It’s amazing to think that the Japanese, who have such a long and fine heritage with video games, have not traditionally been that prolific with board games. There are the classics, of course (Hanafuda card games, Shogi), and there are one or two hits (Love Letter being arguably the most high-profile), but for the most part board game design has been left to westerners. Thankfully, Machi Koro, an excellent Japanese-made board game, is finally getting a digital release.
Minna to Machi Koro will have both offline and online play, and will launch on both Nintendo Switch and PC this “Summer” (so Winter for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere). This really is an excellent board game, being both very simple to learn and quite complex to master.
In Machi Koro, you need to build up a town by selecting buildings to construct and steadily accumulating resources to earn higher-value buildings. It’s heavily inspired by the Eurogame tradition (think Catan, Lords of Waterdeep, Puerto Rico, and so on), and is notable for having some lovely aesthetics and an “all-ages” charm.
Unfortunately, there’s no news of a Western release yet, but it would be silly for the developer and publisher to overlook this, given that it does have a global appeal and audience.