I never like to play the last two or three round because of how they drag, but until then it's a full-day's worth of fun. Edit: Not really my sort of game anymore, but fond memories keep it high in the rankings.
My memories of this one were larger than my current tastes. Fun to push the counters around for a while, but then deadlock sets in and you pray for the amoebas to wipe clean humanity from the universe. Great retro-scifi theme though.
Good game, but makes me impatient: oooh, can't wait for my turn . . . guess what I'm gonna do on my turn . . . oh, if it were only my turn I'd really do something, oh yeah. This is my problem; not really a downtime problem.
Swans? Don't really care about them, and normally I like set collecting. Moats? I mostly play the game 2-players with a 3-player setup, and moats don't work with that. Also, I prefer seeing how castles sprawl. I have Factory Fun for confined puzzle fun when I want it. Secret Door? Haven't used them yet. So what do I like? The extra rooms. I shuffle them in and disregard the swans, for variety. And variety is good.
I love the idea of secret conferences, but hate that your odds of winning/losing are overwhelmingly increased if the other players favor/don't-favor you personally. There should be much more "game" reason for winning or losing, especially in a game this long.
Also: the fun of stalemates, joint-victories, non-binding negotations, arbitrary ally selection, player elimination, and 1 or 2 players almost always get beat down early and have a long boring game ahead of themselves.
Wow--a worker placement that I fully enjoy! But since the placement is modified by a pre-programming phase, it's more of a worker ambush game, which neatly avoids the tedious, repeatitive single placement of workers.
Oh dear, I won't rate this since I haven't played, but after reading the rules I doubt I ever will play. It seems to be of a style of educational game that was in vogue in the 70's: middling components, lots of "relevant" chrome, a spot of math for credibility, but everything bows to the whims of unmodified die rolls and wildly swinging event cards. I may be wrong, but I can't see anyone willingly playing this more than twice, if that many times.
Very 'wow!' on it for a long while, but now I'm discouraged at how Dracula can spend seemingly endless stretches in hiding. A game that looks like its over in 1 1/2 can easily double that time if Dracula slips away. Pity, cause everything else about the game is nifty-keen cool.
Edit: Played again. Starts out fun, but then it again went way too long, became too slow moving, and suffered from annoying card play and die rolls. A frustrating experience.
The game that wouldn't leave! Fine for fifteen minutes, but the game has the ability to possess people and make them play hand after hand after hand . . . Had my fill and then some the first time I played it. Much rather play Frank's Zoo.
The scale is smaller than the others in the series, so that the map fits on a 4-panel board instead of the usual 6-panel. This makes things seem unnecessarily cramped, and distances are not as intuitively judged for those of us used to the other boards. The game itself seems fine (I give the others in the series a 10), but the board spoils it for me somewhat. Edit: now that I'm used to the board, I raised rating.
Samarkand is great either way, but I give the nod to this very minor expansion, mainly because it adds a bit of variation from turn to turn, and it lets you avoid the issue of what happens when you want to sell only two units of a depressed commodity.
Looks nifty, but it's a #@&?! pain to slide the &*#@#! letters together, and then to take them apart again at the end. Seemed like more of a challenge to deal with the components than to actually play the game.
The Uwe game for people who aren't crazy about Uwe games? Works very well 2-player. Waiting to play with more. Prefer to play without the 'loss of goods' variant. Edit: upped rating a point. Played 13 times over a couple of weeks and still enjoying the game (even though I'm not very good at it).
I'm beyond rationally judging this game. I played it so many times as a kid, when I thought it was great, that I now go numb even thinking about playing again. It spurs very anti-nostalgic feelings in me.
Been a hit with both groups I've played with so far. It's not as analytical as Scotland Yard, but it's more fun. Heaps more fun than Ghost Chase, too. Great idea to have the majority of player move secretly, rather than the usual reverse. It's not a game where you're going to find a lot of hidden strategies with multiple playings, but it doesn't pretend to be. It's simply nuns being naughty, and you have to catch them.
Love the role selecton idea. Not crazy how a move made for one's own purpose can inadvertently cripple someone else -- often the person who's already struggling. Still, it's a well built game and I think I'll keep coming back to it off and on, as long as I don't start to take it too seriously.
Mechanics are interesting and involved, but the game has a very compressed playing arc. Just when you think the game is about to kick things into high gear, it winds down quickly and its over.
Note: this isn't to say it's a short game. I'm saying that on average you'll have about 8-10 turns to get through the beginning, middle, and end, so the up and down feeling of dramatic tension feels rushed. The length and "weight" of the game doesn't come from it's playing arc, but from the analysis needed to play each turn.
Not so good for me, since I like to play with a timer and many of the options just can't be worked with a timer. A few of the boards are fun to use though, so it's not a total waste of an expansion for me.
2-player. Nice "busy-body" game (always something to do). Have a slight concern that the scores in the two games I played were very close and thus the game was decided by a lucky/unlucky last draw. Need to play more to see if this pattern hold up (or if I can find a new strategy). EDIT: upped rating. "Lucky" last draw can be mitagated by careful play. Though interaction is indirect, there's a lot to think about it terms of how many cards to take in order to control the flow of cards (at least in 2-player). A real "you outsmarted me" feeling to this game. Oh yeah, wife likes it a lot too -- another plus!
One play. Rating may rise. Had more fun with it than most action-placement games, but I still got a little antsy by the processional nature of the mechanic. The die rolling and cards added some much needed surprises for this type of game, and there are a few nice decision points where I had to shift into a different strategic mode as the game went on. More plays will show if I feel like I'm only trying to 'do the same sort of thing but just a little bit better' or if I feel like the game is an open and expansive experience.