Pyramid Review

Power Grid

Published by Rio Grande Games

Designed by Friedemann Friese

Translated by Henning Kröpke & Jay Tummelson

Illustrated by Maura Kalusky

Double-Sided Full-Color Mounted Board, 132 Wooden Houses In Six Colors, 84 Wooden Resource Tokens (24 Coal, 24 Oil, 24 Garbage, & 12 Uranium), Elektro Money, Five Summary Cards, 42 Power Plant Cards, 1 Step Three Card, & Eight Page Letter-Size Black & White Rule Booklet; $44.95

Power Grid is a board game comprised of several mechanics built around a very simple theme. Between two and six players control power companies building power stations, buying fuel, generating electricity, building a grid, and connecting cities across a nation. It involves an auction mechanic, a market mechanic, an area control mechanic, and an escalation mechanic; at its heart, however, Power Grid is a resource management game low on luck and high in forethought.

However many players, the aim is always the same in Power Grid: Supply electricity to the most cities in a player's network -- 20 or more cities, over three escalating stages. Power Grid calls them steps, but describing them as stages is more apt. Turns consist of five phases during which every player acts, bidding for power stations, building networks, buying and expending fuel, generating and supplying electricity, gaining revenue for the power supplied, and finally, regenerating resources. Player order varies between turns, determined not randomly, but by how well . . .

This article originally appeared in the second volume of Pyramid. See the current Pyramid website for more information.

Article publication date: April 13, 2007

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