Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Gabriele Bubola


No. of Players:
2 - 4



Gamebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

In Skyliners players build up a skyline of up to 24 higher or lower skyscrapers. This is done by many construction turns of the players, simulating the building phases of the skyscrapers. In the end you will see a more or less beautiful skyline, that will look quite different from the different angles of view. And that is exactly what matters in the game....

Skyscrapers with different heights and the vision of the skyline as an important criterion to win the game? This sounds like a three dimensional game, doesn't it? And exactly that's it: Skyliners uses the game box itself to create a three-dimensional atmosphere. The board is placed right into the box and each player faces one side of this box again. So that is how the different angles of view work in the game. On the board itself, you can find the 24 building spaces for the skyscrapers in a 5x5 pattern (in the middle you place a neutral park that cannot build higher than zero).


In his turn each player has to perform a construction action twice. For this everyone has his own set of building pieces in a specific colour, and this set is composed of floors, roof, and parks. Floors can be build on empty construction sites or on other floors, a roof ends the building of a skyscraper (so no more roofs can be added to that building) and a park is placed on a free construction site and - like the neutral park in the middle of the board - prevents building a skyscraper at this space. You are not forced to build only your own skyscrapers, but you can add floors and roofs to other coloured skyscrapers, too. The higher the better, well at least if you can still can see what is behind...

The players must keep in mind that the aim of the game is to see as many of the skyscrapers as possible from your own angle of view. And of course, this panorama differs from the view of another player, because the players sit on one of the four edges of the game box each. But when do you see a building? Well, that is quite easy. You only have to look directly from the front in the medium height of all skyscrapers. So you will recognize that you can only see objects behind a building if the building behind is higher than the one in front. And that is what really counts in the game. So, with your construction action you build your own skyline, but at the same time you alter the skylines of the other players, too. What is good for you, might be OK for the player on your right, too, but the player opposite of you, might take this as an affront, because you have obstructed his free sight on buildings behind (that are still visible for you).


But that is only half of the story. In the advanced game (the light version is only the variant for beginners) you also bet how many buildings you can see at the end of the game in each of the five rows. These bets can be placed alternatively to your second construction action in your turn. Five planning cards (one for each of the five rows) can be placed, but it is not too easy to choose the right moment for playing these planning cards. Once you have placed it, you can no longer modify it. So you only can try to influence the outcome by cleverly building up your skyline. But of course, the other players pursue their own goals. So your own skyline changes permanently – of course – by the construction actions of your opponents. On the other hand, if you place your bets too late, you can no longer influence the outcome of your skyline and your bets might be lost in the moment you place them, because of an action of another player....


Skyliners is quite an uncommon game in these days of worker placement and deckbuilding games. The three-dimensional race for the best skyline is a nice game idea which I haven't seen before. It is a light-weighted game (which is a bit unusual for HANS IM GLÜCK), but with the advanced rules and the placing of the bids, the game also gets enough tactical elements to satisfy experienced players. Still the game has not convinced me completely. This results mainly from the partly ill chosen game material. While the skyscrapers, composed of plastic elements, are of good quality (but still a matter of taste) the score counters, in form of cardboard birds, that are put on the edge of the game box, seem to last not more than 10 games. Probably the publisher has foreseen this, too, because they have added two more score pointers for every player as a reserve. However, if this slight production glitch does not put you off, you will get a short but challenging family game with medium replayability.

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Copyright © 2012 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany