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The awe-inspiring Metropolys is burgeoning! Talented urban planners and architects compete with each other to make luxurious, elegant buildings of glass and steel that seem to defy the laws of gravity and balance. Who will eventually impose their style to leave an indelible mark in the history of the city? The answer is in your hands!

To make the game more enjoyable, two versions of Metropolys are included in these rules: Family and Expert. These versions should not be considered as mere variants, but rather as two different games.

The Family version allows young players to grasp the ins and outs of building placement. On the other hand, the Expert version makes each placement a crucial choice. Serious players may prefer the latter. These rules present the Family version first and then the modifications to play the Expert version.


  • 1 Metropolys game board
  • 52 buildings, numbered 1 to 13 in 4 colors
  • 1 player aid entitled "Welcome/Secret objectives"
  • Rulebook
  • 9 "trendy neighborhood" tokens
  • 9 "subway tokens
  • 9 "archaeological site" tokens
  • 1 "subway" card
  • 1 "archaeological site" card
  • 4 "Area" objectives
  • 1 player aid
  • 5 "Highest building" tokens
  • 5 "Neighborhood" objectives
  • 5 "Area" objectives
  • 1 player aid

Our city has five districts: Center, North, South, West, and East. These districts are separated by the river A; within each are the picturesque neighborhoods which give Metropolys its charm. Behold, our flourishing industry B, our enchanting parks C, our stylish lodgings D, our attractive malls E, and our prestigious administration centers F.

Be sure not to miss one of the numerous statues G adorning the neighborhoods and take some time to linger by one of our lakes H. To end the tour, I suggest that you watch the sunset from one of those magnificent bridges I. And by all means, don't forget your guide!

Object of the Game

The players are urban planners in quest of prestige. Over the course of the game, they try to construct their buildings in the best places. As soon as a player has placed all of his buildings, the game ends. The player with the most prestige is the winner.


Note: These rules are for 4-player games. Adjustments concerning the number of players are explained at the end of the rules. Before starting your first game, please read the "Welcome" player aid.

  • Place the board in the center of the table. For your first game, lay out the neighborhood tokens as shown in the "Welcome" player aid. For subsequent games, the players may use a random layout by placing 7 tokens in the center district and 5 tokens in each peripheral district.

    Do not place any tokens in blind alleys (that is, neighborhoods surrounded by water with only one way out). Place the subway and archaeological site cards next to the board.

  • Shuffle the 4 area cards of the Family version. Each player takes a card, looks at it in secret, and places it face down near him (his play area). NB: area cards are described in the "Secret objectives"player aid.

  • Each player chooses a color and takes the corresponding 13 buildings. Players choose a starting player.

Game Play

The game is divided into turns. Each turn represents a call for proposal from Metropolys. At the end of each turn exactly one building is constructed. The game continues until one of the players places his last building.

Call For Proposal

The first player chooses one of his buildings (of any value) and places it in one of the neighborhoods which is not occupied by another building. The building number must be visible. Then, playing clockwise, players may either Outbid or Pass.

1. Outbidding

To outbid, a player must place one of his buildings (of a higher value than the one which has just been placed with the number side up) in an orthogonally adjacent neighborhood (to the building being outbid!).

Any building with a higher cost will do. Of course, the chosen neighborhood must be unoccupied. Crossing bridges is allowed, but lakes and rivers are impassable.

2. Passing

A player who passes may not place another building during this call for proposal (turn). Any buildings he may already have placed stay on the board until the end of the current turn. NB: a player who has no buildings left (or no buildings with a sufficient value) must pass.

Example: Blue starts with a 3. Gray outbids with a 7. Red may only outbid by placing a building in the neighborhood containing a trendy neighborhood token, and chooses to do it with a 9. White, who is interested in the subway token, bids with a 10.

Now, Blue would have to bid with at least 11, but the player thinks the cost is too high and passes. So does Gray. Red, whose area card is the Bridges card, is willing to pay 11. White passes. Red is the only remaining player and wins the bid on the call for proposal...

End of the Call for Proposal

The call ends in one of three ways:

  1. All the players, but one, have passed,
  2. No one can place buildings because the most recently placed building has no adjacent neighborhood,
  3. No one is able to outbid the most recently placed building.

In every instance, the player who placed the last building (the last bid) wins the call for proposal and actually builds that building by turning it over to the side which bears no number. The building will remain there until the end of the game.

If there is a token on the neighborhood where the building has been placed, the player takes it and places it in his play area. All the players take their unbuilt buildings (that is, those with a visible number) back. Finally, the player who has just won the call for proposal becomes the new start player and starts a new turn.

Example (cont'd): turn the red building over and it remains in place. Remove all the other buildings used in the course of this call for proposal from the board. Red must start a new call in an empty neighborhood of his choice anywhere on the board.

Example: Gray starts a new turn. The player may grab the neighborhood shown at a low cost, since it is impossible for anyone to outbid (there is no empty neighborhood adjacent to it). Gray places his 1 building and wins the call for proposal. The player turns the building over, takes the trendy neighborhood token, and starts a new turn...


A player who builds in a neighborhood containing a token earns it. Collected tokens will yield or cost prestige points at the end of the game.

Trendy neighborhoods: these tokens mark the location of a trendy neighborhood. Urban planners who place a building in such a neighborhood will earn a lot of prestige.

Subway: these tokens mark the location of a subway station. Such gold-plated locations are especially sought after by the inhabitants of Metropolys. In the course of the game, the player who owns the most Subway tokens wins the "Subway" special card.

Archaeological sites: these tokens mark the location of ancient ruins. They are not prized by urban planners, since they slow down construction projects and cost prestige. The archaeological site special card (see below) is taken and held by the latest player who gets one of these tokens.

Special Cards

At each turn, both special cards (the subway card and the archaeological site card) may come into play and may change hands.

Subway: this card comes into play as soon as a player earns a subway token. The player takes the card and keeps it in his play area until another player has earned more subways tokens.

In such a case, the latter player takes the card. As a consequence, the card may change hands several times during the game.

Note if two players have the same number of tokens, the card does not change hands.

Archaeological site: this card comes into play as soon as a player earns an archaeological site token. The player takes the card and keeps it in his play area until another player gets an archaeological site token.

In such a case, the latter player takes the card. As a consequence, the card may change hands several times during the game.

Important Advice

To make the most of the game, follow the following advice when you play.

  • Avoid building all your most expensive buildings too fast, or you will have a difficult time outbidding other players in subsequent calls for proposal!

  • When a neighborhood becomes isolated (for example, next to a blind alley) because of a building you just placed, it is a good idea to immediately construct your lowest-valued building in that neighborhood.

    This will move you closer to ending the game and it may prevent your opponents from getting a neighborhood important to them.

  • Try to guess what your opponents' secret cards are as soon as possible! These knowledge may be important during calls for proposal.

End of the Game

The game ends as soon as any player has built his last building. All players reveal their secret cards and count their points:

  • For each "Trendy neighborhood" token a player owns, he earns 3 prestige points,

  • For each "Subway" token a player owns, he earns 1 prestige point,

  • The owner of the "Subway" card earns 3 prestige points,

  • For each "Archaeological site" token a player owns, he loses 1 prestige point,

  • The owner of the "Archaeological site" card loses 2 prestige points,

  • For each building a player has constructed next to the type of area indicated on his "Area" card, he earns 3 prestige points.

The player with the most prestige points wins the game. In case of tie, the tied player who has constructed the most buildings wins. In case of a new tie, the tied players share the victory.

Expert Game

Read here the rules of the expert version.

2 and 3 Player Games

The play of Metropolys is the same as the 4 player version. However, the play area is smaller and fewer neighborhood tokens are used:

  • In 3 player games, one of the peripheral districts is not used. The players will not be able to place buildings in it. Remove 2 subway, 2 archaeological site, and 1 trendy neighborhood tokens from the game.

    Place the remaining tokens normally (i.e. 7 tokens in the center and5 in each peripheral district).

  • In 2 player games, 2 adjacent peripheral districts are not used. Remove 3 subway, 3 archaeological site, and 4 trendy neighborhood tokens from the game. Place the remaining tokens normally (i.e. 7 tokens in the center and 5 in each peripheral district).

    Furthermore, when playing the Family version, remove the Borders area card.

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