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I always approach daVinci games with trepidation because many of them don’t click with me. However, I had more hope for Figaro because it’s designed by Reiner Knizia, a designer whose games I usually like. I enjoyed Figaro more than I thought I would after reading the rules. It’s very light and a bit chaotic, but there are some nuances to the game that were not immediately apparent. It appears to me that Mr. Knizia took the core mechanism - that of playing cards to piles until they all added up to a certain value and then had to be taken by a player - and then developed several games with it. Too Many Cooks, Poison, and now Figaro joins this group of games. It is a “take that” sort of game as you are playing cards directly on players to try and force them to collect cards when the value of their pile reaches six. In this game, collecting cards is bad. I was a little afraid that there would be too much piling on the leader, but it all seemed to work pretty well. Some of the plays are driven by trying to save one's self from taking cards, rather than hurting a particular player.
The theme is silly and one that has really been forced on, making little sense in how it relates to some of the mechanisms. I’d love to know what Mr. Knizia’s original theme for it was, because surely this can’t be it. I’m not going to bother trying to explain it other than it takes place in the King Me! world; I’ll save that for a review. It does make for some cute, whimsical art, though. I really liked the illustrations. Fortunately, theme does not matter so much to me, especially in a light and quick game such as this one.
I haven’t decided if I like the odd way of scoring, but I will say that it does make the game stand out which perhaps was the intention. Road tiles of random lengths are drawn at the beginning of the game and grouped in sets, one for each round. Losers in each round take the longer segments while the winner takes none. At the end of the game, everyone places their segments together to form a road and the player with the shortest road wins. This seemed rather fiddly, but I guess it works. All-in-all, this is a nice, light filler that I’m looking forward to playing more. It may be a game that I tire of after a half dozen plays or it could be the next filler favorite of my gaming group. We’ll see.
We dismissed the game after the first round (of 3).
The game is a complete waste of time. It is chaotic and more akin to Pig Pile than Too Many Cooks.
The game is aimed at the braindead gamer - which is emphazised by the way in which you are supposed to draw cardboard sticks of different lenghts RANDOMLY from a bag - how in the world can you draw them randomly without shutting your brain off first?
I was the one being nicest about the game when we tried it:
Mik: 4 out of 10
Annemette: 3 out of 10
Dorthe: 2 out of 10
Eivind: 2 out of 10
Agree. This game is ridiculous, and Knizia's worst.
The problem is that it pretends to be a real game until the last round.
Then there's that swapping nonsense and someone is randomly chosen the winner. It's such a random and internally inconsistent rule that it feels almost as if it were added in as a joke.