I want to watch the city from the clouds up high...

8/10, Area Majority, End Game Bonuses, Push Your Luck -

I want to watch the city from the clouds up high...

Rolling Heights

Designer: John D. Clair
Artist: Kwanchai Moriya
Published: 2023
Players: 1-4
Playing Time: 45-60 Mins
BGG Rating: 7.7
BGG Ranking: 1893
Publisher: AEG
Mechanics: Area Majority, Push Your Luck, End Game Bonuses


Game Description:

It's the 1920's and your career as a general contractor is about to take off. You have just started your business in a rapidly expanding city.

In Rolling Heights, players roll workers in the form of meeples. Standing meeples work hard that day and provide special actions and building materials, while face-down meeples provide nothing. You can always push your luck for better rolls, but you might lose valuable materials you need to construct new buildings. Completing buildings gains you prestige, as well as new workers to help you construct even larger buildings, including skyscrapers.


Quick play overview:

Players compete to build the best buildings around the city. Once all cubes of one color are used, the game will last one more round and the player with most points is the winner.

On his turn a player rolls up to 10 of his workers (once a player has more than 10 workers, he has to choose which 10 to roll). Depending how they land (on the back, on the side or on it's feet), player will collect different building materials and other bonuses according to the colors of the workers.

You can reroll the lazy workers until at least half of your workers are standing or leaning on their sides.

After half are working, you can push your luck by rerolling the rest. As long as at least one worker lands on it's side or on it's feet, you continue to push your luck. But if you reroll and get no hits, you bust and you stop with the rerolls. You also lose half of the already standing workers.

After you busted or decided to stop rolling, you collect the resources and spend them for:

  • Buy 1 Building Plan by paying it's cost and place it on the board paying the location cost + extra for distance from your already existing buildings.
  • Construct buildings on an already existing Building Plan that you own.

Players will get points by placing specific plans into specific zones, by constucting buildings and trying to fulfill the end game scoring tiles.


Final thoughts:

The fact that the buildings are actually growing up during the game is fantastic, The feeling that all the players are constucting a city with skyscrappers and factories together is amazing. The end result is beautiful and a reward by itself. 



Gameplay: 7/10

Rolling of workers is a parlor trick that I'm not very impressed by. It looks better than rolling dice but it's very annoying because deep down you know that this irregular shape could be manipulated and you »rolling« poorly is your fault, while the roll of the dice is pure luck and you cannot be blamed for a bad roll.

Constructing the buildings in 3D and creating a 3D city map is amazing.


Art & Graphic Design: 7/10

The art is OK.. it's functional.

Graphic design is well done as all the info on the tiles is well represented and visible. Also the board is clean and not in the way of gameplay.


Rules & Complexity: 8/10

The rules are simple for such a big game. You need to know how to get resources and how to spend them. Short ruleset for a lot of game.

The game is well balanced. The gameplay is simple so your brain has time to think about the complex stuff like end game scoring and positioning of tiles.


Theme: 10/10

The mechanics and the construction of 3D buildings it's a perfect combination for this theme. At the end of the game, you and your opponents can feel proud of your city. 


Fun & Replayability: 9/10

I loved constructing my buildings so much that I forgot about the end game bonuses and other unimportant things.. like score. I had a great time playing in my sandbox by myself.

There is a ton of combination of end game bonuses and tiles that come out at a certain time etc.. so there shouldn't be a problem with replayability.


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