Board Game Review: Power Grid

Images borrowed from Board Game Geek.


I have owned Power Grid for a little while now, I’ve only had the pleasure of playing it twice before the other night. I am a huge fan of euro games, they are elegant and usually fairly easy to grasp. Power Grid does not disappoint in this regard. Coming from other games such as Arkham Horror and Mansions of Madness this game is a walk in the park. Set up is easy. You lay out the power plants as the rule book denotes, divvy out the money and lay out the starting resources. We determine our first player by pulling a factory from the stack, whoever pulls the highest is first player. This is one of the few games I’ve played so far that starting out as the first player is actually not usually a good thing. You auction first which opens up more power plants for the rest of the players. Every person playing can only win one power plant per round and you don’t have to auction. This phase is fairly straight forward.

The bits are, as expected, high quality. Everything is wooden and thick cardstock. Brown is coal, black is oil, yellow is garbage and red is uranium. Every player has their own color house that serves a representation of your factory. The player help cards are well laid out and quite useful. I found myself referencing that more than the book the few times I have played. Money is called Elektros and honestly the money is the only annoying part of the game, it tends to stick together. I would love to see a phone app for that, but that’s just me!


The board has two sides, Germany and the US. Although I believe there are other boards out there, including fan-made boards. At the top of the board are the player turn order (upper left), current factory count (upper right), resources divided by cost (lower portion) and in the center are the cities and costs. Building in a city (one region per player at start) costs only 10 initially, but as you expand you pay the conduit cost listed on the pipe and the cost of the city. In phase one you can only have one player per city. Phase two opens up the 15 electro cost slot and phase 3 the 20 electro cost slot. Each phase has a defined qualifier. Phase 2 is X number of cities (depending on how many players you have), and phase 3 in the factory stack. The game ends when one player (again dependent on the number of players you have) connects X number of cities.


One thing of note is the humor pasted to the outside of the box, go ahead and enjoy that little tidbit if you will. Aside from the art and color schemes, which are great, this is the best part of the box and boards.


In the end you must buy and play Power Grid. It is like a fun-to-play version of Monopoly. If you enjoy competition and mechanics of Monopoly you’ll never pick it up again once you try Power Grid.


~ by lordnightwinter on February 25, 2015.

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