Terrific cooperative game with some very innovative mechanics. It felt very original in the field of cooperative games many of which feel very "same-y." Very tense game with tons of meaningful decisions. Plus, you know, Pirates!
I like the dice as the third "player" in a two player game to add to the tough decisions and unpredictability. Genius. (It worked so well that they've picked it up to create a two-player alternative for Francis Drake.)
This is now my favorite two-player game.
I appreciate the decisions of what to pick up and where to play it, and when to take the chieftains off of your map so that they can score. This is a thinking game all the way through.
Easy to teach rules. Depth of gameplay. Innovative movement mechanic that increases need to strategize and increases game tension. The right kind and right amount of interaction. Beautifully produced. Fun!
I could easily see playing this as much as Castles of Burgundy. (high praise, indeed!)
I like that Merchant allows a player to formulate and actually carry out a plan, but it does it at the price of a long playing time and tons of chits. I loved the way it felt while playing -100% engaging (What will I do next? What will my best route be? How can I get the resources/upgrades/fame/income that I need???)
On the other hand, I would need plano boxes or the set up and break down time alone would deter me from ever playing! (It would be the best game just sitting on the shelf, but still.) 8-24-3013
*update 10-7-13 bought two weekly pill organizers for the 14 races, a plano box for everything else, and took the plunge!
For a game that looks as childlike and simple as it does, this game keeps you thinking furiously all the way to the end! There is no "down time" as a player is always thinking of what to do next, which I like a lot.
I like that MushMush! gives a lot of the feel of RoboRally without the interminable stopping to see who has the highest number on a card and therefore gets to go first. This is streamlined fun, Fun, FUN!
Note: I have never played the original Snow Tails.
I was demoing children's games for my local (now defunct) game store, and this was hands down the most popular. The children would play a game, then immediately get in line and wait for another turn. They loved placing the tiles, and they watched like hawks for the roads to close, even if it was to help their opponents place their meeples.
The thing is, it wasn't boring for the adults, either. Gsmes that can bridge that gap are rare.
A charming little game to pull out when there are kids over.
This would be a perfect ten if they would revise the encounter book to make sense. No more being in a desert and having an "ocean" encounter! Also, they desperately need to fix such problems as: - players should NOT be able to spend three hours in jail in one game. - players should be more able to get rid of curses - there should be a GRAND END ENCOUNTER to wrap up the "story" instead of an abrupt, random "oh, I've got points, the end, I win." This is too abrupt and jarring and is just a let down in such a thematic game.
Agents of Smersh puts this game to shame, and yet...I love Tales of the Arabian Nights. I hope they make it right someday.
Very Zen and restful game with numerous decisions that matter.
I played this for the first time after a three hour beast of a game and felt refreshed enough afterwards to immediately tackle Kemet. The heavy gamers and new gamers in our group all like this very much. Plus, it is easy to explain to non-gamers.
This does not feel like a "filler" even though the play time is short.
I now believe that Antoine Bauza is a genius. I wanted him to sign my copy at GenCon in the worst way, but my schedule and his never matched.
This is a great worker placement with a unique worker movement mechanic. It is a lot of fun. It looks intimidating though, and I have trouble getting people to play, even when I know they love games that are even harder than this!