Avenue shares a lot of similarities with the designer’s previous game: Doodle city. But this time the dice have been replaced with cards and they have installed a new scoring mechanism. Will this game beat its predecessor? Let’s play and find out!
At the beginning of the game, all cards are shuffled and set aside as a draw pile. Each player receives the same “map” on which they need to draw roads. The map shows a 6×7 grid with 6 castles and a lot of grapes. Connecting any type of grape to a castle will score you points during the game, but connecting the right type of grape to the correct castle will also score you points at the end of the game!
The game starts by turning over the first farm card. This card displays one of the castles on the map. This castle will score points during the next scoring phase.
Each round a player will turn over a card from the draw pile. This card will show what type of road everyone may draw on their map. If you choose not to draw a road on the map, you may look in secret to the next farm card. A card can have 2 backgrounds: yellow and grey. As soon as there are 4 yellow cards on the table the scoring phase begins.
Scoring is easy: just count all the grapes that are connected to the castle that was displayed on the farm card. Now play continues by turning over the next farm card and a new castle will score points during the next scoring phase. However: there is one rule that mixes things up a little bit: when scoring a castle, you need to score more points every time. If you first castle scores you 5 points, the second castle must reward you at least 6 points, … If you fail to do this, you score 0 points for that castle (which makes it easier to score for your next castle), and you get -5 points at the end of the game (for each castle that you failed).
The game ends after the 5th castle has been scored, the remaining castle will not be scored!
Finally you round up all your points from during the previous scoring phases, add some bonus points for connecting the correct grapes to their castles and subtract points from failed castles.
The player with the highest amount of points wins!
This game is definitely better than Doodle City in my opinion. There isn’t as much luck involved because there aren’t any dice in the game. The new scoring mechanism requires you to pay attention to all the cards that have passed and scoring a lot of points at a scoring phase will only make the game more difficult in the end.
It’s a good and decent game. If you like puzzle games, I’m sure you will like this one. But remember that you need some organizing skills and you need to be able to plan ahead.
(+) easy rules
There is an extra map available on boardgamegeek.com with an 7×6 grid.