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Sam Healey
United States
Homestead
Florida
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Tony & Tino is a strictly two-player game designed by Bruno Cathala, published by Euro Games in 2002, and can be purchased for around $10-$13.

This is a game in which the two players take on the roles of twin brothers vying for control of the “family business” in a Chicago neighborhood. Their Godfather puts them to the test to determine who shall gain control. Both brothers are given equal crews of men and equal connections in the neighborhood. The one who does the best job at racketeering in the local neighborhood will be given control of the family’s affairs.

The game consists of a roughly 10"x8" board, 84 playing tiles, and 2 decks of 13 cards each. The components are very durable and well-made.

After the board is randomly set-up following guidelines in the rulebook (using 24 circular number tiles, and 12 circular color tiles), each player shuffles his deck of 13 cards, and draws the top three for a starting hand. A player’s turn consists of completing three phases: 1) Play or Discard a Card, 2) Place a Crew Tile, and 3) Rackets. First, you have the choice of either playing one of the three cards in your hand and exacting the changes it makes to the game, or discarding one of the three cards in your hand without exacting any changes. In either case, you replenish the card with another from your draw pile. Second, you place one of your crew members on an intersection on the board to represent control of that intersection. You must place your crew member on an intersection that has a lowest number tile on it, unless you were able to play a “Preferential Treatment” card, which lowers the number of any intersection by one for one turn. Third, if any streets have been completely racketeered, crew member totals are compared, and the player whose crew total is higher wins the racket tile for that street (or streets, if the last tile played happens to finish two streets simultaneously). Play continues in this fashion until all streets have been completely racketeered, and then the two players compare their respective racketeering tile totals. The player with the highest dollar amount wins the game.

While not an incredibly strategic game with its random set-up, and card-driven luck system, it does have a decent level of strategy in it. Since one must either play or discard a card from their hand every turn, it forces you to pick and choose very carefully which cards you hold on to, and which ones you let go for one reason or another. On the other hand, because it incorporates cards that change the playing area significantly (like “Russian Roulette”) one cannot rely completely on strategy to win a game. For the price that one pays for the game and its minimal playing time, it makes a very satisfying lunchtime game or filler game…balancing strategy and luck rather well. As another has mentioned on BGG, it makes a good travel game, because of its small size. The color scheme used (lavenders and purples) should’ve been more contrasting in my opinion, but that is a minor rub and nothing more.

Overall, my rating of Tony & Tino is a solid 6.5/10. It won't be played very often, but only because there are better two-player games that I enjoy more. Tony & Tino is a good game in its own right, and for the low price, worthy of purchasing.

Until next time...Sam.
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Matthew Wills
Australia
Panania
NSW
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Good review. Mirrors my thoughts well.
 
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