Essen Preview: Walking in Burano

  • Walking in Burano 
  • Publisher: EmperS4
  • Designer: Wei-Min Ling
  • Artist: maisherly Chan
  • Age: 10 +
  • No. of Players 1-4
  • 20-40 min


Walking in Burano is the 5th game in EmperorS4’s small box line. It’s a compact little drafting and placement game. Players build their colorful houses in Burano and try and attract tourists and inhabitants. This game has the cutest, smallest little start player cat.

There are 3 types of cards. Floor cards which consist of cards for the first, second and third floors. Tourist cards which give points for the house they are placed in front of and inhabitant cards which score for horizontal groupings of house floors. The cards feature art by Maisherly and each card has features such as flower pots, cats and curtains on them that will add to scores at the end of the game.

Each player will build their own tableau of 5 houses of 3 stories. You Draft from a common pool of shuffled floor cards consisting of columns of first, second and third floor cards. Interestingly, you can draft all 3 cards in a column, or the first and second floor or third and second floor and 1 coin or just the first or third floor card and 2 coins. You the pay 1 dollar to place a floor, and 2 dollars for any additional floor up to 3 floor cards total. Hand limit is 3 floor cards. You use up to 2 scaffold cards to support buildings when floors are built out of order.  Buildings are of a single color and colors are associated with symbols for those that have difficulty with colors. You cannot have 2 buildings of the same color next to each other. Each player is allowed up to 4 exceptions to the placing rules if for example you have to place a roof of the wrong color on a building. If the exception tiles aren’t used they will score points at the end of the game.

When you complete a house you can then draft either a tourist or an inhabitant and place them below the house just finished. The tourists give points at the end of the game for different things such as cats in your house or flower pots. Inhabitants score similar type of things in horizontally adjacent floors for the most part. There are lots of different ways to score.

The game ends after a player has built all 5 of their houses. The round is finished and then each neighborhood is scored. Highest score wins.

I’d say that Walking in Burano makes a great addition to the small box line. I like the challenge of racing to finish a building to grab the tourist or inhabitant you want since they are limited. It’s also interesting to manage the money aspect as well so you can’t just grab all the cards you want every round. The card art is really cute and the game plays well with different numbers of players.

*Preview copy provided by EmperorS4


About lornadune

Board game enthusiast
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