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Lost Cities’ creator’s latest board game is going to San Francisco

Fun in Frisco.

Reiner Knizia, the creator of the classic two-player board game Lost Cities, has designed a new tabletop title centered around the city of San Francisco.

A city-building game for two to four players, San Francisco takes place in the first half of the 20th century, where the Californian metropolis saw significant growth and change. (Thanks BoardGameGeek.)

After the Great Depression struck the entirety of the US – and, subsequently, much of Europe – the people of San Francisco were able to regain their city’s grandeur through events such as the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939, transforming it into one of the country’s most prestigious locations. Alongside its iconic Golden Gate bridge, San Francisco features some impressive architecture, much of which was designed and built in the early 1900s. As ambitious urban planners, the players will have a direct hand in this particular part of the city’s history, vying with each other to get their name in its walls.

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In the upcoming board game, players find themselves taking part in a contest to reconstruct part of San Francisco – which may well have been destroyed in the fires created by an earthquake which struck in 1906 – with the players attempting to design the most beautiful buildings possible. Before anyone starts designing any buildings, they’ll need to consider laying down strong foundations, especially considering the city’s history, as well as how they’re going to lay out each of their constructions to maximise the space they have, which is now easier to do with the newly invented skyscraper.

Players will have to design different types of districts, ensuring that the whole city is being represented. As they reconstruct the five varying kinds of district, the players must find a careful balance between keeping up with – or even outpacing – their opponents and not overwhelming themselves with too many projects at once. Whilst it can be tempting to take on as much work as possible, completing projects is the key to succeeding in San Francisco. As well as the construction of buildings, players can earn prestige by designing other elements such as cable car systems to help citizens get around the city. Whichever player gains the most rewards and recognition for their work is named the game’s winner.

Besides creating San Francisco and the aforementioned Lost Cities, Knizia is responsible for designing a large roster of board games including civilisation-building games Tigris & Euphrates and Yellow & Yangtze, several auction board games such as Modern Art and High Society, as well as The Lord of the Rings co-op board game.

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San Francisco is being released by Rebel Studio, the co-publisher of the horror tabletop title Nemesis – which has players attempting to escape a terrifying alien creature in outer space – and studio behind the mountaineering-themed game K2.

The release date for San Francisco is set for Q4 2022, with a retail price yet to be confirmed.

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Alex Meehan avatar
Alex Meehan: After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.
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