Build A Better World With NEOM From Lookout Games

August 30, 2018 by cassn

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NEOM is a futuristic city-building game for 1-5 players, with similar elements of other games, such as Suburbia, Carcassonne and 7 Wonders.  Over three eras, tiles are drafted and placed on player boards to create self-sustaining cities.

Each board has a starting tile in the middle with 24 spaces around it, and players must connect roads to place tiles.

There are 5 types of tiles spread out over the three eras; commercial tiles, which produce money; industrial tiles which produce resources, residential tiles, which produce VP, and tiles with buildings that mitigate natural disasters. There is a new disaster in each era, so these buildings become essential in maintaining a strong lead.

There are also Cornerstone tiles.  These function like the Wonder tiles in 7 Wonders, and are drafted at the beginning of the game to be played during any era or discarded for financial gain.

The concept is based on a real project in Tabuk, Saudia Arabia, where Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is attempting to build an automated city in the desert which runs completely on wind and solar power.  Indeed, the name NEOM is constructed from two words; neo (meaning new), and m is the abbreviation of Mostaqbal (Arabic: مستقبل‎), an Arabic word meaning “future.” (Side note: I only found out about this city today, and I'm almost as excited about it as the actual game!)

After three eras, the player with the most VP wins.  VP is awarded for having an energy source, building residential areas, the complexity of resources, VP stated on tiles and Cornerstone tiles.

NEOM previewed at GenCon earlier this year and will be released in October 2018, according to Lookout Games website, and this might be my personal top Essen pick so far.  I love city-building and anything remotely futuristic, so add in a fascinating backstory (and some pretty artwork) and I'm officially hooked. Can't wait!

Do you have an Essen top pick yet? Let us know below!

"NEOM is constructed from two words; neo (meaning new), and m is the abbreviation of Mostaqbal (Arabic: مستقبل‎), an Arabic word meaning “future.”"

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