I received this game as a Christmas gift and it was a great choice! First off, the theme is nice. You are playing as an inventor in the days of Leonardo Da Vinci. You have workshops and various raw materials which you use to construct inventions that are requested by the important people in the city.
Everything contained in the box is really nicely made. The board is bright but clear and everything seems top quality. Each player receives a master (shaped like the scoring people in Princes of Florence) and several apprentices (shaped like people). Everyone also gets at least one laboratory and some money and raw materials to start off with.
The game has 9 rounds and each round is broken up into phases. During the first round players decide if they would like to start work on a new invention. Each invention requires specific raw materials and you need to own these in order to start work on it. If players wish to work on an invention they place the raw materials under their lab.
The second phase consists of placing your master and apprectices in various places around the city or set them to work in your labs. The idea is an area majority one and the person who ranks first will get a free item whereas everyone else will have to pay. Once you have placed some apprentices in an area of the city you cannot put more there later so evaluating your 'bid' is very important. When everyone has finished placing phase three begins.
Now, each area of the city in turn is scored. First, the 'council' is scored where players can earn special bonuses. For each other area the person who ranks first (most apprentices) gets an item for free and then the players in turn are allowed to buy the item for an increasing price.
In the fourth phase the players declare if they have completed any inventions and earn money if they have. New inventions are revealed to fill the spaces left by completed ones and the next round begins.
The last 2 rounds of the game are 'research' rounds where players can only set people to work in their labs. Having enough raw materials for the last inventions is essential. At the end of the game, a bonus is awarded for having completed inventions of different types and the player with the most money is the winner
Leonardo Da Vinci is a great example of a good strategy game. There's lots to think about and do meaning it rewards repeated play. Above all though it's fun to play! Thoroughly recommended!!