English language edition of Auf der Reeperbahn nachts um halb Zwei
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Without Champagne Charlie and Saucy Sue nothing happens in Times Square. Others flock to places that attract celebrities and other people important people. In other words, they go where the party is. Thus, folks go where Dancing Deb and Handsome Hal frequent. Players use cards to influence the movement of these people -- toward their nightclubs. The winner will be the player who is best at attracting the famous!
I've read some complaints about this game being broken, but I don't agree. I find that there are a lot of tactical decisions to be made. I don't find Handsome Hal to be too "powerful." Both players have equal use of him. You have to often change tactics based on what your opponent does and what cards you draw. That's the essence of this game--tactics. Long term strategy certainly doesn't hold up. It reminds me somewhat of the complaints made against Leo Colovini's Avalon -- another great game. Back and forth, back and forth. The beauty of Avalon and Times Square is the finesse you need to pull a little ahead then you make a headlong rush to score.
Components are great. Gameplay intense. Length just right. And reasonably priced. Knizia does it again.
I have to wonder if the reviewer whom thinks the game is broken (saying its result is determined by the end of the second turn) is playing the game correctly. We play this game at work (over lunch) at least twice a week and have nothing but fun with it. It's not a game you can go into with a plan... this game is tactics and the ability to adapt to the ever changing resources in your hand. It's also abstract underneath the overlaid theme... you need to be able to visualize the use of your cards in combinations over several turns. We’ve had games go quickly and games go the full two times through the deck. The powers of each character are well balanced as a set. We have not noticed any one character that out-muscles any other (i.e. they seem to compliment each other nicely). Bottom line… it’s a good game and great change of pace from the norm.
Don't let the Knizia label fool you. This is a completely mindless game that is entirely determined in the first (or rarely the second) turn. Even the thinnest advantage in the first two turns is impossible to overcome. Usually the advantage goes to the first player, but rarely the second player gets a chance if the first player's initial hand is poor and the second player's is strong. In either case, the game's outcome is almost always clear by turn 3. While that can make for an amusing pastime at about the level of a game of War or Tic-Tack-Toe, it's hardly what we've come to expect from Knizia.