Machi Koro (Rules and Gameplay Instructions)

As the newly elected Mayor of a city called Machi Koro, you face a long list of demands from your citizens. They would like more jobs available, factories, and fun attractions to keep them happy! So can you get the job done? Find out more by reading these Machi Koro rules!

In Machi Koro, your goal is to build the largest city in the region by building establishments and landmarks such as restaurants, stadiums, and theme parks. When you build establishments, you will gain income (depending on your die roll) from either the bank or other players! 

You must be the first player to build your four starting Landmarks to win the game. But keep in mind you will need to build your city and gain income to accomplish this task! 

This Machi Koro rules guide will cover the following:

  • What is Machi Koro?
  • What you’ll need to play Machi Koro
  • Machi Koro rules
  • How to win Machi Koro
  • FAQs
  • Similar game guides

Find out how to play Machi Koro by reading more below!

What is Machi Koro?

Machi Koro Board Game Info image

Machi Koro is a dice rolling card game with a tableau building mechanism. It is a family game suitable for many ages and can be played in less than 30min!

Number of players: 2-4

Ages: 10+

Difficulty: Easy

Length of play: 30min

Category: Card, tableau building, dice rolling, family

Similar to: Tokaido, Suburbia, Splendor

Main Objective: Grow Machi Koro into the largest city in the region

Why We Love It: We love seeing the cities grow in size and how smooth the gameplay is!

What You’ll Need to Play Machi Koro

Everything you need to play Machi Koro can be found in the box:

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The following components are found inside each game:

  • 108 Cards (24 starting cards, 84 supply cards)
  • 78 Coins
  • 2 Six-sided dice
  • Game rules
Machi Koro components image

Machi Koro Rules

Follow these simple instructions to set up a game of Machi Koro:

Game Setup

  1. Provide each player with 6 starting cards which consist of:
  • 2 starting Establishments: 1 Wheat Field and 1 Bakery.
  • 4 Landmark cards: Radio Tower, Shopping Mall, Train Station, and Amusement park.
  1. Each player places their Wheat Field and Bakery cards face up in front of them. Their Landmark cards also get placed face-down in a row in front of them, so they show their “Under Construction” side of the card. Additional starting cards may be returned to the box.
  2. Then, create a marketplace near the play area, which consists of supply cards (both regular establishments and major establishments) that can be purchased throughout the game.

Separate these cards by the number listed on the top of the card, then lay them out face-up in numerical order creating a stack of each type.

  1. Decide which player goes first. You are now ready to start a game of Machi Koro!

How to Play Machi Koro

Turn Order

There are 3 phases on each player’s turn:

  1. Roll Dice

At the start of a player’s turn, the first thing they will do is roll a die. If the face value of the die rolled matches any of the numbers on the player’s face-up establishments, they perform the action on that card.

However, once a player has built the Train Station establishment, they have the choice of rolling one or two dice instead of just one.

  1. Earn Income

Income is gained depending on the die result and the establishment it activated. The colors of the establishments grant different ways of providing income:

  • Blue/Primary Industry: Take income from the bank during anyone’s turn.
  • Green/Secondary Industry: Take income from the bank on your turn only.
  • Red/Restaurants: Take income from the player who rolled the dice.
  • Purple/Major Establishment: Take income from all other players, but on your turn only.

If multiple establishments are activated at the same time by a die roll, you must collect income from establishments in this specific order:

  • Red/Restaurants
  • Green/Secondary Industries and Blue/Primary Industries
  • Purple/Major Establishments

NOTE: If a player owns more than one of the same type of establishment, the effects of that card are multiplied by the amount of those cards that they own.

If one player owes another player money but cannot afford to pay them in full, they instead provide that player with as many coins as they can. The rest of the money that was owed is forgotten about, and they will not be compensated in any other way.

Machi Koro establishments image
  1. Construction

Construction is the last step in a player’s turn. Before they end their turn, they have the option of paying for an establishment located in the marketplace/supply or they may finish the construction on one of their Landmarks by paying the cost shown on the lower left corner.

Once an establishment is constructed, it’s taken from the supply and placed in front of the person who purchased it. When a Landmark is constructed, the card is flipped over to its full-color side and that Landmark’s effects are now active.

NOTE: Landmarks may be constructed in any order the player wishes.

Players cannot build 2 of the same type of Landmark or Major Establishment. If they build more than one, each card must be unique. However, players can build multiple cards of the same type as long as they aren’t a Landmark or Major Establishment.

How to Win Machi Koro

The first player to construct all four of their Landmark’s wins the game!

Video Tutorial for Machi Koro

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Machi Koro mean in English?

“Machi Koro” translated from Japanese to English, means “Dice Town”.

Are there any expansions or sequels to Machi Koro?

Yes, the following games listed are expansions, sequels, or other versions of the game:

Does Machi Koro have good replayability?

Each game of Machi Koro will be slightly different than the last, but the landmarks that need to be accomplished by the end of the game will always be the same. If you want more replayability, try some of the expansions listed above!

Other Similar Games to Machi Koro (Our Guides)

If you enjoyed reading this guide on Machi Koro, check out these similar game guides (if we have covered them):

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