Create your own fantastic theme park: building exciting coal-powered rides, managing your employees, enticing your robot guests, and keeping those dirt levels under control!
Total Game Play: 60 minutes
Designer(s): Aureliano Buonfino, Lorenzo Silva, Tucci Sorrentino
Artist(s): Marie Cardouat
Publisher: Cranio Creations
Who doesn’t love pop-out roller coasters built specifically for Robots? And those Robots get so excited they make… dirt? Steam Park is a fun themed game where you can build three-dimensional roller coasters to fill your part as well as other stands and attractions. The core of this game is about resource management as well as using dice to determine your turns.
This is a general overview to provide context for the review, not an in-depth how-to play. Some rules may be glossed over or missing.
Steam Park has very little player interaction, building a park within your own grounds and balancing space, money, and construction resources. This is a game for two to four players, and I will admit that I have mainly played this game with two players.
The game is played over four different phases: the roll phase, the dirt phase (my absolute favorite), the actions phase, and the income phase. Each phase is played in a different style, so we’ll get into it more in the Game Rounds section below.
During setup, most of the game components are placed on the side of the table. A visitor of each color will be placed into a black bag. The turn order tiles need to be in a space that is easy for every player to grab. Each player will get one ground tile, a pig board (also my favorite), 6 dice, and bonus cards.
The roll phase is a little fast-paced because everyone will be rolling their set of six dice at the same time. Because this step is simultaneous, the sound of dice repeatedly rolling on the table will probably fill the room. When you decide you want to keep a die, you place it on the pig board. Any dice not on the pig board must be re-rolled. And when you’re happy with your results, you take the tile corresponding to when you finished in terms of the other players.
This is when you gain dirt to place in your park’s personal landfill. You gain dirt from some of the faces of the dice rolls as well as some from each visitor that is in your park (more about visitors in the Action Phase). There’s also a penalty for those finishing later in the roll phase. Guess it pays off to be quick.
This phase is the core of the game. In turn order, each player will spend all the dice on the pig board to take action. There are 6 possible actions and each one can only be taken once each turn (in any order):
- Build Rides: Using the tools icons, you can build rides that cost 1 per visitor space. Rides of the same colors can touch, but rides of different colors need some walking room, after-all even Robots need space to walk to the rides.
- Build Stands: Build one stand per tent icon and each stand gives a special ability. These abilities range from redrawing visitors, changing die rolls, and removing dirt. Just like roller coasters, the stands cannot touch other attractions unless it the same type.
- Attract Visitors: For each meeple icon, add a visitor that’s your color of choice to bag, shuffle, and randomly draw one. If you have a ride-matching the Robots’ color, they will stay and spend money. If not, they will return to the pool, cursing you for your incompetence.
- Clean Dirt: For each Shovel icon, discard up to 2 pieces of dirt from your park’s landfill.
- Play Bonus Cards: For each dirt pile icon, you can play one bonus card from your hand to earn money.
- Expand the Park: Twice per turn, you can expand your park, spending any icon, by gaining an additional ground tile to connect to your park.
The last phase in the round is the income phase. Each player with getting 3 money per visitor in their park. Players will also draw back up to three bonus cards if they spent any.
The game is completed after six rounds. Before you can count final scores, you must clean up your park! The final dirt track will show how much you need to pay to get the park in order. The player with the most money wins!
Who Will Like it?
This is a great light game for people who are looking for a spatial puzzle, resource management, and the luck of the die. Especially since stopping the die roll can harm other players.
What I Think
The designers of the steam park had a lot of fun creating this game, from the fun design to the very sassy rulebook.
What did I like?
I do love the spatial puzzle and balancing gaining good resources that also can get you bad resources. While there isn’t much player interaction, vying for control of the roller coasters as well as the color of meeple robots in the bag can really hurt the other players at the table.
What didn’t I like?
Ah, my old nemesis, RNG. The randomness in this game is a little hard for me to balance. But the fact that you can reroll dice until you’re cut off is a great feeling. I also find the robot meeple randomizer bag a little odd because you influence the bag and then hopefully get the color you want. It’s an interesting mechanic but I’m not sure how it fits my style of play.
Steam Park is a great light game that has an interesting theme and gorgeous art. With simple mechanics, it’s pretty easy to understand and teach to others but you do need to remember the special powers that are available. Since there are multiple mechanics that make up this game, it may not be the best for a non-gamer.
Rulebook/Learning the Game
The rulebook is put together in a very straightforward way that is easy to walk through. Also, I encourage you to read all of the small text within this rulebook because it’s absolutely hilarious. I laughed out loud quite a bit.
This game is fun, and I don’t mind partaking in it, but I probably would put other games before this one. There definitely feels like a tried-and-true strategy would come out the more experience you get with this game.