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Construction Fever Kickstarter Preview


Quick Look: Construction Fever


Designer: Kei Kajino
Artwork: Marco Primo
Publisher: Ninja Star Games
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 3–5
Ages: 13+
Playing Time: 45 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

Review
In business, the CEO needs to make sure the company is making a profit. Profit, after all, is how the score is kept. In modern business, there also needs to be a balance between how the company makes its money and the good it is doing. Lack of public support can drive a company under, so a good CEO needs to have projects that are highly profitable and others which might not make as much money, but will ensure the populace of its good intent.

Construction Fever puts you in the role of that CEO. In ten rounds of bidding on building projects, each player must create the best profits while not losing the public's confidence.

We played Construction Fever with four players. The game was easy to learn with a simple strategy of controlling your one resource, your workforce, and using it to bid on and then build projects.

We enjoyed the game.


Setup
Construction Fever was quick to setup. Each player chooses a set of colored meeples—their workforce used for bidding and constructing. The construction jobs are divided into two piles: one of high profit (black projects) and the other with high public support (green projects). There is also a card to manage your workforce. Now the bidding begins.


Gameplay
Each player has a set of meeples, and the number of meeples depends on the number of players. The meeples move from the main office to construction jobs then recycle back through a rest area before returning to the main office when they can be used again. They are important because they are your main force for bidding.

First Bidding Sequence in a Round
Two construction jobs are turned over for bids, one from each pile. The black job includes a number of credits that are placed with the card. The green jobs don't. Each card has a reputation rating (which becomes important at the end of the game); the black are negative while the green are positive.

To bid on a black project, a player moves part of the credits from the black project to the green one. Bidding on the green projects is done by placing meeples from your home office. Bidding continues on the two projects in the round until all players pass or have a winning bid on one of the two projects.

The winner of the black project collects the credits remaining with the project and places the card upside down in front of them with a number of meeples indicated on the card.

The winner of the green project collects the credits moved to the project and a second sequence of bidding takes place.


Second Bidding Sequence in a Round
The two players on either side of the player who won the green project now make a one-time silent bid showing their support of the green project. They each take their meeples that are available from their home office and simultaneously bid a number of those meeples to commit to the project.

The green card is placed upside down between the initial winner and the supporting player. Both players place the meeple bids they made on the card.

Round Start
The next round starts by moving meeples from the rest area to the home office and a limited number of meeples to the rest area from the projects around a player. Two more cards are turned over and bidding takes place.

End of Game
Construction Fever has two levels of scoring at the end of the game: reputation and credits.

Reputation Score: Players turn over the cards to expose the reputation numbers that have been hidden since the projects were bid on. That’s right, once the cards are placed faced down you can't look at them until scoring. Each player gets a total for the three piles (the green cards are counted for each player they are next to). There are also bonuses for meeples in the home office. The player with the lowest reputation is out of the game. They don't get to count their credits.

Credits Score: The remaining players count the credits they earned from winning the bid along with any bonus received for the meeple in their home office. The player with the most credits wins.


Theme and Mechanics
The theme of Construction Fever has a little bit of a futuristic look. We were able to connect with the theme of building for credits and balancing that against our reputations.

The bidding mechanic plays quick and easy. The use of bidding a workforce creates a flow to the resource that requires planning ahead to ensure you have enough to bid with on future projects. The bonuses for having meeples in the home office at the end of the game also makes it important not to bid out on the last round. Our game was decided by the bonus the winning player earned by not bidding his last meeples on a green project.

The hidden score of reputation also adds an element of needing to remember how your company is doing. I was knocked out by having the lowest reputation. It was a smart move by one of my opponents. They knew we were both close to the bottom. In the bidding of the last round I made a bid on a black project to push up the value of the green project, which I wanted. They passed on the bidding and allowed me to win the black and push my reputation below theirs to knock me out of the final scoring.


Artwork and Components
We played a prototype and the components were good solid quality.

The artwork used on the cards fit the theme with futuristic building.

The Good
  • Play moved along easily
  • Game length can be altered by the number of rounds if you need a shorter game
  • Good balance between projects and resource allocation
  • Good balance from start to finish
The Bad
  • Variability between games is limited, twelve cards for ten rounds. Variability comes from bidding strategies used.
Final Thoughts
We enjoyed Construction Fever.

Construction Fever provides a nice balance of bidding with a resource that can be quickly depleted and slower to rebuild. Everyone is working within the same confines which maintains balance from round one to the end. If a player is overly aggressive at one point of bidding, they are restricted in the next round and possibly further.

Players Who Like
  • Head to head bidding

Check out Construction Fever on:

          

On KICKSTARTER now. Campaign ends June 20, 2019.



Daniel Yocom - Reviewer

Daniel Yocom does geeky things by night because his day job won’t let him. This dates back to the 1960s through games, books, movies, and stranger things better shared in small groups. He’s written hundreds of articles about these topics for his own blog, other websites, and magazines along with stories, after extensive research. His research includes attending conventions, sharing on panels and presentations, and road-tripping with his wife. Join in the geeky fun at guildmastergaming@blogspot.com.

See Daniel's reviews HERE.
Construction Fever Kickstarter Preview Construction Fever Kickstarter Preview Reviewed by Guild Master Gaming on May 23, 2019 Rating: 5

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