28 – Lisbon’s most famous tramway

Before the new releases Evora and Hercules will appear in the next few weeks, we would like to take a look at another very successful game from our Portuguese partner MEBO Games: 28. The family game 28 was published in German by HeidelBÄR Games last year and is themed around the streetcar line of the same name in Lisbon.

MEBO Games produce games with Portuguese flair and regularly pick up themes and locations from the country. In 28 you drive with your streetcar through Lisbon and try to bring the passengers to the most important historical sights of the city. You have to manage your tickets well and pick up and drop off passengers as effectively as possible.

Game setup

  • Each person chooses a color, gets the corresponding streetcar tableau and puts the streetcar figure on the place Rossio.
  • All passengers go into the bag and one by one 3 random figures are drawn for each stop and placed on the board.
  • Shuffle the ticket cards and distribute 5 cards to each person. The remaining cards form the draw pile.
  • Shuffle the landmark cards and place them in a face-down pile. The top 18 cards are picked off and placed face up on top of the pile.
  • The top four landmark cards are placed face up on the game board. Place a landmark figure on the locations shown.

The gameplay

28 is played clockwise in turn. In each round, you can perform up to two actions. You can also perform an action twice or pass. You can:

Move your tram: To move the streetcar, you must discard exactly one ticket card per movement step. If you want to take more than one step, the cards must be of the same color. You may also use any three cards, such as a specific card.

The streetcar may only move along the marked tracks. Stops with passengers, landmarks and bonus fields are considered stops. Stops without passengers are ignored.

At each location (except Rossio), only one streetcar is allowed at a time. But don’t worry, if a streetcar blocks your way, you can push it out of the way. To do this, ring the bell and signal that you are approaching, and the streetcar will be pushed to the next available location. The first time you push a train, both the person pushing and the person being pushed will receive a ticket.

Pick up passengers: To pick up passengers, you must discard ticket cards corresponding to the waiting passengers. So you always have to pay for the whole group and include everyone, if possible, in your tableau. If you don’t have enough seats – at the beginning there are only two seats for each color, the person will remain at the stop.

You can also push your luck and try to pick up more passengers. To do this, ring the bell before letting the passengers on. The person to your right will then draw a figure from the bag. If you can also discard a ticket for this figure, you may pick it up. If not, your train is forfeited.

Drop passengers on Monuments: 

If your train is at a landmark with a figure, you can remove the passengers indicated on the card from your tableau – they do not go on the board and do not go back into the bag, but to a separate discard pile.

Place the first landmark card next to your tableau. Each additional card you collect during the game, you place unchanged to the far left or far right.

Then the person to your right draws 3 new passengers from the bag and places them at an empty stop with no train. A new landmark card is also revealed.

Get bonus: 

There are four colorful bonus spaces on the board where you can unlock bonuses on your tableau. The bonus always corresponds to the color on the field, and to unlock it you must discard three matching colored ticket cards. Activated bonuses are marked with a bonus marker and are valid for the rest of the game. There are:

  • 1 free movement
  • +2 seats for each color in your tram
  • +1 action
  • Ring the bell for the player on your right to pick 3 passengers from the bag. You choose 1.

Interesting: The bonus fields represent lifts and elevators in Lisbon.

End of the turn

At the end of the turn, you draw four new ticket cards into your hand. There is no limit to the number of cards in your hand.

End of the game and final score

The game ends when the last open landmark card is placed on the board. You then finish the current round and perform all actions as usual.

Finally, you calculate your points. To do this, you add up all the victory points of the landmark cards and add the bonus points for matching color connections of the cards. The player with the most points wins.

28 is from Pedro Santos Silva and for 2-4 players, 8 years and above. The family game includes: 1 rule (in German, English, Spanish and Portuguese), 1 Board game (double face), 4 trams, 4 Player cards, 108 Tickets, 22 Monument cards, 1 First Player card, 4 Cone identifiers of the Monuments to visit, 1 tissue bag, 60 Passengers, 4 Player aids, 16 Bonus markers, 1 bell, 1 green card.