Santa Monica

  • Build the best beach
  • Card drafting and card placement game
  • Attract tourists or please the locals
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 40 mins

#SantaMonica is one of those rare games that can satisfy both the experienced gamer and the newcomer at the same time 🙂


The art style is fantastic, and uses a muted colour palette to convey a welcome nostalgia. The little meeple with cameras around their neck and sunglasses on their heads are a great way to amplify the beach holiday theme too.


The custom illustrations on the cards result in you having to choose between the function of the card or the art that would just look really cool on your boardwalk 🙈.

The gameplay is simple, but often agonizing as all you’re doing is picking a single card to add to your expanding beachfront.

Do you go for the card with bonus point objectives that aren’t yet available on the face up cards, or do you pick the card that adds more beach goers to your boardwalk but which could end up costing you victory points if you don’t get to move them to where they need to be before game end (when 14 cards are placed), or do you go for the card where the ice cream truck is parked and get some extra money to use the bonus actions?


There are so many ways to score victory points in this game, but you probably need to focus a bit otherwise you’ll end up spreading yourself too thin and won’t score anything. (not unique to this game, I know 😛

@sedai_ made a good point when he recently wrote about Santa Monica – this is one game where an expansion would be an instant buy. As great as the game is on its own (and there’s plenty replayability here) there’s room for a creative expansion to make those waves a little more troublesome 🙂


Really looking forward to playing this one with 4 players.

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