Disclaimer: This reviewer neither condones nor agrees with graffiti tagging. This review is meant for educational purposes only. If you or someone you know is showing signs that they are interested in “tagging”, please refer them to a specialist. Call the number at the bottom of your screen to find a councilor near you.
Don’t try this at home, kids.
Tag City sets you up as a graffiti tagger in the big city. Your goal is to go around claiming every building as your own by marking every inch of it with your aerosol signatures. Every building, row or column you mark is worth victory points at the end of the game, but the first to finish one of these sections will earn more points. It’s a strategic tile-placement roll-and-write race.
The game plays in about 45-90 minutes and the best player count depends on the amount of interaction you want. Lower interaction at 2 players but less time between turns; 4 players being the opposite.
Tag City is a very light weight game and could easily be taught to newer gamers. A mix of skill level won’t be much of an issue either, so if you’re looking for a new family game that feels a bit meatier then consider this a recommendation.
Each round the dice are rolled and the starting player divides them among six graffiti shapes. These dice are simply a randomizer to determine which shapes are available that round.
Then you take a die and draw that shape on your city board. Doodle art is optional, which is a true shame. Decorating your board with scribbles creates a better experience, so I encourage you try.
Right, anyway, let’s come clean. This game didn’t go over well with my group. So, we will definitely be pressing the PLAYER PERSPECTIVE button on this one. Tag City is a good game that many will enjoy, especially those that are fans of tile placement.
The faults we found came from the player interaction and the pacing. Player interaction is fairly low. Yeah, you can steal the piece I so obviously wanted, but I’ll just wait or get another piece and work around it. Even the race of completing a section didn’t feel engaging until the end game, since everyone runs off to do their own thing right from the start. “Oh, you completed the yellow section? I think I have a single square there.”
The fact that the tags don’t change caused a rift among our group. The same 6 tags are used the whole game, turning this into a puzzle that you can almost plan multiple moves ahead. The variety just isn’t there round after round. We considered randomizing the tags every time one was used, and that might be a decent enough solution.
Alright, let’s hit the button.
I’m starting to wonder if I even like roll-and-write games outside of Ganz Schon Clever. Low stealing interaction is a staple of the genre, so the problem here might be me.
Those out there that are fans of the genre will fully appreciate the game. The puzzle of placing the right piece is fun to plan and execute. When a tag fits just right, it’s a feeling of accomplishment—like finally connecting that big addition to your puzzle’s edge.
The low interaction will allow you to tag up your own little world. There is no sandcastle destruction in this game. Take that can and mark your turf to your heart’s desire. But make sure you do it quicker than everyone else. The longer the game goes, the more attention you’ll need to pay to unclaimed sections of the city, abandoning your current project to focus on more important locations.
I want to take a small bit of time by pointing out that the production of this game is top notch. Laminated boards instead of paper, thick tokens to help players know where to place their tags, and a great art style that is really evocative of the theme.
My group found the game to be too light, with the player interaction and mostly static gameplay not being nearly enough to keep the game engaging. That said, Tag City shines as a simple, easily accessible game with an original theme and colorful art. Those looking for a gateway game will find it the perfect mix of light interaction, ease of play, and approachability.
If you’re a fan of roll-and-write games, this one is definitely worth your time.
Review copy provided by the Publisher. Thank you Runes Edition.