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Happy City

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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Happy City (2021) is a city building collecting card game where you buy buildings to attract Residents and increase their Happiness. You do this by purchasing cards that generate short-term Coins as well as add those long-term benefits. As you race to build the best city, you have to balance having enough money to improve things with new cards with getting the best cards you need to outrank your opponent's metropolis.

Each turn you receive Coins from your current Building and Resident cards. You then either reveal three Building cards and purchase any you can afford, or opt to purchase Resident cards. In this way, you work towards higher-scoring cities that have both more Residents and more Happiness from buildings. Some buildings, like factories, may offer Coin income, but take away Happiness. Other buildings, like cathedrals, don't offer a Coin income but do increase Happiness.

The result is a race to get 10 buildings in your city because then the scores are tallied: Residents multiplied by Happiness. But you need to balance the growth of your city with the quality of buildings (that offer the most Residents and Happiness). There are also special Bonus Building cards you can claim if you have certain colour combinations of cards.

Happy City includes rules for two ways to play: a family version and an expert version that adds Expert Bonus Building cards. These give you special abilities that not only boost your score but can impinge on other players. Double your income with the Concert Arena, or Stonehenge where you get an extra Resident for every blue building your neighbouring players have.

The result is a simple-to-grasp city-building game where you have to balance short-term gain against long-term benefits.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Happy City 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 12 weeks ago.
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Play StylePlay Style

This is a Sequencing and World Building game with Collecting, Push-Your-Luck and Strategy elements. You can play with 2 to 5 players in the same room. Best with 3-4.

You can play this game in the following styles:


Learn to Play: This takes 10 minutes to learn. It's generally simple to learn, although understanding when to go for Coins and when to spend on Buildings for Happiness and Residents can take a little longer. Before you play it's worth going through some example cities, what they would score and how much they would have cost the player.

Play Time: This game will take between 20 minutes and half an hour to complete.


This game is good if you want to:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Skill Level

7+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Very young players may need help making decisions about the best thing to buy and the implications on their score. Playing with the family mode for youngsters is a good idea, although even young players can enjoy graduating to the expert mode.

Content Rating

We rate this suitable for 3+ years-olds.


There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/01/2021

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Players: 2-5

Genres: Sequencing, World Building (Collecting, Push-Your-Luck and Strategy)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: Cards

Developer: Gamewright (@Gamewright)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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