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Board GameSprawlopolis Review
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Posted: 10 months ago, last updated 12 days ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer, Rob Prior and Jo Robertson.


Sprawlopolis is a game where you work together to build a new city by placing cards. It's a tiny game comprising just 18 cards but creates endless city-building challenges where you have to balance costly roads and point-scoring neighbourhoods. This would be hard on your own, but the challenge to cooperate and communicate with your fellow city builders makes this really stand out.

To start you take the top three cards and turn them over to specify how you score points with your city in this round. For example, maybe you get points for businesses on the edge of the city, or maybe you get points for the longest row of houses or parks. This means that each time you play you get a different combination of challenges and a related score to aim at.

You then take turns placing city block cards from your hand and drawing more from the pile. The aim is to build a coherent city out of factories, parks, businesses and houses. Connecting four matching areas scores the most points. At the same time, each separate road takes points away.

As you progress you work with other players to grow the city and meet the (often competing) conditions on the scorecards you picked at the start. This is made more complex and interesting as you can lay cards on top of others in your city to try and create more matching areas. However because you can't show other players what cards you have, you need to be careful not to ruin someone else's carefully crafted plan. When you've played all the cards you add up your score to see if you have met the specific combination of challenges for this round.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/01/2018, updated in 2021

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Players: 1-4

Genres: Strategy, World Building (Communication, Puzzle and Sequencing)

Components: Cards

Developer: Button Shy (@ButtonShy)



View our choice of games like Sprawlopolis. This game is good if you want to:


Learn to Play: This takes 15 minutes to learn. It's a simple game that's quick to understand, but grasping the depth and complexity of the different win states can need more explanation. The biggest challenge is communication. The first time you play it can be handy to play open-handed to ease this aspect, before playing properly.

Play Time: This game will take between 15 minutes and 20 minutes to complete.

Play StylePlay Style

You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room. You can play competitively with Sprawlopolis: Interstate expansion which adds 4 Highway cars that divide your city into two halves.

You can play this game in the following styles:



This game has helped players develop their Relationships as part of the following pathways:

This game has been the inspiration for the following activities:
Team Raft Building

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Skill Rating

8+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Younger players need not only to be able to plan ahead and consider the costs and benefits of potential moves. They also need to be team players and work with others. For very young players you can play the game with open hands to remove some of the frustration.

Our Game Pathways reveal how 42-year-olds play this game:

Content Rating

We rate this suitable for 3+ years-olds.


There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.
You can purchase expansions that add new rules.
  • Sprawlopolis: Beaches (2019) - Adds beach cards that have to be played immediately and enforce borders to your city.
  • Sprawlopolis: Wrecktar (2018) - Adds a disaster card that covers the previously played card when it appears to cause havoc and cost points.
  • Sprawlopolis: Interstate (2020) - Adds 4 Highway cars that divide your city into two halves and create a competitive challenge.
  • Sprawlopolis: Construction Zones (2018) - Adds construction cards with new building requirements and part build blocks that need to be built over to avoid penalties.
Sprawlopolis: Points of Interest (2018) - Adds a Points of Interest card starting point for your city.
  • Agropolis (2021), a stand-alone version with the same card-laying but with a farming theme and animal-based scoring: orchards, wheat fields, livestock pens, and vineyards.
  • Combopolis (2021) - Lets you build both farms and cities by adding a 6-card combo pack. 


We haven't documented accessibility features for this game yet. Our Sprawlopolis Accessibility Report details system-wide settings that may help, and suggests similar games with accessibility features. Tweet the developer (@ButtonShy) to let them know about our Accessibility Questionnaire.

Diversity and InclusionDiversity and Inclusion

We haven't documented diversity and inclusion information for this game yet.

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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