Walking in Burano Card Game Review

Ever since the world has to deal with Covid 19, countries are closing and a lot of people can no longer travel abroad. Some even have to stay at home and do self isolation so they will not spread the disease.

There are some tabletop games that has represents tourism as the theme. Not only we can play with anybody who live with us but we can also enjoy and learn about tourist destination via these games.

Walking in Burano is one of them. As the name suggests, it is about tourist’s destination in Italy, mostly known for the colorful landed houses.

So, what is this Walking in Burano card game? How do we play it? Can it be played solo? Are there any expansion?

Those are probably just a few question that came to mind after hearing about the game. Well, in this article, I’m going to share with you my Walking in Burano card game Review based on my experience on playing it and what I can find from the internet.

Hope this helps. Is Walking in Burano going to be one of the best card game out there?

Click or tab on any sections from the table of contents to jump right to that part. Use the red arrow button on the bottom right corner of the screen to head back to the top.

Overview

Game’s Title: Walking in Burano
Genre: Card Game, Card Drafting, Set Collection, City Building Theme, Burano (Italy) Theme, Competitive, Solo Variant, Resource / Hand Management, Tableau Building.
Designer: Wei-Min Ling
Artist: Maisherly Chan
Publisher: Emperor S4, AEG
Number of Players: 1 – 4
Playtime: 20 – 40 minutes
Age Range: 14+
Official Website: Emperor S4 / AEG

Release Year: 2018
Initial Price: $23

Contents:
1 Rulebook
18 Coins
1 Starting Player Token
16 Regulatory Bonus Tokens
1 Score Pad (40 Sheets)
4 Player Aids Cards
106 Cards (44 x 68 mm):
Floor Cards (72)
Character Cards (26)
Scaffold Cards (8)

Expansion:
New Shops Essen Promo Cards (2018)
Mini Expansion 1: New Inhabitants (2019)

About Walking in Burano Card Game

Burano is an island part of the Venice, Italy known for the brightly colored houses. It is also known for its canal which divide some part of the city and become the tourist attractions and transportation.

From the Wikipedia page, it says that the inhabitants can submit a request to the government if they want to paint their house. The government will then inform them which colors are permitted for their house.

As we can see from many pictures or video below, that each house will have just one color from the first up to third floor. Other than the building line and probably the height restriction, the inhabitant can design what they want for their home.

However, as a city known for tourist attraction, they might want to add more features for their home that visually help the aesthetic. That is what we will be doing in this game.

The next video from Travel + Leisure channel describes the island of Burano.

The gameplay

In this game, we will be trying to do some urban design. Each player will design up to 5 houses in a row and try to follow these restrictions of color.

The way we do it is by using a card drafting and set collection mechanism from a communal display area. Each card represents the facade or the floor card which has several features that we will need to consider like colors, ornaments, windows, curtains, shops, chimneys, people and cats.

Then, we will put those card into our tableau from the first, second then third floor. Obviously we want to try to have the same color for these 3 floors of one house.

If we use different color for the single building or the same color for the adjacent building, there will be some form of penalty. The problem is, we can only have up to 3 cards in our hand.

The third floor card of one color may not appear for a while so we cannot finish that building. Each player also get to use 2 scaffoldings to help them manage their construction plans.

The only way to score is by finishing one building with all 3 floors which will attract either the tourist or the inhabitant.

Based on their preferences, every feature on that building may give us some victory points. So these characters are like the target audience that we need to please in order to get those points.

Another element of this game is the resource management, in addition to the hand management. In order to play the card we draw we have to pay with money, like the cost for construction.

To get the money, we have to draw less number of cards, up to three. If we draw less, then in exchange we will get some coins which we can spend to build it.

Once a player finish their 5th building, it will trigger the end game. Whoever score the most points wins the game.

Walking in Burano was designed by Wei-Min Ling, a Taiwanese designer and self published through his company, Emperor S4. There is another sequel of the series, Walking in Provence, from the same designer but totally different game.

Even though the game is originally printed in Taiwanese or Chinese, the game is language independent. Also, even though the theme is about the color, they add some icons to help people with color blindness.

For wider distribution, Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) has released their version. This version will have additional mini expansion cards in the game box. It seems that for the original version, we can buy the extra cards from Emperor S4.

The next video is by Rahdo from Rahdo Runs Through channel playing the solo version of the game.

Components

The game of Walking in Burano comes with, I think, a standard size for Emperor S4 games. The size of the box is 14.4 x 19.5 x 4.5 cm with rather vertical orientation.

For the AEG version, we can see from the shrink wrap plastic, there is a sign that says MINI EXPANSION #1 included.  Inside the box, we can find a rulebook, a score pad, 4 player scoring aids,  a sheet of cardboard for punch out tokens and 2 shrink wrapped decks of cards.

They also provide us with 2 zip lock bags for the tokens later. At the bottom there is an custom insert with some instructions and dividers. So, there are 2 spaces  where we can put the cards later each with a divider to separate all of the several different types of cards.

Even if we want to use sleeve for the cards, the box has plenty of rooms. Somehow I think the divider doesn’t do a good job. The nice thing is that the divider is attached to the insert which we can open or close. I think I prefer ignoring that divider.

Maybe without sleeve, we can fit all of the cards in just one part of the insert, no need to use the other part. For the record I sleeve the card with the one from Sleeve Kings. I think even if we use the thicker sleeve, the cards can still fit in the box.

They use only one size for all of the cards, including the mini expansion. The size is 44 x 67 mm. Sleeve for Mini Euro cards (45 x 68 mm) definitely can fit the card but the width is a bit too big.

This could be slightly a problem considering how we play and lay the cards to build the tableau. However, if we use one size smaller than that, the width is fit (for non premium) but the length is a bit short.

With repeated play, we will shuffle these cards everytime we start the game, except maybe for the character cards. Sleeve can actually help a bit since it makes the cards a bit bigger.

Rulebook

We can find the digital version of rulebook on both Emperors S4 or AEG page. The original publisher has the German version as well.

As for the content of the rulebook, nothing has changed. In fact the original one has a QR code and link to a YouTube video for how to play tutorial.

AEG version, even though they add mini expansion to the box, the rule for the expansion is on the cards. They add nothing to the rulebook.

It is a 16 page rulebook. Here is the table of contents.

Overview and Goal of the Game (Page 2). This part explains a bit about Burano and how they translate the theme into the game and what will be doing in general to win the game.

Symbol (Page 2). This part explains every single object that can be found from the cards from this game.

Components (Page 3). This is a list of the components that we will be using to play the game. However, this part doesn’t mention the Player Aid Cards.

Game and Player Setup (Page 4- 5). This is the step by step setup for the common area like bank, deck of cards and character cards. Then, the Players setup explains all of the starting resources for each player. The second page has illustrations for both.

How to Play (Page 6 – 11). The explanation starts with the general gameplay and what each player will be doing on their turn, from taking floor cards and coins to place the card until getting visitor for scoring.

Acquiring Floor Cards and Taking Coins (Page 6 -7). This is the first thing that each player will do on their turn. The second page has illustrated example that describe how the card drafting in multiplayer affect the general floor supply in the first round.

Placing Floor Cards and Rules (Page 8-9). This explains the second thing that each player will do on their turn. Essentially this is the restrictions for how we build our tableau and penalties that may happen. The second page has illustrated example for how the one player’s tableau can evolve from round to round.

Visit from Characters (Page 10-11). This explains how we can add the characters to our completed house to get scoring later. The bottom part of the first page explains how each character can score, not including the characters from mini expansions. We can also see this info from the Player Aid cards.

Hand and Coin Limit (Page 11). This explains how the number is not a hard limit for both. We can get more and discard the excess at the end of turn.

Prepare the Next Round (Page 12). This explains how the cards from the market or display supply gets refilled and how the position of the cards is matters. There is a bit of exception for the 2 player mode.

Game End & Final Scoring (Page 13). This explains the end game trigger for multiplayer mode, followed by step by step scoring and tie breaker.

Solo Rules (Page 14). The solo rules is based on the setup for 2 player variant and this explains any changes from that. The character cards becomes timer, and the closed windows penalty is different.

FAQ (Page 15). These are just several questions and answers related to mostly the hand and coin limit. Then there is a contact info for the original publisher and / or the other publisher.

Scoring Example (Page 16). There is an illustration for how to use the Score Pad.

In  general, I think the rulebook has done a great job explaining almost everything. There are still some minor details, especially for scoring that may need further explanations that have been asked on the forum.

The rulebook has enough examples with illustrations for each part of the game. So, that can be very helpful. What I can appreciate is that usually, other games might slip some additional details within certain aspect of the game which we can easily miss that.

I think this one is very good about that even though we still might miss something. Maybe the problem is that they still have to deal with a lot of information but within limited space.

Like the game itself, the rulebook use a lot of colors, bold and all caps effect for important notes. It is easier to notice things but on some pages it can be a bit too much.

Score Pad

This colorful score pad has 40 sheets to take scoring notes from each player in each game session. The size is about 10 x 12 cm.

So, in this game, we can see how each player progress with their tableau building. However, we really cannot tell for sure how many score that each of them has until the end of the game.

The score pad has 5 columns with the first one for what aspect do we score and the other 4 are for each player.

As we can see there are 8 rows just for individual score aspects. This shows how the scoring can be very complicated. From the 8 rows, 5 comes from each house in our tableau from left to right, labeled as A.

The rulebook suggests to always calculate from the left most to the right most. I think this is not a must, but it does make it easier.

The other 3 rows are points from Shops (B), Regulatory Tokens (C) and Closed Windows (D). The score pad for D row has a red color, which indicates the penalty or minus points while the other row has green.

The rulebook also suggests to ignore the D part to simplify the game for beginners. It sure is more complicated than scoring for the other aspects as we have to compare between players.

This D part is also a bit different for the solo mode, so the color is another reminder.

I don’t think the score pad is necessary, especially for solo mode. In multi player mode, each player can do their own. It is not something we have to take turns and calculate the score one by one.

The complicated part is just the A part. It will be less complicated if we fail to complete the house which thus get not visitor or less number of visitors.

Instead of just paper pad where we just use once and throw the sheet away, maybe it will be useful to just have one laminated score pad. We can use dry and erase marker for it.

Player Aids

I’m not sure but maybe these are additional components from AEG but not in the original version. Somehow even AEG doesn’t mention them as well.

We get 4 identical Player Aid Cards for each player. The size of the card is also the same as the Score Pad.

This will tell us the summary of scoring for each character and also the setup. So, there are 2 things here. The character information is limited just to character from the original game, 4 tourists and 7 inhabitants, not the mini expansion though.

The part about how each character will give score is helpful because even though the information is available on the rulebook, on this card, the information is easier to read.  The one in the rulebook feels like very crowded and now, we don’t need to look in the rulebook to find out.

However, the part about the setup or number of cards based on the number of players, somehow feels like complicating. It seems like every character will have different numbers while actually, the difference is only between tourist and inhabitants.

While the card can be helpful, I don’t think it is necessary to have 4 identical cards. Players can easily just use one and discuss them if necessary.

I think I would rather have 1 card for the characters and another card for setup, one side for multi player and the other for solo mode. Otherwise, if we play solo, we still need to open the rulebook for the setup.

If we can add more card, then it will be about general rule like hand and coin limit, breakable regulatory rule summary, etc.

Coin Tokens

This is the first part from the single punchboard sheet. The thickness of the sheet itself is about 2 mm and that includes the finish on both sides.

We will get 12 token worth of 1 coin and 6 token worth of 3 coins. The 1 coin token has silver color and the 3 coin token has gold color and a bit glossy metallic finish which the other tokens have not.

The diameter for these coins is about 2 cm each. On the rulebook they refer a single coin as a 1 coin token. So, the 3 coin tokens is just to reduce the amount of token in the game, not where we can get coin with different value.

In this game, each player will start with 4 coins, or a single token from each 3 and 1 coin. There is a coin limit of 6 coins per player which is not a hard limit.

The rulebook says that the coin in this game is considered as unlimited. We can use substitutes when we runs out. It is very unlikely to happen though.

The size and the color is nice but they are not necessary useful for the gameplay. We just need the value so we can use coins from other games or cubes or even the regulatory tokens with lower player count.

Like, if we play solo, we mostly use only like 3 or 4 coins at a time. Which is why, we might not really need to punch everything out and put them into the zip lock plastic bag.

So, the game has some resource management element using this coins. There is a chance that if we play poorly, we may have or get no coin at all. Without the coin, we cannot pay for playing the card to our tableau.

The interesting part is we get the coin based on the number of cards we draw from the card drafting. We will always get a total of 3, either 3 cards and no coin, 2 cards and 1 coin or 1 card and 2 coins.

In this game, we may try to hoard the coin to give us flexibility later. However, the cards we can take from the display are not going to stay there forever. The other player may take it or in solo it will be eventually removed.

Which is why, we may have to figure out the balance when to get the card and to get the coin and that gives some depth to the game.

Regulatory Tokens

These are the 16 square tokens with 4 different colors, red, yellow, blue and green to support 4 players. Players will start with these 4 as another form of resources that they can spend to pay for penalties.

As mentioned before, thematically, this is a city building game where we have to follow some regulations or building code. If we are still allowed to break the rules but we have to spend one of these each time.

There are 2 rules. One is that from 5 houses that we can have in our tableau, each building can only have one color from its 3 floors. If all 3 floors have different color, we have to lose 2 tokens.

The second rule is that we cannot put the same color adjacent. We can have two or 3 houses with the same color as long as they are not adjacent from one to another.

It is possible that we may break the combination of those rules. For example, we can have blue color of one house for the first and second floor. For the third floor, we may have a different one and we have to lose one regulatory tokens.

Then, when we build the next house, right next to the first one, we can start with, let’s say, green color. If then the third floor of this second building has a blue color, we violate both of the rules. So, in this case, we will lose 2 more tokens.

From what I understand, we can also break two rules at the same time. For that, we only need to spend 1 regulatory token. However, if in the subsequent round we break another rule, we still need to pay extra regulatory token.

This is the most complex thing from the game.

As we can see from the tokens, there is  a star with a number 3 on each token. It means, if we can keep these tokens at the end of the game, we will get 3 Victory Points from each token.

So, basically, these are the last resort tokens, not really something we want to spend right away. The thing is that we may need a certain color for our last third floor and there is no available one in the display or supply.

If we don’t finish it, we may keep 3 Victory Points from the tokens. However, then we will not get any visitors which can give us 10 points or even more. So, it is not always a bad idea to lose these tokens, if we are willing to do the math. Even in solo mode, this will give another depth to game.

The interesting thing about this rule is that the opponents may not think that way. We can easily see the other player’s tableau so we can predict what they will pick during card drafting mostly based on the color.

However, it is not that easy to count the scoring because it depends on the tiny objects from each floor. If the other player can, then it will be another consideration when drawing the final cards. Because what we didn’t pick may give a lot more points for the next player.

If we only play with lower player count like 2 or even solo, we are not going to use these at all. We can instead use the 3 Coins Tokens to replace them and use just the 1 Coin Tokens for the money.

It has been pointed out as well that this mechanism could lead to the most cutthroat element of the game. One player can do something like hate drafting and forcing their opponents to get the card that they cannot use without sacrificing a regulatory token.

First Player Token

This is the last component from the punchboard sheet. It has two parts that we can assemble. The Black Cat Token at the corner of the sheet and the White stand between the Coin tokens to make it stands.

In this game, players will take turns drafting and playing the cards to their tableau, starting from the one who has this token. During the next round, this token will be passed to the next player in clockwise order and that player will become the starting one.

There is no way in this game to change that order. Players will get the same amount of turns but probably not the same to be the starting one.

Maybe the designer can add more cards for future expansion that allow us to take the first player token. They already have a promo card that allows players to get more cards if we play that promo card.

They can probably do something like in The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game. Instead of flipping the card, we can try to disassemble the token to tell us that next round, the starting player token will not move.

Clearly, we are not going to use this token for solo mode.

 Scaffold Cards

Each player will get two identical Scaffold Cards, so this game has 8 to support 4 players. They are all the same.

In this game, the way we build the houses using cards is that we have to follow real life constructions way. We have to start from the first floor, then the second, and end with the third.

The problem is, that the card we can draw may not appear in that order. We can get the 3rd floor card first before the second or the first. Also, we can only have a hand limit of 3 at the end of turn, so, we cannot really keep the cards for a long time.

Which is why these 2 scaffold cards can be very helpful. They can temporarily replace the lower floor cards so we can immediately play, let’s say the second or the first one.

Then, in later turns, we can replace these Scaffold Cards once we have the right color. We cannot move these temporary cards and use for other houses before we replace it with the appropriate floor cards.

Even the card has two sides for either first or second temporary floor. Not that there is a rule to force using the correct sides but it is good thematically.

There is another use of this card because one additional rule of how we build our tableau. We can only build a new house adjacent to the existing one.

If we somehow draw 2 first floor cards of the same color, the Scaffold card can be used between the two cards to avoid losing the regulatory token. Also, the Inhabitants will score more horizontally with some specific objects and placements.

These scaffold cards can be helpful for that purpose making the game a bit more strategic  or long term planning rather than tactical.

Floor Cards

These are the cards that will shape our tableau. They represent each 3 floor of up to 5 houses that we can have. The total cards are 72, divided into 3 separate decks, 1st Floor Cards, 2nd Floor Cards and 3rd Floor Cards.

To make it easier to separate, each of these 3 decks have different back of cards color. The 1st Floor Cards have black color, magenta for the 2nd Floor Cards and Blue for the 3rd.

Each floor has 24 cards with 6 different colors, red, orange, yellow, pink, blue and green. To help the colorblind, each color will have a symbol that represents that color, in respective order, diamond, star, blitz, crescent, water, and clover.

The signs can be found in the middle top or middle bottom area of the card. These 3 different floors have several unique objects that only that floor will have and some objects that all 3 floors will share.

The availability of these objects will determine the victory points that we can get if we can attract the right visitors. All of 3 floors can have cats, windows, closed windows, curtains, plants and flowers.

There are 2 Tourists who care about Cats, the Girl and the Boy so both of them only care about a single completed house. Each card can only have up to 2 cats.

Windows will not contribute to points directly but they can have plants, flowers curtains or even cats. Curtains are probably the hardest and most complex to score from Tailor. They can also appear with doors on the first floor.

I think the designer miss this for the colorblind aspect. We need to care about whether the red or blue color of the curtain and there is no symbol for that.

Closed windows will give a penalty which we might want to avoid, especially in solo mode. In multi player mode, only one player with the most closed windows will get the penalty. We might want to check our opponents’ tableau because of this.

Plants and Flowers may not be available in the same card. They also only appear in certain colors. Green and yellow buildings for the plant, and the rest for the flowers except for pink building which will not have any of them.

That means, it is not that hard to score maximum points with Tourist Woman and Tourist Man. Each floor can have no pot at all or up to 5 pots.

1st Floor Cards

First Floor Cards are probably the first thing we draw, even though not necessarily. The reason is because we have to build from the bottom floor up.

Getting too many upper floor cards that we cannot build will only waste them or force us to lose the flexibility from the Scaffold cards.

These cards can have Shops, Pedestrians, Door as the unique objects that other floors may not have.

Doors are like non closed Windows. They may not add points directly, but they can have curtains.

Shops will give us points immediately, either 2 or 3 points which we can find at the top left corner of the card. There are 4 different type of shops in this game, Fashion, Pizza, Ice Cream and Coffee. If we can attract the Shop Owner Inhabitant, they will give more points for more different type of shops in our tableau.

Pedestrians or people who are walking in front of these houses are the last objects that we can only find on the first floor cards. Each card can have 1 up to 3 pedestrians.

So, with Mayor as one of the visitors, we can score at least 5 up to 15 points. It is not much compared to others but this is probably the easiest one to score.

First floor cards can be very tricky as well. One may have more certain objects but another card will have a Shop. Another good thing about card with the Shop is that there is no closed window.

2nd Floor Cards

The unique thing about the card drafting in this game is that, any given turn we can only draw from one columns of 3 floor cards. There is also a rule where we need to draw from the edge inward.

What it means is, we cannot draw the 2nd floor cards immediately. We first need to draw either the 3rd or the 1st then the 2nd. Or, if the 3rd or the 1st had been taken by the other player, we can then take the 2nd.

We cannot draw just the 3rd and the 1st. For 2 cards, it is either 1st and 2nd floor or 2nd and 3rd floor. Of course, we can draw from the entire column.

Don’t forget that regardless of how we draw the card, we still need to build them in our tableau from the bottom up.

With that in mind, usually we tend to draw two cards of the two lowest floors, especially if both cards have the same color. That way, we can immediately build both of them without using any Scaffold Card.

The only unique object that this floor has and the other don’t is the Streetlights. This only works for the Police and if we want to score them, we are not allowed to place these street lights in adjacent buildings.

This is probably the hardest one and even so, we can only score up to 15. Each of these cards can only have none or up to one Streetlight. So, to score the maximum points, we need to place Streetlights in the leftmost, the middle and the rightmost house of our tableau.

These 2nd Floor cards always have 2 windows, either open or closed. If they are open, we can find either cats, pots, or curtains. There are also some space below these windows for more of these objects, except the curtains.

3rd Floor Cards

The unique objects that we can find only in this category are Chimney and Roof. They may also have another floor or just roof or combination of the two.

There are some patterns that we can find, even if this category only have certain unique features.

For example, there will be no combination between Chimney and another Floor. If the house has a room on 3rd floor, they will not have any chimney.

Also, the green and blue color only have one card with Chimney while the other colors have 2 each. That could be an interesting consideration when choosing Santa or the Tourist Boy.

Alongside Chimney, the roof can have cats and pots only with the total objects up to 3, including the chimney itself.  If it has a cat, we will see no pot and if we see a pot, the pot is always 2.

If the card has another floor, it may either has a full floor or some kind of mezzanine floor in the middle. The one with mezzanine can only have up to 2 objects and the second object is always a cat. Otherwise, we can see mostly curtains, a cat or a pot, either for plant or flower.

Those with an entire 3rd floor will have 2 windows and a space in the middle which can have another object. So, most of them have 3 objects with all 3 pots for either plant or flowers. Only one green card with just 2 objects, a plant and a curtain and one green card with a cat and a flower.

So, either Tourist Man or Woman would be very easy to target these 3rd Floor cards. Also, cards from this group where it will have an entire 3rd floor, they will not have any objects on the roof at all.

None of the 3rd Floor Cards have Closed Windows.

As mentioned earlier, because of the restriction to build the house that it should start from the bottom up unless we want to use the Scaffold cards, the 3rd floor is probably the last one. Even though that is not necessary, especially if we are about to build the last house.

Character Cards

These are the last components of the base game. Characters are how we score points the most based on the buildings we have in our tableau.

We will get 26 character cards which can be put into 2 different categories. Tourist and Inhabitants.

There are 4 Tourists, each with 3 identical cards. For Inhabitants, there are 7 characters, each with 2 identical cards. Basically there are 11 unique characters, each with their own preferences of how to give points.

That was what I thought. Apparently each copy of the same characters may have minor differences. Those with a boat behind them will have different colors for each copy like the Tourists.

It seems like the color of the boat is a hint of which color of the house will help us score better from these characters.

Depending on the number of players, we will use all 26 cards for 4 players and we will remove some for lower player counts.

With the limited aspect, essentially, players will be racing against each other to be the first to attract these visitors. These cards will create another general display area that any player can take from right after they have completed a building in their tableau.

So, it is another card drafting element. Each player can be competing to attract the same character. If we wait for too long, maybe the other player will get them first.

This encourage players to also check their opponents’ tableau instead of just focusing on their own. Players might want to change their plan in the middle of the game or come up with several back up plans.

The difference between Tourist and Inhabitants is between row or column scoring. Tourist will only score based on the column where they are placed on or essentially the objects from the single building.

Inhabitants will score more horizontally. Regardless of their placement in the column of the tableau, they may score from another column.

We can say that Inhabitants are for long term planning while Tourists are for short term. The inhabitants will score from all 5 buildings where Tourists will only care about the building above them.

The nice thing about an Inhabitant is that we can score from the incomplete buildings. However, the problem is, usually we want to put the inhabitant below the worst possible houses so the Tourist can score more from the best.

If we wait too long, the other player can get it first and it may ruin our entire plan. I guess, the plan is maybe that we should not let the opponent know what we are going for.

Another difference between Tourist and Inhabitant is that we can attract the same visitor multiple times while we can only have one of the same Inhabitant in our tableau.

This will add another consideration when predicting the opponent’s move. If they already have one inhabitants, they may not take it again.

Also, Tourists will get us 2 victory points right away which Inhabitants will not.

From the rulebook and the Player Aid cards, we can see that several Inhabitants have (*) sign, specifically, Florist, Gardener and Shop Owner. What it means is that they are considered as for more advanced play.

The rule suggests removing them for the first few plays or when playing with beginners.

Each of these character cards will have two sides, one just displaying the illustration and the other side will display how they contribute to the scoring.

I think the intention was so that these characters will also become part of the panoramic view when we have done building our tableau. It is like these characters are looking from the other side of the canal strip from the houses.

After we are done with the scoring, we can flip the card and enjoy the design of our city.  It is also very helpful when we have to remove certain cards from the game because the back of the card is not an identical design that all character cards may have.

Details for Tourist

Woman
Immediate Points: 2
Scoring: 1 point per Flower from the completed house above the character.
Best Score: Yellow with 14  + 2 and 1 Closed Window. Blue with 13 + 2 and 1 Closed window or Blue with 12 + 2 and no closed window and another Blue with 11 + 2 + 2 (shop). Red with 13 + 2 no closed window.

Blue and Red buildings can be associated with more Flowers while Yellow is a mix between flowers and plants. Even still if we go for Yellow, all 3 floors will have 2 cards with flowers each.

Man
Immediate Points: 2
Scoring: 1 point per Plant from the completed house above the character.
Best Score: Green with 13 + 2 and 1 Closed window or 11 + 2 + 3 (shop) without closed window and another Green with 12 + 2 no closed window. Orange has 12 + 2 and 1 closed window or 11 + 2 and no closed window or 10 + 2 + 3 (shop) with 1 closed window. Yellow can give 13 + 2 and 1 closed window.

Definitely, if we can start collecting green building, this Tourist is the one to score, just like the color of his shirt. Maybe we can even go for 2 sets of green buildings and get both Tourist.

Girl
Immediate Points: 2
Scoring: 3 points per Cat from the completed house above the character.
Best Score: Blue 12 + 2 + 2 (shop) no closed window or Pink 12 + 2 + 3 (shop) with 1 closed window or Orange 12 + 2 with 1 closed window.

If we can go for Pink we can either get this Tourist Girl or Boy, see below. Cats might give the highest score per cat compared to other object but that also means the lost points will be bigger as well.

Boy
Immediate Points: 2
Scoring: 2 point per Chimney, Streetlight, Cat or Curtain from the completed house above the character.
Best Score: Pink 16 + 2 with 1 closed window. Orange can give 12 + 2 with 2 options from the first floor. Red for 12 + 2 with 1 closed window or 10 + 2 + 2 from shop without closed windows.

This is probably the easiest to score because he can score from multiple different objects. We might want to get this guy first before the opponents get him. In solo mode, this is should be the last one to be removed.

There is a confusion with the explanation and the symbol. Because there is no “/” from the symbol, it can be interpreted as we need to have all of the symbol in order to score. The explanation should say OR instead of AND.

Details for Inhabitants

Mayor
Condition: all 1st Floor Cards
Scoring: 1 point per Pedestrian
Score Range: 5 to 15 points

This is probably the easiest to control. At least we will more likely to get average points.

From all 24 1st Floor cards, 10 of them will have 3 Pedestrians, 8 of them with 2 pedestrians, and only 6 of them will have a single pedestrian.

So, with just 2 player mode, it is possible to get 15 points for both players. Even if we fail to get them,  to score 10, we just need 3 cards with 3 pedestrians, and the other 2 with just a single pedestrian.

The question is, is the Mayor still available to visit or the other players will take them first?

I guess, thematically this is accurate. Of course a Mayor of any city would like to get more income from the tourists and probably new people to settle in. He would love to see more people.

Police
Condition: all 2nd Floor Cards
Scoring: 5 / 9 / 15 points for each 1 or 2 or 3 non adjacent streetlights.
Score Range: 0 to 15 points

This is a tricky one. Sure, we just need to plan for 3 2nd Floor Cards each with a streetlight. However, to score the maximum points the placement is very strict, with only one possible way, by put them at the leftmost, the middle and the rightmost cards in our tableau.

The problem is, as mentioned earlier, the 2nd Floor Cards is the most difficult to control when drawing. We might end up sacrificing the scoring from other characters.

We can still get 0 points if somehow we place two streetlights adjacent to each other. Unless we get 3 correctly, we will get less than 10 points, so we will not score very high.

Thematically, this is also a good one. The streetlight can keep the city get enough illumination during the night. By placing the streetlight not adjacent from one to another, the light can cover more area of the city which can prevent the crime.

Santa Claus
Condition: all 3rd Floor Cards
Scoring: 3 points per Chimney
Score Range: 0 to 15 points

I guess we can say this is the comedic part of the game. It is still thematically accurate though between Santa Claus and the Chimney. However, it got me thinking about why do they even pick Chimney in the first place.

Regardless it is rather easy to score from this Inhabitant. We still need 4 of them if we want to score higher than 10 from Santa Claus. With the exception of green and blue building, each color will have 2 possible 3rd floor cards with chimney.

Usually of the 2 possible cards, one is with a cat and the other is the associated objects to the color like red for flowers. So it will be easier to plan for scoring by combining Santa Claus with Tourist Boy or Girl.

With a chimney and a cat, we can get 4 points at least from Tourist Boy or 3 points from Tourist Girl. For Tourist Man and Woman who love objects in pot, they can get more points from 3rd floor cards without a chimney.

Tailor
Condition: all Floor Cards
Scoring: 4 points per pair of red and blue Curtains
Score Range: 0 to 32 points

This is probably the most complex one but potentially can give us the highest possible score. The reason is because we will need a pair of both Curtain’s color in order to score 4 points each.

Unlike the Tourist Boy who will score any curtains with any color, with Tailor, we may not score at all, even though very unlikely that will happen. If I remember correctly, there is ONE specific card with exact both Curtains that will get us 4 points immediately.

Clearly we want to include the Tourist Boy probably several of them in our strategy involving Tailor. Remember that we don’t need to score the maximum points. Other characters can give us less than 20 points, so that should be something to keep in mind.

I guess, for this one, if we have more houses with curtains, that can support the tailor’s business. Still, I think it will be more appropriate if we use like the same color and just score the one color with the most curtains.

The combination of colors between the curtains and the house itself are not that many. Yellow, blue and green building will always have red curtains while red and orange building will have blue curtains.

The only exception is the pink which can have both colors, even on the same card. Other than that there is only one more card with 2 curtains on the same card.

Somehow the blue curtains are not as many as the red curtains. Also, the upper floor will have less number of cards with curtains. Only pink, green and red will have all 3 floor cards with curtains.

Shop Owner (*)
Condition: all 1st Floor Cards
Scoring: 2/5/9/15 points per 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 different shops
Score Range: 0 to 15 points

It is very unlikely but we can still get 0 point from the Shop Owner if all 5 houses has no shop at all. All of the 4 different shops are distributed equally through  6 different colors.

Each color has 2 cards with different shops. Most of them have a combination of 3 points and 2 points except for the Yellow and blue with 2 and 2 points at the top left corner. But the total value is always about 6 or 7 from cards with shops. If they involve cats, we need the Tourist Girl to score the maximum.

This is also thematically appropriate. Any shop owner in the city would rather have different kind of shops that can support each other instead of getting more competition.

Florist (*)
Condition: 3 Floor Cards horizontally adjacent
Scoring: 1 point per Flowers
Score Range: 1 to 16 points

The highest score for this comes from the 1st floor with 2 options. One with 2 Pizza shops or 2 with no shop at all. The second highest score comes from the 2nd floor which none of the cards has streetlights.

That means if we want to score from Police as well, we will only get at most 9 points from the second floor. For flowers. we should ignore Tourist Man and Gardeners and for the color, green and orange building.

I’m not sure how to connect the theme with the scoring from Florist and Gardener. I guess it is easier for them to maintain the plan or flowers by having them in adjacent house and floors? Are they the one that maintain those in upper floors as well?

Gardener (*)
Condition: 3 Floor Cards horizontally adjacent
Scoring: 1 point per Plant
Score Range: 1 to 15 points

We can get the highest score from the 2nd floor (15) then 1st floor with 14 or from 3rd floor 9 points. Clearly we might want to focus on plants and ignore the flowers if we want to score very high from this.

That means ignoring the Tourist Woman and Florist. We will also try to focus on green, yellow and orange buildings. No need to ignore red, blue or pink but we need to keep the 3 adjacent.

The highest score from the 1st floor may not include any shop at all. However, some shops may offer higher points with lower Plants.

From the 2nd floor, the highest number of plants comes with 1 streetlight. We still have enough flexibility to score with the Police.

Those are all the components that we need to play the base game of Walking in Burano card game. The mini expansion that we get from the AEG version will be discussed in the section for EXPANSION of this article below.

Now we can start to learn how to play the game. More about this next.

How to Play

Now that we already know the components, the next question is, how do we play Walking in Burano?

This is a competitive game for 2 to 4 players. With the similar setup as 2 player mode and several tweak for the rule, we can also play the solo mode. The solo mode is essentially a beat your own score game.

The next video is the official tutorial from Emperor S4, the main publisher.

General Setup

First, shuffle the FLOOR CARD DECKS separately. We can then place them in a column face down in ascending order from bottom to top. It means, the 1st Floor Decks (Black) is at the bottom most then the 2nd Floor Deck (Pink) above it and the 3rd Floor Deck (Blue) at the top.

Second, from each deck, we need to reveal a certain number of cards face up right next to the deck, depending on the number of players +1. That means 3 cards for 2 players up to 5 cards for 4 players.

We should place the revealed cards so it will create columns with one of each floor card from different level.

For SOLO MODE, we will be revealing 4 cards of each floor card deck instead of 3. These face up cards will be the FLOOR CARDS SUPPLY.

Third, create the TOURIST CARD PILES. Tourist cards are character cards which the characters are facing the left side of the card. Each Tourist will have its own pile and we place these 4 pile right below the Floor cards supply area.

Depending on the number of players, we might have to remove up to a copy of each Tourist. Here are the details.

4 players: Use all 3 cards of each Tourist.
2 and 3 players: Use 2 cards of each Tourist and return the rest to the game box.

Fourth, create the INHABITANT CARD PILES. Inhabitants are character cards which the characters are facing the right side of the card.

Like the Tourist, each inhabitant will have its own pile. We place them at the left side of the Floor card decks. We can remove FLORIST, SHOP OWNER and GARDENER cards to simplify the game.

Specifically for 2 Player Mode, we will remove one copy of each Inhabitant and return the cards to the game box. So, the number of inhabitant cards that we will be using is 14 cards for 3 and 4 player mode and 7 cards for the 2 player mode.

Fifth, place all of the 18 COIN TOKENS in the middle of the table as the Bank. We can sort them by the value if we want.

That is the setup of the common area.

Player Setup

First, each player choose a color and the corresponding 4 REGULATORY TOKENS. We can put those tokens on the table in front of each player.

Second, each player will take 2 SCAFFOLD CARDS. We can use these cards to measure the area of 5 x 3 grid cards that will become our tableau of Houses that we will building in the game.

That is just the space for the houses. We need to have a room for one more row which would be for the character cards. So, essentially, we need like 5 x 4 grid.

Third, each player will take COIN TOKENS from the Bank with a total value of 4. This can be 4 tokens of 1 Coin worth each or a combination of value 3 and 1 Coin Tokens. We then place them on the table as our own pile.

Fourth, choose the starting player and give that player the STARTING PLAYER TOKEN. The rule suggests the player who the most recently travelled abroad or just choose randomly.

No need for this step in the Solo Mode.

Gameplay

The game is played over several rounds. Players will take turns, beginning with the starting player and going clockwise.

After each player has taken a turn, that is the end of the round and the Starting Player token is passed to the next player. We can proceed to the next round part.

Each turn, a player can have up to 6 phases. The rulebook only says 3 phases which I expand the explanation into different sections.

1st. Acquiring Floor Cards (Mandatory)
2nd. Taking Coins (Conditional)
3rd. Placing Floor Cards (Optional)
4th. Check for Breakable Rules (Conditional)
5th. Pay the Building Cost (Conditional)
6th. Visit from Characters (Conditional)

Once any player has completed their 5 house, that will trigger the end game. We can then proceed to the SCORING PHASE.

The SOLO MODE is a bit different. In addition to the player completing their 5th house, there is a timer by removing the Character Cards from the display.

If there is no more character cards to be removed, the game ends immediately and proceed to the SCORING PHASE.

Acquiring Floor Cards

For this phase, players will start by choosing a column from the Floor Card Supply area. We will have to draw up to 3 cards just from this column.

This is a Mandatory action. We will then keep the cards in our hand.

Remember that there is a hand limit of 3 cards which is not a hard limit. During this phase, we can have more than 3 cards in our hand.

There is a rule of how we do the card drafting or drawing the card. From the chosen column, we can only draw inward either from the top (3rd Floor Card) or from the bottom (1st Floor Card).

We are not allowed to skip them and immediately just draw any 2nd Floor Card. If another player already has taken the 3rd or the 1st floor card of that column in the previous round, only then, we can draw the 2nd Floor Cards, if the card is still available.

With that in mind, we might want to consider the chance that we are giving to the next player in the same round. This is a bit different in Solo Mode.

The number of card we draw will determine the number of coin tokens we will get in the next phase.

Taking Coins

The total we take is always 3. If we draw 1 card, we will get 2 Coins, 1 coin for 2 cards and no coin for 3 cards.

We take the coins from the Bank and put them to our own pile. This is considered as unlimited.

The coin limit is 6 which is not a hard limit. We have to return the excess at the end of our turn so, during this phase we can still have more than 6 even though it is very unlikely.

The purpose of these coins is to pay the cost to construct the Floor Cards to our tableau or how we play the card from our hand. This will be useful so we don’t have to discard the excess Floor Cards from our hand.

That means we need to manage these 2 resources. We might want the card but at the same time, we need the money as well.

Placing Floor Cards

This is where we build our tableau. We play the card from our hand by paying the cost with the Coin tokens. This is also an optional phase but consider not to discard the excess card later. Or maybe because we don’t have enough money to pay.

There are several UNBREAKABLE RULES that we need to follow when placing one or more cards from our hand to our tableau.

One, each floor card has to be placed only on the right floor area. First Floor Cards can only be placed on the 1st floor area, 2nd floor cards on the 2nd floor area and 3rd floor cards on the 3rd floor area only.

Two, to place the upper floor cards it will require the lower floor card first, just like real life building construction from the bottom up. That means to place a 2nd Floor Card, we need to place the 1st Floor card right below it.

The same goes for placing 3rd floor card which require to place the 1st and 2nd first. If we don’t have the lower floor card yet but we want to build the upper floor first, we can use the SCAFFOLD CARD or CARDS temporarily.

In later rounds, we can then replace these Scaffold Cards with the right Floor Cards. However, before that happen, we cannot remove these Scaffold cards.

Three, we cannot have more than 5 HOUSES. So, we can only have 5 x 3 grid.

Four, with the exception of first ever Floor Cards, all Floor Cards must be placed orthogonally adjacent from the previously placed Floor Cards or Scaffold Cards.

From the 5 houses we can build in our 5 x 3 grid, we can start from the middle and build into 2 directions. We cannot build on the left most, then goes to the right most leaving empty spaces in the middle or vice versa.

Five, we can only build or play up to 3 Floor Cards on a single turn. These 3 floor cards don’t have to be in the same column or house. We can even build 3 cards all in the same floor area.

Six, once the card is played or placed, we are not allowed to remove or change it.

Check for the Breakable Rules

There are also 2 rules that we don’t need to follow but there will be some penalties. The penalty is that we have to lose one of our regulatory tokens which are worth 3 points each at the end of the game if we still have them.

That means, we can break the rules up to 4 times and losing 12 points for each game session. We simply return our token to the game box.

So, after we play a card or cards from our hand to the building, we have to check if we break any of these rules. If we break any, we pay the token and if we don’t have any token left to pay, we simply cannot build that card.

Here are the 2 breakable rules.

One. All 3 Floor Cards of one house must be the same color. For example, a house must be all red or all blue, etc.

For this rule, the previously played Floor card of that house will define the color of the house. From the example in the rulebook, if a building starts with a yellow, then we add a blue one on 2nd Floor, we lose one regulatory token.

Then, if the third floor has a yellow or blue again, we don’t need to pay the token again even though the color is different with either floors. This will be different if for the third one we also play a new color, let’s say, red.

Two. Adjacent houses may never be the same color. For example, two yellow houses cannot exist to each other.

This is rather easier to understand. However, if we combine this second rule with the first one, it can be confusing a bit because any single house can have several different colors.

From what I understand, the penalty is when we break the rule after playing a card. The rulebook says, that we need to pay 1 token if we break one of more of these 2 rules. That is if it happens at the same time we place those cards.

if we break the rules again in subsequent turns or rounds, we still have to pay additional tokens. I assume that the example in the rulebook on page 9 means placing the yellow and blue cards happens in the same turn so Johnson only needs to pay 1 token.

Pay the Building Cost

Once we have settled about which Floor Cards can or cannot be played and the placement in the tableau, we need to pay the building cost with our Coin Tokens. Simply, we take the coin and put them in the Bank.

We can only build up to 3 cards in a single turn. Depending on the number of played cards, the cost can be more expensive.

Here is the detail.

1 Card: 1 Coin
2 Cards: 3 Coins
3 Cards: 5 Coins

So, it is obvious that just placing a card every turn is the cheapest way. The cost is only 1 coin per card where with 2 cards and 3 cards, the cost is 1.5 coins per card and 1.6 coins per cards, respectively.

Because of this, it is recommended to always build at least a single card every turn. It is true that sometimes we want to wait to make sure we get the right set of colors for a single house.

Remember that we also need to manage the coin as there is a coin limit. Once we have built and paid the cost, we can proceed to the next phase.

Visit from Characters

If we have completed a single house, with all 3 Floor Cards, regardless of the colors, we MUST get a visit from on of the characters to the completed house.

Scaffold card doesn’t count. We have to replace them first with the proper Floor Cards.

What it means by visit from character is, we take one of the character cards, from either Tourist or Inhabitant pile and place that card right below the the First Floor card of the completed house.

If in a single turn, we complete multiple houses, each of the houses will get a visit, so we draw the same number of character cards. However, we cannot get a visit from the same inhabitant more than once but we can get multiple visit from the same Tourist.

These characters are the ones that will give us the points at the end of the game during scoring. Each character has their own preferences of how to score.

Tourists will score only a completed house above them while Inhabitants will score horizontally, even though the houses are not complete. So, we actually have to consider them first, before we draw any Floor cards and make plans accordingly.

Check the components section above to find out more about each character. The game suggests trying to score at least 10 points per character if we want to play very well.

However, these characters are considered as limited. The other player can take them first previously. So, there is a chance that our plan may not work because the characters are no longer there.

This introduces the racing element to this Walking in Burano game. Which is why, we might want to play the cards in our hand and build the houses as soon as we can.

We might want to get the Inhabitants early even though we have not gotten the right cards for them to score.

Prepare the Next Round

Once every player has taken their turn, the round ends. If nobody has completed 5 houses yet, then proceed to prepare for the next round.

First, we pass the Starting Player Token to the next player in clockwise order. That player then become the starting player of the current round. Ignore this for the solo mode.

Then, we have to refill the Floor Card Supply area. To do that, we first need to slide over the remaining cards in the Supply area to the rightmost column possible, away from each deck.

That way, the empty spaces will be right next to each of three Floor card decks. After that, we reveal the cards from each deck to fill the empty space until we have the same number of columns as  before (number of players +1).

Exception for 2 player variant and Solo Mode. Before sliding these cards, we have to remove the rightmost card of each Floor cards. That means from the remaining cards, we will always remove 3 cards for these two modes.

So, for 3 and 4 player modes, the cards will always available in the supply until any player takes them. That is not the case with 2 player and solo mode.

In addition to that, the SOLO MODE has one more step for this process. We have to remove one of the remaining Character Cards from any pile.

Essentially they serve as a timer in solo mode. If there is no card left to be removed, the game ends and we proceed to scoring.

If any of these decks ever run out of cards and we still have not triggered the end game, we shuffle the card for each deck from the discard pile to form a new one.

Game End and Final Scoring

Once a player has completed 5 houses and get 5 Visits from the Character Cards, the game ends. Continue the game to complete the current round so each player will have the same number of turns.

Then, we proceed with the Scoring Phase. There are several things that will generate victory points in this game and we have to count each of them.

We can use the SCORE PAD if we want. Here are the details.

1st, from CHARACTERS. Those characters who visit our Houses will evaluate and give points based on their preferences. Depending on our progress in the game, we can have up to 5 characters, on for each completed houses.

We can refer to the PLAYER AID or the components section of this article above, to find out more how each character will give score. The rulebook suggests that we should count from character starting from the leftmost of our houses and go to the rightmost.

2nd, from SHOPS. Each time we have a shop on 1st Floor, there is a star sign and a number at the top left corner of the card which represent the points. The points can be either 2 or 3 points each.

3rd, from REGULATORY TOKENS. Each regulatory token that we have from the beginning of the game is worth 3 points each if we still have it during this phase. So, we can have up to 12 points. from this.

4th, from CLOSED WINDOWS. This is considered as the penalty for the scoring. We will lose points if we have the most closed windows in our houses compared to other players.

The number of points we lose is equal to the number of closed windows that we have. So, in multi player mode, only one player will get the penalty.

This is a bit different in SOLO MODE. The player will always lose points equal to the number of closed windows.

Also, the game suggests to ignore this penalty to simplify the game as beginner variant.

For scoring in solo mode, we can use the table below to compare the score and see how good we play the game.

0 – 60 Points: So-so
61-70 Points: Not Bad
71-80 points: Good Job!
81-85: Awesome
86+: Masterpiece

The designer says that their best score is 87.

In case of a tie, the player who has MORE COINS wins the tie. If there is still a tie, the player with MORE CATS wins. And if it still a tie, both players shares the victory.

That is it with how to play Walking in Burano card game.

My Experience and Thoughts

First, of all, I played this game mostly in Solo Mode. I’m not a big fan of the time pressure by removing the remaining character cards.

This kind of forces us to play as fast as we can. While in multiplayer mode, this will not happen unless one of the opponents will just trying to race to complete the 5th houses and trigger the end game.

The game will always end within 10 rounds and if we take longer than that, we are probably not going to score very high.  Somebody on forum actually pointed out a variant where we don’t remove any card if we get a visitor.

I have not tried it but that can give us like extra 5 turns. But maybe that will be too easy for some.

One of the issue which is more apparent in solo mode is the slow revealed cards. Unlike the 2 player mode, we don’t have another player that will draw the cards from display which can help us reveal more cards.

So, in solo mode, it is not rare that we will not find the right color for the last few cards. In fact, the color that we are looking for at the end of the game might already be removed at the start of the game.

This can also happen in 2 player mode. There has been a discussion without official solution to refill the deck with the cards that have been removed.

It is like we have to memorize as well the cards that have been removed. I don’t know if it is allowed to check the discard pile.

Even if the color is still available in the deck, there is no guarantee that we will even get to the last card because of the timer. Because there is no other player to help us reveal more cards, sometimes, we have to draw inefficiently which will give another difficulty in managing the coin resource.

Also, because there is only one player, each round we have to draw like 2 cards at least. There is no other player that will give us the opening. The drafting inward rule becomes like a chore because every turn we will always get a complete column to draw from.

So, for me, the solo mode is not ideal, but it still works. It just suffers typical problem with games where we have to go through decks of cards for specific cards.

The more cards we get from the game will eventually kind of ruining the experience. That and the using the timer mechanism make it worse.

I think the 2 player mode is better because at least, there is no time pressure. We can take our time. However, it has been pointed out that we can run out of cards from the Floor Card Decks.

From what I understand, the initial rule was removing 3 cards is to replicate another player drafting those cards. So, after being removed they are out of the game.

However, the designer has expressed his intention to change it so that the card will go back to the deck but it will be just one more round. I think this is still not the official rule. Even the German version has different rules for this.

The 3 and 4 player mode will not have this problem. I think without those removing rule, the game become more interesting. The card we don’t care at first and just sitting there that nobody else is taking, can suddenly become something.

Being the first player of the round doesn’t necessarily give the benefit. The can choose first, but there is a chance the player has to pay more.

Because of the way we prepare for the next round, we can even plan ahead how to shape the supply area during next round as the last player. Not that it will be useful.

The rule that we can only draw inward is probably the most interesting feature in this game. There are a lot to consider as well from managing the card and coins, targeting the right combination  and also what we will potentially give the other player to take afterwards.

Overall, drafting for both Floor Cards and Character cards for the visit are the time when the players will be interacting. Other than that we will be mostly playing multiplayer solitaire game.

The potential for hate drafting is there. It will be even harsher with the idea of forcing the opponents to spend the regulatory tokens.

Whoever in the receiving end still has a chance to mitigate though. I don’t think hate drafting will necessarily leads someone to winning this game.

Even though we are scoring based on the objects from every floor cards, they always come back to the color. So, the 72 cards is not necessarily going to give a big replay value even though it can.

Also, even if each character will score differently, if we want to score very high, there are limited number of combinations that we can pursue. Like if we want to go for plant or flowers, it will be very easy to tell what the players are going after.

Some of these objects can be associated with the color of the house. I guess this will open a chance for another interaction between players.

Player will have to be aware of their opponent’s progress to know how likely the opponents will try to get the same or certain cards. Because of the limited number of optimal combinations to score, I think the game is best with higher player count like 3 or 4.

It will be even harder to achieve those combinations because the number of cards in those decks remains the same. With more players, I guess we are more likely to break the breakable rules or just get less than ideal tableau.

That is just half of the game where we build our tableau of houses, Getting the visitors are another half. We can try to plan to score for certain characters, but there is no guarantee that the character will still be there when we complete the house.

It is not that rare to score very low because we don’t get that specific character cards. We can just play tactically and focus mostly with Tourist or we can plan a strategy with the inhabitants but with back up plan using the Tourist.

The problem is that we can still score higher with Tourists than inhabitants or at least about the same. I think inhabitants should score potentially higher just like with the Tailor but not as complex as her scoring.

This second half is more interesting during the solo mode actually because they become a timer. Sometimes we will regret because we have removed the right characters but the floor cards can score from them.

I do wish we can see more cards for this game, whether just more characters or more floor cards with new objects to score. Somehow it will be more difficult for the floor cards as each card itself is a collection of objects.

I think if the designer wants to add more cards they need to add a set of three from one from each floor. They might need to add a set of 3 for each color which could be a big box of expansion with the same number of cards.

Usually that kind of expansion size will introduce new mechanism which I think rather hard for this game. It will take a while for the designer to come up with a big expansion for this. Not that I know there is a plan for it and not that the this base game needs it. Who knows?

As it is, Walking in Burano is already an good game with some depth and very beautiful art. The theme works for the most part but I don’t get the correlation between the theme and how the drafting floor cards works, which is probably the most interesting part of the game. Not that it matters.

The set collection element of this game is much more complex that other games with this mechanism. Usually we have to collect several single objects and score based on that.

Here, the things we are collecting are made of several different objects that may or may not score if we don’t meet the requirements.

Expansion

I think the base game of Walking in Burano card game is already good enough as it is. However, it is not a bad idea if the designer can come up with some idea to expand the game via expansions.

So far, since the initial launch of the base game, Walking in Burano has a set of new cards as the first expansion offered as promo for Essen 2018 event. The other one is being offered by AEG, included in the base game.

2018 Essen Promo Cards

These are 4 new shop cards, obviously for the first floor cards. The unique thing that makes them different from the regular shop cards is that instead of getting immediate points, we get either coin or more cards.

However, in order to get the bonus at the top left corner of the card, we first need to complete the house and get the bonus before or after the visit from character.

Sadly, the designer didn’t post any further explanation for this expansion other than in general. So, what I’m about to say is just my assumption.

I think the coin as the bonus is rather simple. We just take the 1 Coin token after we have completed the house with that card.

I’m not sure about the Floor cards though. It seems that we can draft the card from the display, not the face down deck and from any floor cards. The forum page for this expansion says that we can ignore the drafting rule.

That means, first, we can choose any cards, including the 2nd floor cards even though the column still has the 3rd and 1st floor. I assume that we cannot build it right away and wait for next turn.

If that is true, we if we have more cards than the hand limit, we might end up discarding the other card. The extra card bonus is also more powerful than the coin bonus since then the next turn we can draft less number of card and get more coins.

With these cards, we can trigger the end game faster. Also, it gives another opportunity for hate drafting.

From what I understand, we can only replace the cards so the deck still only has 24 First Floor Cards. The building color of these 4 cards are Yellow, Blue, Pink and Orange, each represents different type of shops.

All of these cards are essentially the same cards with the ones from the base game, just replacing the victory points with either coin or floor cards. They have the same number of pedestrians and other objects.

I think it will be unbalance if we just add the new cards instead of replacing them. It will be more problematic in solo mode as we will have more cards which can make it longer to find the right card.

If we use sleeve for the card, then we can just insert a piece of paper to say that we will be using the expansion version. That means, we don’t really need to purchase this at all.

Somebody says that we can purchase the expansion directly from Emperor S4. I don’t know for how much.

Mini Expansions – New Inhabitants (2019)

The following is the description from the forum for this expansion.

Currently, they are available inside the box of the AEG edition and as a separate card pack from Board Game Circus (German version). It will be sold separately by EmperorS4 and Board Game Circus at their booth at some events like Essen Spiel.

So, in this pack, we get 10 cards of the same mini euro size. We get 3 new Inhabitants, PAINTER, CHIMNEY SWEEPER and FISHERMAN,  each with 2 identical copies. One card is blank.

There is one card that serves as the front cover for this expansion and the general setup for using this expansion on the other side

Then of course another card for the back cover with the other side explain how one of the new character works. The other 2 characters were explained in a separate card.

The rule says that we also need to replace the card from the base game with this new characters from expansion so we still only use 7 inhabitants. I think we can still mix and match like we just need to replace the number for multiplayer games but using just one copy each.

They don’t state the new rules for the solo play if we include these expansion. I guess we should just replace the card so the timer is still the same. But if we just add new cards, it will then extend the game.

Here are the details of each new character.

Painter
Condition: all floor cards of completed buildings
Scoring: 9 for 2 completed houses with the same color, 15 points for 2 different 2 Houses of the same color and 20 points for 3 completed houses of the same color.
Score Range: 0 to 20 points

For the 9 points, it is not that hard to achieve and it could lead to achieving the 15 or 20 points. I think the 15 points requires more work because we need 4 buildings of 2 colors.

The 20 points is easier, especially if we just ignore the regulatory points. Even if we lose the regulatory token, the points we get is still very high. The problem would be, will the same color even appear?

I guess in solo mode, this will depend on the starting cards in the display area.

Chimney Sweeper
Condition: All 2nd and 3rd Floor cards of completed buildings.
Scoring: 8 / 12 / 15 points for 1  / 2 / 3 completed houses that have both chimney and streetlight.
Score Range: 0 to 15 points

Obviously, we might want to combine this one with the Santa Claus and the Police. Santa should be the first one we need to focus on but then it will shape the entire plan.

We can then go for this Chimney Sweeper just by getting the streetlight on 2nd Floor for the house with chimney. At this point, we can ignore the Police if we cannot place the streetlight not in adjacent houses.

This is a bit different than others. Usually if we can make a set of 3, a set of 2 is worth less than 10 points. This one, with just a set of 2, we can get 12 points already.

Considering that the highest point is still 15, this could be a better option to chase than most of the inhabitants.

Fisherman
Condition: Any 1 row from the entire tableau.
Scoring: 8 / 12 / 15 points for 3  / 4 / 5 cats.
Score Range: 0 to 15 points.

Fisherman is similar to Mayor. Instead of counting the Pedestrians, we count cats and instead of just the 1st Floor cards, we can check the entire floor of any 1 floor.

The problem is that we may not find that many cats as the pedestrians. We can still score 0 from this if any of the floor has less than 3 cats as the floor of most cats.

This is a bit more difficult to combine with the other two characters that can score based on cats, the Tourist Boy and Girl. Both of them score only the house above them.

So, we need to start with those tourists and if we can make that any floor to have like 4 or 5 cats, then we should go for the Fisherman. More than 60% of the cards will not have any cat.

Any card can have up to only 2 cats which is maybe just 2 cards from the entire game. It is rather impossible to have every card from any floor to have at least one cat. I think getting 3 cats is still possible but 5 is very unlikely.

Either we will ignore and discard the Fisherman card as the timer in solo or we have to make sure in multiplayer mode, we will not get that card.

Conclusion

Walking in Burano is one of the card game by a Taiwanese designer. As the name suggests, the theme comes from the city of Burano in Italy, mostly known for the canal tourism city and bright colorful landed houses with each house has its own color.

This is essentially a set collection game where we will be drafting up to three floor cards each turn. Then, we will use them to create our tableau of 5 houses each with 3 floors.

Like in the city of Burano, there is a rule where each building can only have a single color and cannot be adjacent to another house with the same color. If we ever break these rules, we have to pay a penalty by losing some regulatory tokens which can happen up to 4 times.

These tokens are worth 3 points each at the end of the game. We might try not to spend them but there is a chance that we can score higher points overall even with the wrong color.

In most set collection game, we will be trying to collect several single objects to score later. That is not the case here. Each floor cards has several different objects like a set collection within a set collection game.

What we will be trying to do is to attract some Tourists and impress the Inhabitants from our urban design. Each of these characters has their own preferences of what they like to see in a house or series of houses like cats, streetlights, pedestrians, chimneys, curtains, plants and flowers, etc.

Everytime we complete a house we will get a visit from one of them by taking their card and put them as part of our tableau. They will define the score we will get at the end of the game and if we have as many objects that the characters like, we can score higher.

Essentially we will be trying to plan our strategy and tactics around these characters. The problem is that this is a racing game. Those characters are not going to stay there forever because our opponents can get them first.

We can end up getting very low points or no points at all. The potential of hate drafting for both floor cards and character cards is there but that is the only interaction between players.

Whoever complete 5 houses and get 5 visitors will trigger the end of the game. However, the winner will be the one who score the most points.

There is also a minor resource management in the form of managing hand of cards and coins that we can use to pay for the construction of the house. It is not that difficult to understand but because of the racing element, we have to be very efficient.

The game can support up to 4 players to play competitively. Since most of the game is about building our solitaire tableau, with a small tweak, the game can be played in solo mode as well.

It works but in my opinion, it is not as good as the multiplayer mode, especially with higher player count as they introduce the element of timer. Maybe the game is also lack of player scaling for lower player count as we still need to use the same number of cards like full player count.

This is a typical issue with most card games with a lot of cards. The cards we are looking for might be buried at the bottom of the deck.

Even though the game comes with 72 floor cards but that should be divided into 3 parts which cannot be mixed. Then with the rules of color that we need to follow, the possible combination is even less.

If we even focus our strategy based on the characters, the best way to play are rather obvious and limited. So, the replay value may not be that high, especially for lower player count.

Maybe the designer can improve it by adding more cards with more variety. But considering how complex each card can be with their objects, it may require a big box expansion or such which very unlikely to happen.

As it is, Walking in Burano is still a good game with beautiful art that we might want to play once in a while.

More Games

If this is not  game for you, there are still a lot of these great tabletop games whether card games or board games. We can find more alternatives from the forum like Board Game Geek or other websites about tabletop games.

Here are some that I think are similar to Walking in Burano that I have played so far. Check the links to my review to find out more.

I think The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game feels a bit similar with the set collection and race for scoring element. Both of them are competitive card game with solo mode and use small cards.

The set collection is rather simple compared to Walking in Burano but it leads to having combo of additional actions. Resource management is also a better part in this.

Tybor the Builder card game has also set collection mechanism and a different but as interesting card drafting element with higher player interaction. In this game we also need to collect several sets but the scoring is much simpler than Walking in Burano.

Villages of Valeria is also a simpler set collection game with more resource managements and action following mechanism. Here we are interacting with other players through the drafting card from a communal supply just like Walking in Burano.

Mandala is another set collection card game but only for 2 players, combined with area control element.

Peloponnes the Card Game has also an interesting drafting element combined with auction mechanism and a rather simpler tableau building. The set collection is very minor but resource management is bigger here.

If we are looking for games with more resource management and goods conversion that can lead to engine building experience, Fleet, Café, Oh My Goods! and for a bigger one, Imperial Settlers, are several of them. All of them are mostly just card game.

The rest of my list can be found below. Most of them come in a small box.

Adventure of D, 2nd Ed. (Fantasy Adventure Card Game, Multi Game Modes)
The Big Book of Madness (Cooperative, Deck Building, Wizarding Theme)
Hero Realms
 (Competitive, Card Game, Fantasy Theme, Deck Building)
Finished! (Solo only, Puzzle, Card Game)
Goblins vs Zombies (Tower Defense, Card Game, Fantasy Theme, Card Game)
One Deck Dungeon: Forest of Shadows (Dice Rolling, Fantasy Theme, Cooperative)

I will keep updating my website with more games. Find out the latest update from this Complete List.

Final Words

That is all I can share with you about Walking in Burano, a card game. This is my first game from a Taiwanese designer.

I probably have missed something. Please don’t hesitate to point that out and share what you know related to this game and I will update this article.

I keep saying that these tabletop games can be a good way to spend some time without looking at the screen of our gadget.  If we do have someone close, that we can play with, there are other games where we can play cooperatively or competitively but with more player interaction.

The game can be very fast or like a filler type or it can take hours to play.

So, what is your experience on playing this game? If you know other games similar or even better than this, please do share via the comment section below. I would love to learn and play that game, assuming I can get a copy.

This article is just my notes about what I can find from the internet. Hopefully this can help anybody who reads it.

Thanks for reading.

 

Mark M.

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