There are no text reviews on this site for this game! So strange. Behold: there shall be one.
There are two things you should know about Shafausa from the off:
1. This game got printed poorly, so everything is too dark.
If I had paid $60 for this when it came out, I'd have been very mad. I didn't, I paid about $15 on Amazon, which is about par for this game nowadays, it seems. The art is actually pretty good; it just all ended up too dark. There is only one component that this really had a big impact on (the mines), but if you refuse to squint at a mine to try to tell what color it is the first time or two you play, then (a) don't by this, and (b) you're a baby.
2. This game is pure economics.
If you don't like building a system so that you can make more money so that you can buy more stuff to make even more money, then this game isn't for you.
But it is really fun! For many of us, there is immense satisfaction in building our little economy and filling up these little towns in our own little regions of Switzerland. No one else can mess you up! Your fate is in your own hands.
There is no down time in this game, because stuff occurs simultaneously, and it is very fast paced. The box says something ridiculous like 2 hours or half an hour per person, but with the family version, this is far from true. Probably 45-60 minutes for the family version. Geek version just depends on who you are playing with, but still, not a long game. There is a variant you can play that you build everything from scratch, and that would take longer (I haven't done it).
The cardboard components were not the easiest to punch out cleanly, but the wood components and the box insert were very nice. There is clearly a lot of effort put into this game, and corner were not cut: there is even a poster-size map of the faux-Switzerland world, included for no reason other than to add to the mythos.
I don't have much more to say, because the gameplay is simple, unobjectionable economics. And it's fun!
It's My T.A.R.D.I.S.
Galifreyan is hard to read
Well I have to agree with the comment about being printed dark, However I have a special: the Print was knocked off so it is punched badly, yep I cant see half of the buildings numbers because they are cut off.