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Average Rating: 4 in 5 reviews
From trolley cars in New Orleans to Moroccan marketplaces, Stefan Dora has won a place with my favorite games. Buyer Beware if you think this game is going to be similar to Streetcar. It's very different, but equally entertaining. The thing that's great about authors like Stefan Dora (and Klaus Teuber) is that they don't have as many games out as say... Reiner Knizia, but many of their games are very uniquely different in mechanics, concept etc. Knizia has alot of games, but they all seem to have the same or similar 'flavor'. In my opinion, I can own 3 great games by Knizia and I 'own' 30 games he's created. Not to say he's not talented, but he seems to lack the variety of talent that Dora and Teuber possess. The combination of the auction phase and/or the tactical movement of multi-colored shoppers into like colored shops that you or your opponents own makes this an abstract thinking game. I love the option of either bringing 2, 3 or 4 new shoppers into the market when the entrance fountains have been opened up. This can really cause strategic problems for another player who is trying to bring new shoppers past their shops for money. But sometimes it is nice to send your opponents shoppers into their shops. You can really get a decent cut of their profits. Better hurry though. When the last shoppers enter the market the last round starts and then the shop owner with the most money wins!!!
In Stefan Dorra's impecably designed Marra Cash, players bid for position. Game mechanics subtly but decisively connect theme to play. Like Traders of Genoa, this game is a study in groupthink. While not as free form, 'MC' centers on a market based on the perception of the players and the placement of classically designed color coated tourist counters. While the soveneirs are considered as optional, I see them essential to playing up the importance of the color theme of the game. That said the rule about lining the tourist around the board seems arbitrary. After our intial game, we simply placed them in a cloth bag. However you wish to play this game, I am certain that it will leave you anxious for more. As avenues of sale and the number of customers dwindle, you can not help but get desperate.
The learning curve on this game is mercifully brief but it doesn't diminish the strategic possibilties.
Easy to learn, intertactive, and open to numerous strategic angles based on variables. What else could you want? The graphics while not stunning are striking. The color scheme problem inherent to most games is next to abscent! I recommend this game to all those looking for a concise but intriguing trade game.
It's early in the morning, the bazaar hasn't opened for business, but enthusiastic shoppers are queueing up outside the perimeter of the market with money to spend.
MarraCash is a very clever, playable game by Stefan Dorra. The objective is to earn the most profit from any or all of the shops you open in the bazaar as well as any 'finder's fees' you collect by bringing customers to opponents' shops.
In each turn, players can auction a shop or bring in (or move those who are already in the bazaar) groups of shoppers (the order is specific-if you are going to auction shops you must do that first).
Highest bidder buys the shop, places a sign in it and opens the door for business (the auctioneer can be entitled to a bonus for the sale). Outside the bazaar is the line of shoppers in 5 colors, randomly placed by everyone as part of the game setup. Players can bring in 3-5 shoppers to a specially marked floor tile (fountain) or move a group from inside the bazaar to another fountain tile (and could pick up more shopppers along the way and create a larger customer group).
As the customers pass a shop, if they are the same color as an owned shop, they must enter and make a purchase. The shop owner must pay a fee (bakshish?) if an opponent brings in customers (sometimes surprisingly, this is a sound strategy to bring customers to a competitor), or collects all of the money if the shop owner lets them in. The amount the customers spend is based on the number that enter plus others who subsequently come in to buy. Like a roach motel, shoppers come in, but they don't walk out!! Example: If 2 red customers enter a red shop, on a subsequent turn if 2 more red shoppers enter this same shop, there are now 4 customers there and the amount spent will be based on the total customers present up to a maximum of 5 (after 5, all monies spent is based on 5 customers). The game ends when the last shopper enters the bazaar and everyone has had an equal number of turns.
This game is a combination of bidding strategy, movement strategy and what I would call 'reactive' strategy - that is, some of the time you make decisions about what group of customers to move based on the board's composition when it is your turn (and this can change quickly).
MarraCash is a very entertaining game, plays fairly quickly with 3 or 4 (about 45 min to 1 hr consistently) with a strong replay value.
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