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Tenpenny Parks... All the fun of the fair!

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

Tenpenny Parks is set in 1950's America, pitting players against each other in a bid to build the best themepark Fairview has ever seen! Build attractions and concessions, expand your land and enthuse your guests, how will you design your way to victory?

Tenpenny Parks Game box and components featuring a 1950's American theme park on the box and the gameboard features a 3D Carousel

This is a game that we have been interested in ever since it came out last year and we finally got our hands on a copy! As a couple with a love for funfairs and the 1950's it instantly caught our attention when it was released.

First Impressions

The box art has a unique style to it and really encapsulates American theme parks and funfairs in the 1950's. Upon opening the box, this artwork and colour palette continued inside, keeping the game on theme and drawing you in with every punchboard and bag of components. I was a little disappointed to see a large amount of single use plastic which could easily have been avoided by placing the components in their storage bags rather than in heat sealed pouches when they were providing you with bags to store them in going forward. However the cardboard punch boards are an excellent quality as they are much thicker than many other games giving them a nice weight and feeling of value. The 3D Carousel, which is constructed from the same thickness punchboard as all the other components was simple to piece together and looks really effective on the table.

Game Play Overview

The game is played over 5 rounds representing months, with each month consisting of 5 steps. Each month, players will earn income equal to $3 plus anything earned from attractions and concessions. This is then followed by the action step where players are placing their meeples out on the board to complete actions such as building new attractions, collecting money from the bank, purchasing new land, cutting down trees and contracting concession stands. When building attractions and concessions, you will take corresponding tiles of varying shapes and place them in your park. However, there are certain rules to placement you must follow. There are the standard placement rules such as has to placed fully on the board and cannot overlap with other tiles/trees along with some more quirky rules such as they can't be orthagonally adjacent to another attraction or concession. Once the action phase is over you move onto the bonus phse where players compare the visitor emotions tracks to see which player has inspired the most awe, thrill and joy in their visitors. You'll then move on to advertise your attractions, spending money and gaining VP (Visiting People). Finally you will complete round end steps where you refresh certain elements on the board and the starting player will rotate the carousel giving boons and banes to different building actions. At the end of the 5th round, players calculate their total VP and the player with the most visitors wins the game.

The main gameboard for Tenpenny Parks featuring the emotion tracker, carousel, action spaces and worker meeples

Pros and Cons

This is definitely not a game for beginners, with a variety of different mechanics all taking place throughout the game there's lots going on, however it wasn't difficult to learn and was really good fun to play. It definitely had the feeling of building up a 1950's theme park and despite competing against each other, I didn't really felt threatened or pressured into certain actions based upon what my opponents were doing. It was very much a game where you primarily focused on completing your own goals and contracts and building up your own park rather than needing to strategise to block your opponent all the time. My biggest con for this game would be the amount of unnecessary plastic packaging involved when you first open the game. However this was very much forgotten about once we started playing and as soon as we finished our first game of Tenpenny Parks, I was itching to play again to try a differnt tactic and see if I could beat Alex!

Tenpenny Parks player board featuring trees on a 7x7 grid and polyomino tiles depicting attractions.

Final Verdict

Overall, this game ticked a lot of boxes for what I look for in a game. The theme was well executed, the artwork was well designed and the gameplay itself was simple enough to understand yet complex enough to sink your teeth into and really get you thinking about the best options each round. The game is also really good value for money, there's a lot of components of excellent quality for a comparatively low price. I thoroughly enjoyed this game and can't wait to get it to the table again!

In conclusion, we would rate this game a 9/10

If you would like to get your own copy follow the link below:

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