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Machi Koro

One of the things I look for is a multiplayer game that also plays well with just two players. I especially like games that are perfect for that Friday night after a long week when I'm tired and just want takeout and a fun-but-not-too-taxing game to play with my spouse.

Machi Koro hits the spot. A friend describes it as "fast, accessible, and a decent level of strategy"—which is exactly what I'm looking for on a casual evening!
As the mayor of Machi Koro, you need to grow your city to keep your citizens happy. Building a cheese factory, cafe, mine, or other establishment increases your potential income each turn. Money enables you to construct your four major landmarks (such as a train station or shopping mall) and win the game.

Each turn you roll one or two dice (depending on whether or not you have constructed your train station) and your income is based on which card(s) is triggered by your roll. If you roll a 4 but do not have a convenience store, then you will not earn any coins that turn. But in some cases, such as forests and apple orchards, opponents may receive coins on your roll even if you do not!

There is a delicate balance between building enough establishments to generate consistent income and waiting too long to build your landmarks and win the game. I am still having fun finding that balance each game.