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Subject: Still enjoying that new-restaurant-smell rss

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Jeremy Martin
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So yeah, I posted a review (my first) for this game some weeks back, describing the game, a bit tongue-in-cheek, as "friendly". My admittedly idiosyncratic definition of that term, was that the game was interesting, enjoyable, and understandable on the first play (though I am forcing a shorter game by pre-picking the $100 Reserve cards).

Having played it a couple of more times, I am only MORE confirmed in my initial impression. I have a special place in my collection for games that are fun on the first playthrough, like Ra and El Grande. To be able to add a meaty game like Food Chain Magnate to the list feels great.

It is a shockingly fun 2-player game, but it's absolutely one of my favorite 3-player games. I know it's also great with 4, but I do not prefer to play with new players at that count (I think it's a bit more likely to run way long). But with 2 or 3 I can usually just relax and let things play out, while also giving basic guidelines as things come up. If we stop to get a snack, the board state is easy to grasp again.

In my experience, one of the easiest ways to "poison" a new game is for a player to feel like something unfair happened to them, that they could not have foreseen. Let's call it the "Twilight Struggle" effect, where someone plays a card that directly undoes someone's efforts, which could only be avoided by knowledge of that particular card. I think that some version of this frustration is incredibly common at the heavier side of the BGG lists, but FCM does a pretty good job at avoiding it. Most players, rather than being frustrated, will reach the end of the game, after 2 or even 3 hours, and say something akin to, "Ah, I see that I should have <done a certain thing> when you <did this other thing>". And these are people with varying degrees of boardgame acumen, not just my Serious Gamer friends. Great addition to my collection.
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Jeffrey Speer
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Agree 100%. Maybe that's why I had nightmares about selling pizza the first few nights after playing it.
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Jeremy Martin
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Kaworu17 wrote:
Agree 100%. Maybe that's why I had nightmares about selling pizza the first few nights after playing it.
Manager be on the phone like:

"What do you MEAN none of the pizza cooks came to work today?!"
".........."
"Training? Training?! Did they not hear the radio campaign from the pizza joint across the street?!"
".........."
"Yes I KNOW that we have a monopoly on lemonade, yes I KNOW half of the homes won't eat dinner without lem--"
".........."
"But we're not making money NOW! And they're jacking up the prices, AND there's several new families that just moved in! They're getting the entire market! The bank won't give us a dime after looking at these numbers. We're ruined!"

<wakes up in cold sweat>
 
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