In the heart of Brazil, in the beautiful city of Rio de Janiero there are a number of beautiful neighborhoods of homes stacked in colors as far as the eye can see. These neighborhoods are called favelas, which is also the title of this new game we will be looking at today from designer Chris Bryan and artists Brigette Indelicato and Kwanchai Moriya. Published in 2017 by Wizkids, Favelas is a beautiful game with some great mechanics you are bound to enjoy bringing to your table.
Favelas is a 2-4 player game that will take around 30-45 mins to play. The content for the game includes 4 starter boards, double and single home tiles, large colorful dice, the Beatification counsel board and player markers. Set up involves stacking three piles of tiles that serve as three ”years” and a year end tile in the bottom random 3 tiles. A single tile pile is made, and a row of three of the double tiles is laid out on the board to pick from. At the beginning of the year, the first player rolls the dice and places the showing number into the appropriate spot. This is the starting “beautification” value for each color.
As the game progresses, on your turn you may take a single face down tile, one of the three in the market of the face-up double tiles or the top face-down double tile. You then need to place it on your board, following two simple rules.
1-Your favela may not grow outside of the size it already is-you must stack up
2-Your favela may not grow unevenly-there cannot be spaces between levels, so it must remain flush as you build it upward
If you place a spot where colors do not match, nothing happens. However, a matching color to the spot below it means that you must change the value of the beautification tile either up or down by 1 value. A “1” can only go up, a “6” can only go down. These values are the total victory points each player with the majority of that color will get at the end of the “year”. The clear die will also be changed each time a player grabs a single tile, and that value goes to all players that have at least one of each color at the end of the year. The game is then played over three total years, each time you reach the year end you go to the new pile, re-roll the dice and restart the process. At the end of the third year scoring, the top score is the winner!
What could be better:
-Ease of game play may prohibit long-term replayability of the game
-The colors for the 4 players arw a bit similar, perhaps a different color or two may have helped
-The score tracker is only big enough for one cube, making moving of the cubes around the edge a little biut of a challenge and they do fall off easily
What we liked:
-The colors of the boards, pieces and dice are all great-this is a very vibrant game that stands out when it is on the table and definitely is an eye-catcher
-Ease of game play makes it a simple addition to a gamenight with new or inexperienced players
-Set up and tear down is quick
-The game is strategic but not overly so that it stalls players out
-The games we have played so far, all the players have been neck and neck for the win, making it a game that keeps all involved right up to the end
Favelas takes the best of different aspects of game play like tile placing, area influence and control and is a solid addition to our family game night collection. The colors and table presence of this game make it a keeper for sure. All ages and variety of game play that have got to the table with this have enjoyed it and wanted play it again. So if you are looking for a good family/newer player game that is easy to set up and teach, this game is for you!