Meeple Land is a fun Theme Park Building Game. It is easy to learn, and still offers strategic decision making for gamers. It reminds of a mash up of Roller Coaster Tycoon, Carcassonne, Dinosaur Island, and King Domino.
Meeple Land is made by Blue Orange Games. Blue Orange makes the extremely popular KingDomino game which we love, and reviewed a few years back.
What’s in the box?
This is a standard sized game box. The dimensions are 3.4 x 11.9 x 11.9 inches. The box contains:
4 individual Plot boards
1 Parking Lot board
4 Plot Extension tiles
4 extra Park Entrances
101 Attraction/Service tiles
17 Bus tiles
124 Visitor Meeples (wood, and in 4 colors)
1 Park Tickets token, 1 Round marker
52 coins (33 x 1 dollar, 19 x 5 dollars)
4 Player Park Entrances (2 pillars and 1 banner per player)
1 Score Pad
How does Meeple Land play?
Each player takes a plot board, and a park entrance. Players start with a blank canvas to build their theme park. Each player also starts with $20 seed money to start their park.
Players then take turns buying attractions. Attractions cost anywhere from $3 to $7 each. Then, you place the attractions on your board. You have to connect at least one path to an existing path in your park. It is best to try to keep all paths going if possible, as dead end paths connected to other placed tiles will cost you victory points at the end of the game. The attraction tiles can be rotated any way you want to fit into your park.
Early in the game, your board will look something like this (above). The meeples might see a Ferris Wheel, and a Hamburger stand near the entrance of your park. The hamburger stand does not award you any points, but you can make those blue meeples by the Ferris Wheel happier if you have a hamburger stand connected, and earn extra money each round.
At the end of each round, you will eventually start running out of money. When you decide to end your round, you will select a busload of Meeples to bring in to your park. There are 4 different colored meeples, and each bus will have 5 to 7 meeples looking to visit your park. If you have a place for the Meeples on your rides, you place them at the rides. If not, the meeples will be waiting impatiently outside the entrance to your park.
Meeple Land is played over 4 rounds. Each round you get less seed money than the previous round. But you will earn money each round from the meeples that are now actually inside your park. This is a pretty nifty game nuance in my opinion.
After 4 rounds the game is over. Everyone will use their Score Pads to add up their points.
- There are a total of 12 attractions you can place in your park. You will get more points if you have more “different’ attractions.
- Each Meeple in your park is worth points at the end of the game. Pink and Yellow Meeples are worth twice as much as Blue and Green Meeples
- You will get negative points for those Meeples that were bussed to your park, but have no where to go, and are still stuck outside the entrance.
- And you will get negative points for dead end paths on tiles that are connected to other tiles you placed.
The player with the most points is the winner.
Here is an example of how your board might look, and how you would score your park from the Rule Book (below).
And this is how you would score this park on your scorecard (below):
Likes, Dislikes and Final Thoughts for Meeple Land
The game is easy to teach, and simple to learn. The rule book is large, 8-pages, in full-color, and teaches the game very well. Once you learn the game, you won’t have to constantly look at the rulebook. Here is a look at the rulebook online.
A 4-player game should only take about 60 minutes once you learn how to play. Two and three-player games should take less time.
The price is right. The game has a retail price of $36.98. For that you get wooden meeples, player boards, and a lot of attraction cards.
The game is genuinely fun to play. There is a lot of strategy in planning for your park.
I’m a sucker for a well designed storage insert. Meeple Land has a pretty nice one.
There isn’t a whole lot of player interaction. The only player interaction is hoping another player doesn’t take an attraction that will fit perfectly in to your park. And also hoping they don’t drive off with a busload Meeples you are hoping come to your park.
The game can feel a little slow at times. There is nothing to do on other player’s turns, except to look over the available tiles, try to plan what you want next, and then hope that another player doesn’t take it.
There can be a bit of bad luck at times. The rides come out at random, and some of them might not ever see the light of day. And if they do, another player might get them first. You just make the best of it.
4 Player Limit.
Final Thoughts for Meeple Land
This is an easy recommendation for gamers looking for a family-friendly board game. Meeple Land is very easy to teach to new players.
It seems that you are always presented with tough decisions. Do you want to pay a lot for a large ride – like a roller coaster? Should you take that Bumper Card ride because it hasn’t seen the light of day until round 3? Should you buy some toilets so some Meeples can use the bathroom? Or should you skip buying an attraction and bus those pink and yellow meeples immediately into your park, because they fit perfectly in your park?
It is fun to watch your park expand before your eyes.
If you enjoy board games like Carcassonne, KingDomino, Karuba, and/or Dinosaur Island, then I think you will like Meeple Land. They all feel somewhat similar to Meeple Land. Meeple Land is a whole lot easier than Dinosaur Island though.