After two months from getting Venedig in trade, today was finally the day for first play.
I've opened it before and was quite impressed with how good looking the pieces are and lively colors of the board sure make you wanna play it asap. On first glance only the cards look a bit small and they really are maybe a bit too small and soft. But I'm not here to judge that.
I've read the rules before, but had to take a long while to get through again and explain them to other three. But then we began.
First few moves were a bit unsure, noone was yet sure when you get half of the points, and when some extra for the houses and some extra for empty/ocuppied spaces around the building you've built and then you sometimes get some extra gold and sometimes you don't and ... it's a bit insane. Maybe it would've worked if everyone read the rules and help me count, but they haven't and it was quite a struggle. And in my humble opinion there's too much of this special situations, it seems every building has too much "special" effect in it, so it seems a bit overloaded instead of a bit more fun.
There were a few times when someone other than the first builder built a structure, but you anyway get some points, so it isn't such a tragic situation as it could (or maybe should) be. We've also forgotten to count a few things in a few moves and didn't "repair" it. There was no thrill, no excitement, no doubting what the next turn will bring, everyone was just bored.
In less than 10 minutes everybody was falling asleep and we decided to end the game and never open it again. It's not as thrilling as it should or as someone would think it would be. It's just a neverending race for points which you get too easily and though it should be quite a lot interaction with other players (since you can build structures together), there's really not much and draining the swamp is not as interesting as it could be. Yeah, you have to make free space for your buildings, but others also drain swamps and there was even enough room for our first bridge although none of others players (who haven't read the rules) noticed those special places where you can build a bridge.
It's not as exciting as it should be, actually I even have the guts to say it was really boring. Even to me, who was full of anticipation and who really wished it would work so we could take it to the seaside tomorrow. But we're not, we're rather taking Keltis. And that's kinda sad.
I really think we'll never play it again and I think I'll put it up for trade. Maybe someone will like it. Maybe I would give it another try if we would have a 2-player game, but if a game isn't good with four players, then it will hardly be any better with just two. At least this kind of game.
I will give it a 4/10. Because it's nicely made and because it had the potential somewhere along the line, someone just tried too hard and ruined it. I think it would be much better with a few adjustments, but this way it just sucks.