If you like the game Risk but are looking for something less about world domination you might be interested in Empire: The Game of New York. In Empire, you are tasked with occupying every neighbourhood in all the boroughs on the map by systematically booting out neighbouring players by rolling higher dice values. For any NYC locals, this is your chance to feel satisfaction taking back the neighbourhoods you’ve been priced out of.
New York City and Jersey have been separated into six boroughs, each represented by a different colour. Each borough is broken up into neighbourhoods based on actual locations. Each neighbourhood has a corresponding card featuring an obscure fact and one of three NYC pests: squirrel, rat or pigeon. These cards will first be used to determine which neighbourhoods you occupy at the start of the game. During game play, cards are accumulated and then cashed in for more player cubes.
An alternate play option is to use the six secret occupation cards where instead of attempting to occupy the entire map, players are secretly trying to occupy only what is on their card. First player to complete his or her card wins.
The Empire map is printed on artist canvas that can be rolled up for easy storage with all the contents stored inside.
Empire: The Game of New York may be most appealing to NYC locals, but it can be enjoyed by anyone looking to satisfy those Risk-based cravings. You can find out more and purchase a copy here.
Michael Vane is a freelance journalist and co-editor of PN2. He’s on Twitter @DrVane