Reviews written by san il defanso
Just about the only multi-player conflict game that I keep coming back to. Players are encouraged to fight often, and defense is drastically under-emphasized. This is in the game's favor, allowing for something that pushes forward relentlessly and powers through with almost no mess. Definitely one of the great conflict games.
The best auction game I've yet played, and one that has only gotten better after over a decade of steady play. The once-around auction is simple but compelling, forcing the players to interact in organic ways. The different scoring methods pull at each other perfectly, creating a game that keeps everything in tension without breaking a sweat. Definitely top-tier German game design.
Easily one of the most important designs of the last twenty years or so, Puerto Rico is a master class in heavy Euro design. Nothing is out of place and every element feels deeply considered as part of a whole. The cyclical nature of the game play is really fascinating, particularly when everyone is at roughly the same skill level. Unfortunately skill disparities hurt the experience mightily, and the colonial theme has only become a worse look over the years. A shot of light randomness would make the game a little less stuffy.
For me stops just short of top-tier SDJ winners, but still great nonetheless. Intuitive and pleasant, the most interesting thing about Carcassonne is its tension between competition and cooperation. You need the other players to help you finish features, but only one person gets the points. (Unless not...) Definitely needs a couple of expansions to reach its fullest potential.
For the first time, designer Jim Felli returns to the well with Duhr. The results will feel a little familiar to fans, but it's still a great game of skullduggery and deception.