Scribbletown is a roll-and-write with very low luck about building your own city. Any number of players can play simultaneously as all players use the same die results.
Players draw areas such as neighborhoods, businesses, factories, farms, and parks that each score in different ways along with drawing the roads to connect them all. Each game is made different by the inclusion of a set of special building cards that can be drawn under special circumstances for big points. These special buildings help direct players into a strategy.
But you must be careful when drawing. Certain types of roads and buildings generate waste and when you get too wasteful, an opponent can fill up one of your empty spaces with an unusable junk pile!
Since any number of players can play at a time, Scribbletown is a a great “thinky filler”–it plays in around thirty minutes, but has a ton of heavy tradeoffs without a lot of setup or teardown time. It can even be played easily over Zoom or other conference software.
How to Play
Scribbletown can be played by any number of players, although there are special rules adjustments for solo play and for games with more than six players.
Each player starts with an empty city of 24 plot hexes where they will draw the buildings and roads that make up their city. Every hex matters. Every turn is a tradeoff.
Each turn, one player will roll the 2 building dice and the 2 road dice that all players will use.
Each player can choose to use 2 building dice, 2 road dice, or one of each.
Using the building dice they can build Neighborhoods, Businesses, Factories, Farms, and Parks, each of which will score in a different way. To build a building, a player just draws the shape on an empty plot hex.
Neighborhoods score for each Park they are adjacent to. Businesses, Factories, and Farms score for the buildings that they can reach by road. Parks score a flat rate. Factories are special as they score more points, but also generate Waste, which can be a problem.
Using the road dice they can build roads to connect the buildings in your city and the highways that lead out of your city. Each road hex can be used twice, but the second time you draw a road segment on a hex, it generates Waste.
Every game of Scribbletown is different because the game will begin with a random six special building cards drawn for all players to use. Each has a unique way of scoring, which you can center your city-building strategy around. Each has a requirement of a set of three buildings touching each other. If you have those buildings somewhere in your city, instead of doing a normal turn, you can take a Waste and build one of those special buildings.
Doing higher valued actions like building factories, building special buildings, and doubling up on roads generates Waste. When a player fills a row of their Waste meter, they immediately pause and pass their board to the player to their right. That player chooses an empty hex and scribbles a Junk Pile in that hex and then returns the sheet. Junk piles score no points and are often put in the most inopportune places!
End of the Game
The game ends when a player has no empty hexes remaining. Thus players can rush the game end if they think they are winning and can’t always sit back and wait for the perfect die result to come up. At the end of the game, players sum up the values of all of their plot hexes and add a bonus for connecting the highways outside of the city. The player with the most points wins.
There are alternate end conditions for games with six or more players.