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Take the feel of Settlers of Catan and combine it with any trick taking card game, and you have Res Publica. One of those "you must have such-and-such before you can build such-and-such" games. However, this being strictly a card game, with a very unique player interaction/bidding-type system, is what makes this game worth playing. To obtain the sets of tribe or civilization cards you need to garner points, each player in turn has two options in the way to request a trade of cards. You may request one or two types of cards, as in, "I'm looking for . . .". Or, you may offer one or two types of cards from your hand, as in, "I have . . .". But, you cannot do both in the same turn! This process goes around the table with the other players presenting their offers, and you choose which one, if any, you wish to accept. This verbal interplay is the major strategic element of the game, with the rest of the game mainly being a lay-your-groups-and-draw-more-cards routine.

The high quality cards and graphics accent the theme of growing civilizations very nicely, also giving a microcosm semblance of playing the Civilization board game. For a unique and fun 45 minute card game with a sound theme and excellent interplay, Res Publica fits the bill nicely.
 
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