Manhatten is for 2-4 players and takes about 45 minutes to play. I have only played it with four players and suspect that this is the best number for the game.
The board shows six 3x3 grids, each representing a city. Each player has 24 buildings of assorted heights (1, 2, 3 and 4). The design of the buildings means that they can be stacked, one on top of the other. There is also a deck of cards, each of which highlights one of the 9 squares on a typical grid. At any one time a player holds four of these cards.
On your turn you play one of your cards and then place a building on to the corresponding grid position in a city of your choice. There is a placement restriction which says that, though you may cap existing buildings, you may not do so unless, after the placement, the combined building has at least as many storeys in your colour as in that of the previous owner. The owner of a building is the player whose colour is that of the current top piece.
At the end of rounds 6, 12, 18 and 24 the game is scored. The owner of the tallest building on the board scores 3 points (no points for a tie). In each city the player with the most buildings scores 2 points. (again, no points for a tie) Each player scores 1 point for each building owned.
So, as with Auf Heller und Pfennig, you have a basically abstract game of placement, but with a strong and appropriate theme. It is interesting, it has lots of player inter-action and is visually attractive. Recommended.
[Ken: I've heard rumors that this will be the Spiel de Jahre for 1994.]
[Ken: The rumors were true.]
The Game Cabinet - email@example.com - Ken Tidwell