For those gamers who seek fun and exciting themes, you might glance at the box and simply dismiss this game as yet another boring euro. That would be a mistake. This game’s theme is trading, and it quite possibly might be the best expression of that theme I have seen in a game.
How the game works:
Players take turns controlling the “tower.” The tower is a stack of wooden chips that are used to mark positions and track where the actions for the turn take place. The game board is comprised of many buildings and locations that provide some benefit to the person who is able to “use the action” there. The player who controls the tower sells the rights to use the action of each location. The sale price doesn’t work as an auction as you might think, rather it is an open negotiation that allows the selling player to make just about any deal that they can work out. A skillful player can assess what locations will yield the best offers from other players. As with many euros, there are a variety of ways to make money. The winner of the game is the player who has the most money, which seems appropriate for a game based on trading.
I love the interaction and intense negotiation as players jockey to create the best deals to achieve their particular objectives.
This is a very tactical game. High-level strategic plans such as trying to accumulate many privilege cards or placing lots of control markers can be effective, but making the right tactical decisions each turn is likely the key to victory.
In most cases, I’d say the theme of trading is dry and pasted on, but the theme works well with the mechanics in this game.
Basic components, no obvious flaws, design is easy to understand.
All of the mechanics blend together perfectly in this game to make this the king of negotiation games.
Overall Rating: 94/100
I suspect that there are some gaming groups out there that simply might not enjoy games that require the heavy amount of negotiation and interaction that this game requires. Furthermore, the game could run a little longer than some may like due to the time required to discuss and make deals.
Overall, this is one of my favorites, and I will not let so much time pass before I revisit this great game again.