New York 1901 review

New York 1901

New York 1901 was published in 2015 by Blue Orange Games. The game was designed by Chénier La Salle. Illustrations were done by Vincent Dutrait.

New York belongs to the Cities: New York family.

Game Components

  • 1 Game Board
  • 1 Rule Book
  • 5 Streets of New York Bonus Cards
  • 5 Character Cards
  • 65 Lot Cards
  • 5 Bonus Challenge Cards
  • 16 Workers (4 per player)
  • 76 Skyscraper Tiles (19 per player)
  • 4 Skyscraper Scoring Markers (1 per player)
  • 12 Action Cards (3 per player)
  • 4 King Tokens (1 per player)
  • 4 Legendary Skyscraper Tiles

New York 1901 - Inside the Box


The 20th century begins – this was the time New York got its famous skyline. You are pursuing a career in real estate while skyscrapers are on everyone’s minds. You need to build taller and bigger!

Two to four players can enjoy constructing skyscrapers in this city-building family board game. In order to win, you need to gain control of New York streets (by building skyscrapers, of course) and accomplish challenge objectives.

This card-drawing city-building game provides you with quite a strong mental challenge – there is something to rack your brains over solving the puzzle of the Big Apple.

New York 1901 - Gameplay


Every player chooses a color and receives the following objects in the corresponding color: a Scoring Marker, a King Token, 4 Workers, 18 Skyscraper Tiles (Bronze, Silver, Gold) plus Starting Property, and 3 Action Cards.

Each player randomly chooses a Character Card. Also, each player receives a Lot Card of the color specified on the Character Card.

You put your Starting Property on the board.

The Future Market is formed of Lot Cards in a face-down draw pile. First four cards are put face-up by the draw pile. They form the Open Market.

Draw three Streets of New York Bonus Cards at random – you won’t be needing the remaining two.

Draw one Bonus Challenge Card at random – you won’t be needing the remaining four.

Place the Legendary Skyscraper Tiles by the board – every player will be able to build one.

New York 1901 - Setup


The youngest player starts. Then players proceed taking turns clockwise.

On your turn, you have two options to choose from:

Acquire Land

Choose one Lot Card from the Open Market and place one Worker on a vacant lot of the corresponding size and color.

You can also place one Skyscraper Tile on land you have previously acquired.

New York 1901 - Characters

Demolish and Rebuild

Demolish a building and build a new more advanced one in its place.

You can use one or more Action Cards during your turn.

After you complete your turn, replenish the Open Market – it needs to have four cards before every turn.

If you have built one of the Legendary Skyscrapers, place your King Token on the tile to show it is yours.

Skyscrapers must be built according to the levels of technology: Bronze → Silver → Gold / Legendary. A gold skyscraper can’t be demolished.

The end of the game is triggered in two cases: the Future Market is drained or a player has only 4 unbuilt skyscrapers left. After this happens, all players except for the one that triggered the end of the game, make their last turns.

When you have only 5 unbuilt skyscrapers left, it is courteous to let others know it.

After the last turn, proceed to the Final Tally.

You score points for having the most influence in streets from the Streets of New York Bonus Cards (five each), accomplishing the Bonus Challenge Card, having unused Action Cards (one each).

New York 1901 - City a Growing

The winner is the player who has the most points.


Streets of New York Bonus Cards

  • Pine & Thames
  • Broadway
  • Wall Street
  • Nassau & Broad
  • Cedar

Action Cards

At the beginning of the game, every player receives each type of Action Cards. You can use an Action Card at your turn to get a bonus action.

New York 1901 - Action cards

Construction Boom

Build a second skyscraper on your turn.

Market Shift

Remove the four Lot Cards in the Open Market with another set of cards from the Future Market.

Land Grab

Acquire another lot of land from the Open Market. It doesn’t allow you to acquire a 3-lot piece of land. To use this card, you need to have at least one available Worker. If the Future Market is empty, you cannot use the Land Grab Card.

Types of skyscrapers

  • Rectangular or square vs not rectangular or square
  • Bronze, Silver, Gold


  • Green
  • Pink
  • Blue
  • Red
  • Yellow

New York 1901 - Legendary Buildings

Bonus Challenge Cards

One Bonus Challenge Card is drawn at random at the beginning of the game. It allows players to score additional points at the Final Tally.

  • Gold Tycoon
  • Master Architect
  • Gold Prestige
  • Bronze Baron
  • Generation King

Download the rules in PDF here.

Similar Games

New York 1901 vs Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride

New York 1901 gets compared to the Days of Wonder classic a lot. In fact, there are reasons for that. New York 1901 is easy to learn, yet it provides quite a lot of depth and strategy. Art and setting are similar in both games, card drawing is similar but the game flow is rather different. There is no currency in New York 1901.

Buy Ticket to Ride on Amazon

New York 1901 vs China


Another game that easily comes to mind speaking of New York 1901 is China. Players use cards to build Houses or Emissaries into regions on the board. To score points, you need to have more buildings in some district than other players.

Buy China on Amazon

New York 1901: Flatiron Expansion

New York 1901- flatiron

This mini-expansion contains one Legendary Skyscraper – the Flatiron Building, one Strong Arm Action Card for each player, and 5 Bonus Challenge Cards (Dynasty, Cluster, Silver Titan, Real Estate Mogul, and Big Developer).

The expansion was available with Spielbox Promo Package.


Q: Is there an errata for New York 1901?

A: No, there isn’t.

Q: Is there an app for playing New York 1901 on iOS or Android?

A: No, so far there is none.

Q: How competitive is the game?

A: It depends on how you’re playing it. If you’re playing with your children at home, you can keep the competitive mode down. If you want the game to feel more cut-throat, you can easily go there. The game provides you with mechanisms to get in other players’ way, like using blocking.

Q: What do tiles with little drawings on them mean?

A: Those are spaces for placing your starting tiles. Character Cards have icons on them that match the drawings.

Q: Are characters in the game real historical people behind skyscraper construction?

A: No, they aren’t. Their names were just made up. There are plenty of authentical historical elements in the game, though: skyscraper tiles, street names.


Watch a video by Watch It Played on YouTube to learn how to play.

Or browse among other videos available for teaching and explaining the game online.


New York 1901 is a rather simple game for the whole family. It doesn’t take long to learn the rules, yet the game provides almost endless replayability and involves quite deep strategic thinking.

The engaging theme of New York 1901 will take you to the Big Apple at the beginning of the 20th century. The spirit of excitement, enterprise is wonderfully present in the game and constructing lofty skyscrapers will make you feel like an adventurous architect.

New York 1901 - Board game

You can buy New York 1901 on Amazon.

One thought on “New York 1901 review

  1. Great review. What’s not to love?. One of my favorite games to play with new people, or just to relax with my wife.

    Feel free to check out our review of it over at Tabletop Together:

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