If you’ve ever wanted to be the master of your own village, applying strict building codes, determining who gets to build a pool, and deciding where the parks go, Welcome To… might be the game for you.
Welcome To… is a card-draw-and-write game in which you’re trying to build up your neighborhood and score the most points. Three pairs of cards are revealed each round, each pair featuring a house number and a special action. You choose one pair to resolve (but you don’t take the pair – anyone can use the same combo), and must assign the house number to a single home in one of the three rows on your player card. Then, you can resolve the special action, if able.
The trick is, you can only assign home numbers in ascending order from left to right, and while there is some wiggle room for each row you can’t necessarily be sure you’ll get the numbers you need to fill in gaps anytime soon (or at all). Also, the house you choose can limit how use use the special action.
For example, if the special action is to build a pool, you’ll have to assign the number to a house that has a pool on your board.
Special actions include increasing the value of estates, building fences to set the boundaries of estates, building parks, adjusting the house number up or down by 1, or allowing you to place a house number with the “bus” designation adjacent to an otherwise identical house (instead of a smaller house number), which can cost you points in the end. Not being able to write down a house number on a turn also costs you points.
A unique feature of Welcome To… is that, since no one actually claims the card pairs, you can play with as many people as you can fit at the table. To that end, I played (and learned) the game at an event housing somewhere around 200 people. I highlty recommend against learning the game in such a small group, as the crowd and noise is easily distracting, but it was at the very least an entertaining experience.
If you’re into “and-write” games or point salad, or just like the idea of building a neighborhood with your name on it (welcome to Wolfietown!), this game might be for you.