Power Grid is the updated release of the Friedemann Friese crayon game Funkenschlag. The latest cooperative publishing effort from Friedemann Friese and Rio Grande Games, replaces the crayon aspect from network building in the original edition with a simplified network of preconstructed connections, but it retains both the fluctuating commodities market and an intense auction round.
The object of Power Grid is to supply the most cities with power when someone’s network grows to a predetermined size. In this new edition, players mark pre-existing routes between cities for connection, and then vie against other players to purchase the power plants that are used to supply the power. However, as plants are purchased, newer and more efficient plants become available so you’re potentially allowing others to access to superior equipment merely by purchasing at all. Additionally, players must acquire the raw materials, like coal, oil, garbage, or uranium, to power said plants (except for the highly valuable ’renewable energy’ wind/solar plants), making it a constant struggle to upgrade your plants for maximum efficiency while still retaining enough wealth to quickly expand your network to get the cheapest routes.
Power Grid has proven so popular since it was first released in 2004, that players clamored for new ways to play. The original game had 2 maps (the US and Germany) and there are now two other map sets available (Benelux/Central Europe and Italy/France) and an alternate Power Plant Deck.