The Seedy Seeds of Nightlife Tiles
By: Ted Alspach
Suburbia Collector’s Edition is currently shipping to Kickstarter backers, and will be available in stores in December. One of the additions is a new expansion, “Nightlife” which includes sixteen new buildings, all of which are depicted at nighttime on their tiles. The overall theme of these tiles, besides their depictions at night, is that the buildings that are open at night are a little less safe than those which are primarily used in the daytime. In fact, you’ll probably wonder why you’d want some of them in your city at all. However, like all buildings in Suburbia, even the buildings that seem really bad have attributes that might make them worth adding to your borough. Here’s a look at five of the seediest tiles from this new expansion.
You’d have to be totally nuts to build a haunted house in your borough. Except that by building the Haunted House, you get 13 population for only $2, by far the best cost ratio for any tile that gives you population directly. The drawback? Each Nightlife tile in your borough kills off one of your people (including the Haunted House itself), so if you have 13 Nightlife tiles (unlikely, but possible), you’ll have paid $2 for the privilege of reaching one of those red roofs faster than your opponents, docking your income and reputation early in the game when they are the most valuable. With those drawbacks, why would you buy it? The answer is the same reason why the family in the typical horror movie doesn’t leave the house they’ve just moved into even though it’s clearly trying to do them in: a house is a long term investment that only pays off after a long time of ownership; they can’t afford to leave. If you use an investment marker on the Haunted House on one of your last turns and you have a Police Station or Night Court, you’ll get 13 more population for $2 when your income and reputation don’t nearly matter as much, which is an amazingly great deal compared to pretty much every other tile in the game.
Special bonus: “Park” Spaceship Earth next to this tile to up the “theme” considerably.
In the A stack in Suburbia, you rarely get any boosts to your reputation. In fact, you’ll typically get reputation only by placing tiles next to your Community Park. But City Square gives you a whopping +4 Reputation really early in the game for only $9, and the negative variable cost on the tile is very manageable: you lose one population for each commercial tile you have. It’s the perfect tile for your borough when one of the goals is fewest commercial (blue) tiles. So what’s the thematic reason that your population lowers with each additional commercial tile? It’s muggings gone terribly, terribly wrong; those business owners and patrons are being preyed upon by the lowlifes in your city who are hanging out in the city square each evening. Like other nightlife tiles that have a negative effect, you can stop the effect if you add a Police Station or Night Court to your borough.
Special Bonus: The city square depicted on the tile is eerily similar to the Bill Lyons Pavilion in Knoxville’s Market Square.
The Pawn shop takes money away from other, less desirable commercial buildings in your borough at the rate of $1/tile. Which isn’t much, considering you’ll get a +4 boost to your income by purchasing this C-stack tile for a bargain basement price of $10. If you already have a Police Station or Night Court, you don’t have to worry about that extra cost either. Another plus is that it’s one of the rare Commercial tiles you can get towards the end of the game.
Special Bonus: Yes, that’s a traditional game pawn as the image. It makes for a much more friendly appearance, than the traditional bars-on-the-window, poorly maintained pawn shop you’ll find in real life.
No one likes to have a prison in their neighborhood, which is why you’ll get a Reputation penalty of -1 for building this. However, this is a great way to increase your population quickly (not quite as strong as the Redistricting Office’s gerrymandering, but still effective), especially if there are a bunch of civic (gray) buildings in play. In fact, a lot of people don’t realize how strong this tile is, thinking initially that it’s only 2 population for each of YOUR civic buildings, when it’s actually 2 population for ALL of the civic buildings. In a four player game, that’s a minimum of 8 population (since each player starts with a Community Park civic tile), and only gets better after that. Thematically it goes perfectly with the Police Station and Night Court, which are both civic buildings that everyone wants to build, and can offset some of the population loss you might have if you purchased the City Square early in the game.
Special Bonus: Look closely and you’ll see that there’s electric barbed wire coiled around the top of the Prison fence. This is clearly a maximum security facility.
This is definitely one of those too-good-to-be-true deals that your dad always warned you about. You don’t pay anything, and in return you get a +2 increase to your income, and a fancy looking residential tile for your borough. Yes, the very act of placing it results in the death of one of your population, but….free income! Just look the other way and think about all the nice buildings you can buy in the future with that wonderful income boost, which costs you nothing at all (except a little piece of your soul). Buy this on the first round of the game, and you’ll have $17 to spend on the second round, and only a little bit of guilt from thinking about the innocent soul who perished. Werewolves have long stated that they provide a valuable community service of population control in small cities, because they’re realists and they know that all those extra people are just going to cost you both income and reputation for your fine borough in the future.
Special Bonus: The werewolves on the front gates are the same as the one on the One Night box, which are similar to the ones on the gates of the real life Burg von Alspach. 👇