Playing simultaneous solitaire with other people and then checking to see who played best when it's over is not my idea of great gameplay. I'm afraid that both times I played this I had a "This is torture, can someone please just make it end NOW" experience. Others love it, and more power to them.
There are too few decisions (1. Which card do I try to defeat? 2. Do I heal? or 3. Do I buy?). After that it's just dice. Normally I don't mind dice, but there has to me MORE to a game than that.
A friend compared the phone app to a slot machine. He meant it as a compliment, but I think it's a huge detraction - just luck of a dice roll and little more to the game. The "slot machine" comparison is just as apt in the board game itself as it is for the app.
There is far too little interaction or collaboration for a "cooperative" game.
Finally, it felt dry as the Atacama desert. Which is the driest desert on Earth.
I gave my copy away to someone who I sincerely hope will like it more than I did.
Must master...must play again...Mark, you've created an Endeavor junkie!
*traded to Frediccini for Richard Garfield's Filthy Rich. I never could get past the slavery mechanic to where I would suggest bringing it out, even though the game itself is great and I enjoy playing it.
One of my favorite gaming moments was getting everything necessary to make slavery illegal and stop the evil slave holder (Darryl) from winning! Haha! Take that, you villain!
First purchase at GenCon 2013 The UPS store at GenCon used NO packing materials and the game arrived busted up. When I wrote and filed a claim, UPS came and took the box and the busted games that I can't replace because they aren't out yet...and haven't contacted me about refunding my money, either.
Four weeks later, still a dead loss. Note added: four months later and still a dead loss. I recommend avoiding the UPS booth at GenCon. It is privately owned and they have never returned even one of my several calls about the insurance claim.
GaleForce 9 games were a bit odd when I wrote to explain the situation and ask if they would allow me to BUY a replacement copy given the circumstances. They seemed to think I was running some kind of con on them (even though I gave them a link to the UPS claim). I wanted to buy a replacement for the Post GenCon Meetup game day, since several people had asked about playing it. GaleForce 9's response was a bit insulting. They accused me of trying to get free games out of them after I asked if I could buy another pre-release copy. They rather ranted about it. I thought it couldn't hurt to ask, but am feeling a bit rebuffed. Now I'm trying to decide whether I want to give them my money again for a second copy.
My game group felt that this game was so brutal that it felt like being punished. That's the first time I've heard them refuse to play a game because the theme came across TaoO WELL. I thought the game was good, but sold it since it wasn't going to get played again.
This is the game that convinced me that a huge economic machine building game should never come down to sheer luck. The card draws in this game will make or break everything else you do, and some cards are vastly overpowered compared to others. Most importantly, the card draws aren't always the type you can plan around, which means the game comes down to luck. If you get the grapes that match your sales cards you are going to do well. If you can't get matching grapes and sales cards, all of your building will come to naught, and there is nothing you can do. (And a game spent madly trying to draw cards to get what you need to no avail is not much fun.)
I love the building up of the vineyard. I love growing and harvesting the grapes. But I really wish they had created a permanent sales board with all the types of wine you could sell to the side. Then you could plan for your sales, and it really would be an excellent strategy game.