With a bit of a lull in tv-land, we decided to spend some time playing games. Foolishly, Marisue left the choice of game up to me, and I immediately exclaimed "Cafe International"!. Perhaps a bit too loudly given the circumstances.
I must say that this game seems to get better every time we play it. A good hearty shuffle of both the tables and the people cards is definitly mandatory to get the most out of this game without having to discard half the deck as penalties.
Unlike our first game, there were not many points at which we were forced to discard a card. More often than not one of us would get up precariously close to the hand limit, and then be able to play a card that would toss out a table, and then play two more cards thanks to the new table card that popped up. The bonus points scored for filling up tables with only matching nationalities was mind boggling.
We have taken up our own house rule that as tables are filled up and removed they are set aside as a reminder of what tables have been seen. Cards discarded from hand and removed from full tables are still kept hidden. Because of this I can be amazed for the second time in a row that the tables that came out were pretty evenly distributed, with only a couple of identical tables being in play at any one time.
As in all of the games played, this one ended when the last card was drawn from the people pile. However, a couple of turns before game end the last table card came out. At that point I had only two cards in hand, but one was of a nationality that could no longer be played and the other was a male card that was unplayable at the only spot playable.
In the end, I had only 7 penalty cards while Marisue has 12. Three cards less and I would have lost the game. Close one!