I've been playing coup g54 regularly and it's been one of the first few board games I've tried. While I did not enjoy it for the first few plays, with the right group this game works wonders. 20+ games and counting.
Each player will have 2 cards describing their roles. These will describe actions a player can use. They can bluff to use 3/4 other actions depending if they're assigned duplicate cards.
Players try to eliminate all others. There can only be 1 winner.
The game is easy to teach, but is difficult to streak if you're not used to scheming or mind games. Some cards would seem overpowered but all are largely balanced by player interaction (bash the leader mechanics). In addition emergent strategies will surface as players change their style of play or the card pool changes. So players will have to think deeply about play styles and how to counter/bluff. Quite akin to poker.
Recommended play group
Players who are willing to use their brains/intuition. Lazy players will be likely to bog down gameplay. Bring a timer for ap-prone players; you'll definitely need it.
Give this game a solid 8.
Complex strategy but easy to learn.
Many role cards increasing strategy.
Can be a lot of fun scheming and messing around with your friends' minds.
Player ganging - 4v1 games are NOT fun unless the players within the 4 double cross the others. House rule this or make it a common understanding.
Suck ups - players playing to help others win disrupt the enjoyment. Kick these people out. The purpose of playing this game is to win. Going against this to help another player to repeatedly win will ruin the game for others.
AP prone players. In a 5 player game, players eliminated early will have to wait a long time for the next round.
Overplaying. While this game has high replayability, I recommend a 3hr stretch max. You will burn out if you over play this one since players might start getting salty or brain dead.
All in all this game deserves the high rating because its cons are easily resolved and it offers strategic depth and replayability for an easily accessible game. Will still play this game in many years to come.
Interaction leads to Immersion.
Immersion leads to Fun.
3 hours 0_O
3 hours 0_O
My group pretty regularly plays for over 2 hours. Certainly sometimes three.
Though we play with the variant of having to name one of the opponents cards correctly when performing a coup. So that extends the game length a bit.