DESIGNED by Núria Casellas, Eloi Pujadas, Joaquim Vilalta |ART by Craig Petersen, Sophie Wainwright |PUBLISHED by Cucafera Games and Blue Orange Games | Point-to-Point Movement, Travel, Set Collection | 30-60 minutes | RELEASED 2019 (US release in 2021) |PLAYER COUNT 2-6 |
Photography is all about light. In Zoom In Barcelona, mastering natural light at different times of the day is a crafty layer of gaining points! This is a swift but complex game. Travel throughout the city of Barcelona and take the best photos to win. And there are Dragons! Did you know there are more than four hundred dragons in the architecture of Barcelona? Me either. Now I want to go find them.
It is a point-to-point movement to get the Judge's picks location, shoot the photo and collect that Landmark card. Once you collect eight of those Landmark pictures, the game ends. The points are tallied. Wait, there is more.
Set up. Players draw a City Skyline token. They are unique for each player, and the goal is to take photos of the buildings and accrue points by completing the order of your specific skyline. Each player receives transport cards for movement. Place Landmark cards on the board face up. These are the Judge's Picks of photos, and the contest begins. Two Theme token are placed on the board. This is a sweet layer of strategy. Each landmark card has the location, name, and Theme icon. The player who has taken a Landmark photo with the Theme icon gains extra points.
Players get their player board- a camera that denotes their starting location and scoring information.
Players choose their pawn and Zoom selector token. The Zoom selector allows players to take photos from a distance. Each point spent (1-3) will enable players to take a picture (1-3) spaces away. Once the Zoom has been used, it is done. It does not replenish.
Set up four locations on the Light Track. The Golden Hour Sunrise, High Noon, Golden Hour Sunset, and Nighttime. To accrue more points at the end, players must visit these locations and take a photo. You are not required to finish this track, but for each completed, players gain 2, 4, 6, 8 points to their landmark photos at game end.
Time to drop a Dragon token on the board. When you land on the Dragon, you can take a photo anywhere on the board (wild card), and then the Dragon is moved to a new location.
Actions are Move and Perform an action. After moving, players may do one of the following actions: Take a photo, Visit an information point or take the Metro. Moving is with transportation or walking. Walking is movement up to two places, transportation is moving from Metro Station to Metro Station and using a Transport card (3-6) locations. Once a transport card is used, it is discarded. Players do not draw another card. They can visit an Information Point to replenish their Transport cards.
Players mitigate their movement. The obstacle is getting to a Landmark before other players. There are many paths to take to gain points and planning ahead is advantageous.
Players may not get the same amount of turns on the eight Landmark photos due to the game's end. We all raced with blinders on to trigger the end game first. It did not always prove effective if you had not completed the Light Track.
The Zoom mechanic is convenient, but we found that using this ability too early did not seem helpful.
We found the game similar to On the Underground. Both games share the lightness with layers strategy that keeps it competitive.
Zoom In Barcelona did a great job of finding that sweet spot of a game that plays around thirty minutes and works the noggin with clever mechanics. Tensions build at the end of the game. Thankfully, it is easy to set back to one and play again.
So, traveling to Barcelona is not in the cards presently? Give this game a play. The art is sweet, and they literally supply the travelers' map for when you can zoom to Barcelona.
The Skyline tokens are limited, so there is no guarantee that players will complete this task. I focused on this at the start of the game, and it proved worth it and the end of the game.
The rulebook is short but a bit confusing. The order of information did not flow.
The complexity arises in the big choices each turn, and with the number of locations, there is high replayability.
We are huge fans of photography, and this is a clever interpretation. Very well thought out, and we hope there many more cities to Zoom into.
*Hubby joke- How can one end up with a small fortune doing photography? They can start with a large fortune. True story.
Nerdz Garage recommends it for new and veteran gamers.
Zoom in Barcelona (2019)
Blue Orange Games, Cucafera Games
BGG Weight – 1.80 / 5
A review copy was provided by Blue Orange Games.
Let’s be honest; there is still a bit of drama when we play.
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