Medici vs Strozzi
List Price: $24.95
Your Price: $19.99
(Worth 1,999 Funagain Points!)
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This game re-lives the fierce competition between the two great Florentine families: Medici and Strozzi. The players compete to buy the best goods, load them on their ships, and sail away to sell them for great profits. The mechanism is similar to Medici, but for two players.
Some reviewers will certainly call this a brain buster, others an intense meaty 2-player game, while others will call it a puzzle for two -- and all of them will be right, as far as they go. But one simple fact will overshadow all of these characterizations: this as a boring game. While the last few moves provide some degree of suspense (provided players don't already have such widely diverging scores by then that the outcome isn't already determined), most of the game between well-matched thoughtful players consists a combination of analysis paralysis and forced moves.
This game joins Knizia's other recent failed small games, Great Wall and Times Square, to form a disappointing trilogy. All of these game suffer from the problem that smart players, who grasp the math, will play to a slow motion standstill.