I've now played Seasons four times. I'd read several fairly negative reviews. Let me tell you the reasons I thought this game might not fit and the reasons I ultimately bought it:
Would not fit:
1) Convoluted Scoring: The scoring was said to be difficult to understand and too difficult to keep the game as "fun"
2) Lots going on: The game has so much going on that it's difficult to keep track of, thereby making it less fun than other games with less to keep track of.
Why I bought it:
Easy. Tanga. The game was a steal. Knowing that I was pre-disposed to Rummy based games (I love the Mystery Rummy series), I decided that for the Tanga price I could easily justify picking up the game (if I played it four times I'd have a nice price per play ratio....).
So... the game came via Fed Ex. Here's the scoop:
This game is well put together. The cards are individually wrapped in their own decks, separated in a plastic tray so that even after they're opened, they're easily separated. The score sheet lays on top with the rules. All of the cardboard is sturdy and the cards are easily shuffled and seem to be durable.
The rules are well laid out. I bought this game at the same time I got Age of Empires. Although AoE seems easily understood, the Seasons rules stayed in my hand once they got there because I'd played rummy before and the layout made the game seem simple.
--There were a couple of ommissions in the rules (or areas that weren't specifically discussed). I did find this problematic. For the first two games we made house rules on the fly. This was easy because I'd played rummy previously. Would it have been if I'd not played rummy before? Probably not....
The rules that didn't make sense? The concept of a full year "in your scoring area". Did this mean that layoffs didn't count? Seasons "in your scoring area." Once again....do layoffs count? It seems that layoffs aren't fully disclosed in the rules.
If you've played rummy, this game is butter. If you've only played Mystery Rummy, you're in for a treat....this game emphasizes RUNS! ((Something not used in Mystery Rummy)). I found myself looking for runs so I could get my holiday bonus scores and avoiding obvious sets (to my detriment). Runs created some great problems....do I go for the obvious set or hold out a couple of cards?
Also, the game has another cool mechanic...stealing cards from your opponents. You are allowed to draw from your deck OR your discard, or one of the other players' discard piles (therefore, the more players, the more options you have). This added much variety to the game, but also added a little analysis paralysis to the game, because there was so much to consider before taking your turn (even if you were paying attention during the entire game).
This game rewards players who pay attention and has lots of variables. However, if you've played rummy, it's easy to play. If you've only played Mystery Rummy, learning sets is fairly straightforward.
The game is picked up in 15 minutes max.
So...is the scoring difficult? Yes. However, after one round, if you don't understand the focus of the scoring...well...to put it gently, I shouldn't be playing games with you. The scoring clearly emphasizes certain areas (runs!) by giving big scores to holidays, seasons, and complete years. It doesn't emphasize sets except for a weak 2 point bonus for "birthday" scores. The scoring has lots of math, but isn't hard. It seemed like I was scoring Yahtzee after each round. Have you done that before? If so, this is cake. If not, try Yahtzee. If you don't mind the scoring and like rummy....this will be easy. If not....I'm not sure.
Grade? 4 of 5 stars. (reason it isn't a 5? Some AP...rules not clear on lay offs) (reason it's 4 stars? Fun rummy game. Great theme well integrated.)