Is This Target Exclusive Worth It?
Definitely. Machi Koro Bright Lights, Big City is certainly similar to the original version which I reviewed awhile back, but with some major improvements. So what’s different with this one and what do you get in the box for $29.99?
Let’s get the one negative I have with this edition right away. The box insert is garbage. The original game came with this great insert that organized the cards + expansions really well with spots for your tokens and dice. In this version of the game, the insert is basically just a portioned off part of the box, they don’t even give you rubber bands, dividers, or a bag for the tokens. That’s really the only negative though, the game itself is fantastic!
One could also argue that the game being a Target exclusive is a bad thing, but that warrants its own article. Really, it’s not that big of a deal if you live in the US. You can find a store most anywhere or order online from them in a worst case scenario. However, outside of the US, this could be an issue and in that case that’s a strike against this version.
The first major plus is that Bright Lights, Big City comes with all the expansions to date and plays up to 5 players. Compared to the original which only played up to 4 without expansions. To boot, this version ends up being much cheaper at $29.99. If you were to buy the standard edition + expansions of the game from Cool Stuff Inc it’d run you closer to $45. So with the Target exclusive, you end up saving money.
Even if you don’t want to use the expansions all the time, it’s not difficult to figure out what cards need to be taken out. More content is a win for the consumer so for that and price alone Bright Lights, Big City is well worth picking up. However, it has even more positives that make it superior to the original.
Inside the box, despite the lackluster insert, you’ll find a well-written and easy to navigate rule book. This rule book is a lot better than the original Machi Koro one but the rules aren’t really any different. If you’ve seen the Watch It Played video from my first review, you already know the gist even with the expansions added. There’s one minor difference in setup but it’s very straightforward. Also included are tokens, the cards, and 3 dice, one of which is a spare (the original didn’t give you an extra so that was a nice touch).
The only thing I would have liked to see with the tokens were the 20 count tokens later added through expansions in the original version. The token count in Bright Lights, Big City feels a bit too low, but I haven’t actually experienced any problems with them. Now let’s get to the biggest advantage this version has, the cards.
The cards feature all new artwork and are labeled on the backside into 3 pile types: ≤6, >7, and monuments. These changes were made to make setting the game up way faster. 12 cards are used for setup; 5 cards from the ≤6 pile are used with 5 more from the >7 pile, and lastly, 2 more cards from the monument pile are used as well. That’s it. This keeps the card pool balanced and makes playing the game far faster.
Overall, this is the definitive version of Machi Koro. If you already own the original like I did, then I would recommend replacing it for the Target Exclusive if you can. I swapped the inserts and gifted my other copy to some friends who just got married. It was a win-win for everybody. If you have the $29.99 to spend and are looking for a great game, then you can’t go wrong with Machi Koro Bright Lights, Big City.
Have you played ether version of Machi Koro, if so, what are your thoughts? Let me know what you think about Target Exclusives while you’re at it too. Remember to leave a like and consider sharing this with anyone who may be interested, doing so let’s me know you liked the article. Your support is always appreciated!