Theme and What is it?
The dazzling boulevards and historical monuments of Paris have been enveloped by lush vegetation. The once bustling city hub has been hushed to stillness following an apocalyptic event and your goal is to forge a new future. Equip your shelter, manage your resources, and rally a community of survivors, all while making your way through the jungle cityscape.
Paris: New Eden features a clever dice-drafting mechanism that allows you to recruit survivors. Over the span of one year (four seasons), you will endeavor to build your shelter and overcome the array of obstacles that you encounter along the way. The dice allow you to recruit survivors of different types: tinkerers, brawlers, healers, sages, farmers, jacks-of-all-trades, or even useless slackers. At the end of each season, your survivors allow you to bid to improve your shelter. These survivors are recruited in five key areas and central squares of the Paris that we know, each one with different abilities:
The Train Station, which lets you grow your community faster
- The Restaurant, to collect food to feed your community
- The Tower, to choose the goals you can fulfill
- The City Center, which gives you access to special equipment
- The Bridge, to gain access to new missions
—description from the publisher
Paris: New Eden is a dice-drafting, auction, bidding, and deck-building game set in a fantastical overgrown Paris after an (unspecified) apocalyptic event. Players draft dice to use abilities and recruit & equip Survivors. Then they acquire buildings to add to their refuge and house their Survivors. The Survivors must be fed, and having combinations of Survivors allows the player to solve Missions. Various activities earn victory points, and the player with the most victory points at the end of four seasons wins the game.
- After placing the game board, a number of dice (according to player count) are rolled for each of the five locations. The rolled dice are placed in their locations.
- Shuffle and deal 3 Mission cards to each player, who secretly views them, selects one, and discards the others.
- Shuffle and place Equipment tokens, Survivor tokens, and Event tiles (for Season 1) and place them in their respective slots on the board.
- Shuffle the 5 types of Building cards (Tinker, Sage, Farmer, Brawler, and Healer) and place them in their specific slots on the board. The Tinkerer cards have a 6 cards marked “END” that go at the bottom of that deck.
- Lay out the first 3 (only 2 for a 2-player game) cards of each Building type. This creates the ‘building market’ for the game round.
- Each player takes their board, cube, and disc of matching color.
- Each player selects a Survivor token and places it in their player area.
On each player’s turn (starting from the first player and proceeding clockwise), in the first phase (called “Gather Survivors”), the player claims a die from a location and performs the location’s action. Play passes to the next player.
Once all the die have been chosen, the game moves to the next phase, called “Acquire Buildings”. Whichever player took the Binoculars token from the City Center during the first phase gets to go first in this phase. Starting with the Tinkerer building type and moving from type to type, the player with the Binoculars announces their strength, that is, how many Survivors of the building’s type they’ve got (for example, how many Tinkerers when trying to acquire Tinkerer buildings). If the player has at least one of that type, they may also add any “Wild” Survivors to increase their strength. However, these “Wild” Survivors become Slackers — just more mouths to feed in the next phase — so use them carefully. The player with the most strength gets to select their building first. If there is a tie in strength, the player who took the Bat token from the City Center wins all ties for the round.
Of special note is the Tower location that displays three events per season, two of which are turned over (disabled) during the round. The final event resolves at the end of the round during the “Resolve Event” phase and usually requires that each player has a number of equipped Survivors of a specific type to satisfy and earn victory points. An equipped Survivor is defined as a Survivor who has their own equipment (for example, the Healer has their pills, or the Brawler has bullets, etc.). If each player isn’t able to satisfy the requirement, they simply do not score any victory points for the event.
Next, the players must feed the Survivors in their refuge. Count the number of Survivors in your refuge and consult the scale on the top-left of the board for the number of farmers (or cans of food) needed to feed your Survivors. If you satisfy the requirement, earn victory points. If you cannot satisfy the requirement, you do not earn any victory points for this phase.
Finally, reset the board for the next round… Re-roll and replace all the dice on the 5 locations, add Survivors to the Train Station location, return all tokens to the City Center, replace the Event tiles near the Tower, refresh all the Building cards. The player who has the Binoculars token becomes the first player for the next season.
After four seasons, add your score and the player with the most points wins. If there is a tie, the player with the most survivors wins.
This is a very pretty game, showing cartoony (but detailed) views of an overgrown Paris. The presentation is consistently nice throughout the entire game — components, rules, storage, and so on. As a side note, there is a lovely illustration on the back side of the game board, worth taking a look at.
The game is more approachable than it may first appear, though the theme of an overgrown Paris is poorly integrated (it could have been almost any theme) into the gameplay.
Game Build Quality
The quality of the game build is high. The cards have a smooth finish and are somewhat slippery (personal preference is for linen finish) but are sturdy. The cardboard components are good, as well. They’ll hold up to repeated plays.
Screen printed custom dice are of high quality and are colorful and easy to read.
Each icon in the game is unique so it should be accessible to color-blind players.
Worth special mention is the insert, which is well-thought out and holds everything appropriately and securely. I notice that both card “wells” have extra room, which makes me hope there will be an expansion at some point.
I like the slightly-cartoony style of the art. The art is well done and of consistent quality.
This game isn’t as complex as it may appear, and once the rules are understood, there is a lot of fun to be had. It is entertaining to collect resources and watch your refuge grow. There is tension when trying to make sure everyone is fed. The game is “gentle” enough that, for example, if you don’t feed all your population you simply do not earn points for that (but there is no other punishment).
Age Range & Weight
The game lists an age range of 10+. BGG lists 12+, with a weight of 2.50/5.00. I believe a sharp 10-year-old could play this with adult assistance here and there. I don’t, however, envision a group of 10-year-olds selecting this game to play by themselves.
The weight of 2.50/5.00 seems appropriate. There are some complex logical considerations and long-term planning necessary in this game.
While the theme feels a bit pasted on, it is an interesting enough theme to attract people to the game. If you’re a fan of dice-drafting, action selection, or set collection, you’ll find something to enjoy in Paris: New Eden.