Quick Look: New York Pizza Delivery (NYPD)
Designer: Ron Rich
Artists: David Clifford, Crimzon Studio
Publisher: AirLoom Games
Year Published: 2021
No. of Players: 1-6
Playing Time: 30-120 minutes
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com
From the Publisher:
Delivering Pizzas in Manhattan has never been so much fun. Your career will start by collecting ingredients, building pizzerias, and of course delivering pizzas to earn the most money and be declared the best pizzeria in New York City. Special multipurpose ingredient cards are used for determining your building lots, your pizzeria’s special powers, your pizzeria’s permanent ingredients, or upgrading your pizzeria so that you can deliver pizzas like a pro. Every time you deliver a pizza you will be paid for the pizza and you may even earn a valuable tip along with collecting additional power cards that can be used to gain you more income or zoom you around the streets quicker and more economical. This game plays 2-6 players and lasts about 15-20 per player with a surprise ending that always feels intense.
Disclaimer: The publisher provided the prototype copy of Dawn of the Necromancer – 5th Edition Adventure. The opinions expressed in the review are completely my own.
What drew me into New York Pizza Delivery from the start was the artwork and feel it put off. It looked light-hearted and fun. I am also a sucker for tableau building games. The more I looked into it, the more I wanted to play. So, let’s see if NYPD delivers, and if I could really sink my teeth into it. Too much? I hope not, there are more puns pepper(oni)ed through out!
Rules & Setup:
The first time setting up and going through the rules is a little cumbersome. The rulebook is thick. But don’t panic! There are only a few pages of rules for the basic competitive game. The rest of the pages cover other ways to play, and definitions. However, the first time playing will take some time.
To set up, for a 4 player or less game, start by setting the enormous board in the middle of the table. Each player then selects a color, taking the 12 pizzeria levels, player mat(s), and pawn. Place the pawn on the $5 spot of the scoreboard.
Then, make sure the three Health Inspector cards are set aside and shuffle the blue backed Market Cards and flip up five to create the Open Market, and deal five to each player. Take the bottom third of the blue deck and shuffle in the Health Inspector cards, and place the rest of the blue cards back on top to make the Market Deck.
Next, shuffle the green backed Order Deck and flip up the top four cards placing them in the dedicated spots on the edge of the board. To fill the order, draw from the top of the market deck until each order is filled. So, for a two ingredient pizza, place two ingredients on the order. Add a top token to the circle of each order spot. Set the rest of the tips tokens and the no-tip tokens to the side.
Finally, shuffle the brown backed Power Cards and deal two to each player. Each player selects one starting Power and discards the other. The selected card goes into the player power mat of matching symbol. You can have more than one power at a time, but only one of each type at a time.
The person who last ordered pizza is first player.
Theme and Mechanics:
New York Pizza Delivery really delivers on the theme. You are trying to get the proper ingredients together to make the pizzas that the customers are ordering. You are trying to find ways, via the power cards, to get an edge. Mechanically, it is a bit clunky the first few rounds and pizza deliveries. The drafting and collecting is fine. It is trying to deliver the first few pizzas that is hard. How many cards do I need? Where is it going? What all has to be done after the pizza is delivered? Where do each stack of cards involved need to go? There is a lot going on mechanically, but once you get through the first few, it rolls nicely.
On a player’s turn, one of three actions can be taken: Go to Market, Increase Reputation, or Deliver a Pizza. Go to Market simply means that you can take two face up cards from the market, or two from the top of the draw pile, or one of each. These are added the player’s hand, observing the hand limit.
Increasing your reputation means that a card from the hand is discarded matching the borough, and then a disc is added to that pizzeria. Or, you can add a new ingredient to the matching pizzeria as a permanent ingredient. You can also open a new pizzeria by placing a card from your hand matching the required borough into a pizzeria slot on your player board. Then, decide which place you are going to open, and place a disc there and move your pawn down the amount of points the cost of the new space it. To make up any different, cards can be discarded into the sewer at a value of one dollar per card.
The last option is to deliver a pizza. It sounds simple, but this is by far the most complex aspect of the game. To deliver a pizza, a player must have all the ingredients required by the order either as permanent ingredients on the selected pizzeria, from their hand of cards, or a combination thereof. Then, the pizzeria delivering the pizza must be able to reach the drop off point in the borough requesting the pizza. This can be accomplished by either having a tall enough pizzeria (one space per level), discarding cards from their hand (one card per space), utilizing a power card or special delivery power of an ingredient, OR a combination of all of these. For example, I could have a two level pizzeria, have the subway power, and discard cards from my hand to reach just about anywhere on the board! A lot of planning goes into delivering a pizza.
If a pizza is delivered, the player that completed the order discards all cards used from their hand into the sewer pile, adds the money to their score, takes the tip token, takes a new power card, adds a new pizza to the order list and new tip token, and fills it with the required ingredients.
Play then continues to the next player. This continues until the third and final health inspector card comes up. Everyone pays the fine, and end game scoring takes place.
Tips are revealed and added to the scoretrack, and players get one point per ingredient on their playermat as well as one per each level of pizzeria on the board. If any ingredients are under any power card, they count, too. The player with the most points is KING OF PIZZA in the NY!
Artwork and Components:
I worked off a prototype copy, but the components were fantastic! The pizzeria levels locked in nicely when upgrading. The cards were nice quality, which is good because there are a lot of them, and they are important to the game. The board was nice. The player mats were a little weak, but I think they will be changed at production.
The artwork for the game really fits the theme and audience. It is bright, cheerful, cartoonish, and all-around family friendly. The artist, David Clifford, really understood the feel and audience Ron was going for with this great game. Each ingredient is well depicted. Each of the power cards are unique, too. The board is well designed and easy to understand.
There are many different ways to play the game. I only played the competitive mode. But there are cooperative and solo modes as well. This gives NYPD a lot of replayability, and it allows for a different game for different groups. The built in replayability is already high, but with multiple ways to play, it just skyrockets. The artwork and the theme are great. There is a lot going on in this game, and it makes for an entertaining and brain-busting good time. Decisions become very important and almost agonizing. Do I replace my power with the new one? Do I keep the old one and try to squeeze more money out of it?
The rulebook could use some work. It does look a bit daunting. However, once you have read it and played through the game once, you won’t really need to consult it for much. The game works on its own merits, and rules make sense. It is just that initial set up and first game that take some time.
I would also take issue with the 15-20 minutes per player assessment. If the cards only go from 4 or less to 5 or more, two player games can take a long time. The game time is more like 90 minutes, period. If the cards scaled down a little for lower player counts, the game would reach its tense conclusion a little faster.
There is a lot going on in New York Pizza Delivery. There are a lot of ways to play it. It offers 1-4 out of the box with a simple way to add up to two more players. NYPD offers tons of replayability and can offer a different experience every time it hits the table. Which it should often! I look forward to playing the other formats as well as getting a larger group together to play. I should also mentions that this game goes well with your choice of beverage: soda, water, tea, or adult.
I have reserved a “pizza” (piece of) my game shelf for New York Pizza Delivery!
Players Who Like:
Set collecting, Pizza, hand management, engine building, and PIZZA