I agree with your tastes, Mouser. Following the format you used, here is a micro-review of one of my favorites:Alhambra
- Compete to construct the most impressive PalaceKey features:
The concept is easy to grasp
Essentially a 'real estate' game but unlike the typical "Monopoly" style.
Unique in that there are four different currencies that must be used.
Minimal options on a player's turn so no one is bored waiting for the next round.
Enough scoring options so as to minimize failure (and discouragement) due to 'bad luck'.
Multitude of 'expansion' options that can be used as mix-and-match easily (yet this game does not suffer from expansion overkill like Carcassonne
In some respects, you are working on your own. Some might cite 'lack of player interaction'.
We found the 2-player version needed additional modification beyond what the designer providing in order to maintain a better balance.Game Design Interests:
As stated, this game adheres well to the theme. All the parts and pieces are richly designed to evoke the proper mood.
The very interesting aspect of the game is that scoring (which occurs three times in a game) is based solely on your ability to construct MORE of a particular room than your opponents. This permits a variety of play in each game and enables you to explore multiple strategie options.
Rating: 10 out of 10 -- This is on our short list of favorites (among the 60+ games we own). We play it no less than 5 times a week - with 2 players and with 4 players.
The ability to add in expansion options guarantees the game will never become old and uninteresting to play.