I recently got to go to GenCon, which is an amazing convention mainly centered around board games in Indianapolis attended by around 60,000 people this year.  Games get released at this convention, and prototypes are shown off to get hype going for publishers and Kickstarters.  Honestly, words have a hard time describing the amount of people and activity and the importance of this event for the hobby.

So at GenCon I was able to purchase quite a few games, so as I play them I will start reviewing them here.  Our first game is Saloon Tycoon, where you want to be a tycoon…. of a saloon!    Descriptive, ain’t it?  So you start off with just a saloon and you can pay your gold to add to your saloon, both horizontally or vertically (as long as you have bought enough supply cubes for your section.)  To expand out you will have to spend extra money, but you will also get more points.

So what can you build?  Some are pretty basic like the laundry and the pantry, nice stuff for a saloon to have.  Anyone can build them.  But then you have some things that only one person can have, which can be amusing.  You can get the Printing Press, but only if you haven’t built a laundry, since that would mess up the paper.  If you get the printing press, you also get a reporter, who if you have her at the end of the game gets you five points, yay!  Other one’s make sense, like build a theater and you get an entertainer.  Other’s are brilliant, like build a brothel and you get… a Senator!  Yep, not a madam or one of the girls, but a senator.  Guess they made use of that early photography to get some incriminating evidence on him.  That or he’s just a loyal customer.  And of course my girls are the most respected and cared for ladies of the night around.

So you build up your saloon, everything is happy and exciting, but hold on!  Nothing can be so easy.  If you start off faster than others, be prepared for bandits and drunks and all kinds of ne’er do wells to come to your saloon and cause issues.  I honestly love this mechanic, even if I have a tendency to accumulate all these wonderful bandits.

And of course there are secret objectives to do, as well as open ones that you can claim, and you can bribe people away from your competitors, etc…  So much involved in this game and yet it’s still easy to pick up and play.  With a fairly solid theme, ease of play, and just plain fun to create stories about the people and places in your saloon, I would definitely recommend this game.


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