirteen and up. It is a great balance of strategy from maximizing types of businesses and luck from the roll and draws. Some players may try to swoop in for a quick win by building lower-point businesses as fast as possible and ending the game fast. Others might hold out, collecting funds for big-point businesses. With the Demolisher card allowing a player to tear down any opponent’s existing business; however, every game can turn just as fast as the card is flipped.