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art cohen
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I just played this for the first time after buying a copy on Ebay many months ago. Not surprisingly, this Sid Sackson game is a lot of fun with numerous strategic considerations on every move. The rules were a little off-putting at first (as with many great games) but once we were into the swing of things the game moved really fast.

One minor complaint about the 3M edition; I'm colorblind and found it very hard to distinguish between certain of the colors in the Corporation deck. This is the first time I've had this problem with a classic 3M game, although I've experienced it occasionally with more recent games (e.g. German-style games with painted wood figures).

A minor complaint, though, and of course I can always poke through my conglomerates to see exactly which types I'm missing.

As for the game itself... compared to Sackson's two other business-themed games for 3M (Acquire and Executive Decision), this one seems to be the most purely abstract. Acquire itself is a pretty abstract game overall (i.e., placing adjacent tiles on a board doesn't really reflect anything to do with forming a "chain" of hotels), but way Acquire handles stock values is somewhat reminiscent of reality.

In Venture, by contrast, the business theme is purely decorative. Nothing about this game "simulates" finance and big business any more than Carcassonne simulates the construction of a medieval city. The different industries are just "suits" in a card deck, and you are prevented from having more than one card of each suit in a "meld".

Not that this detracts from the game in any way; it's just an observation. As I said, I found the game to be fast-moving and stimulating. The ability to combine "things" for greater profit (either combining low-value capital cards or combining "letters" in your conglomerates) adds a couple more dimensions to the decision-making process (as with most Sackson games), resulting in a game that keeps you on your toes. As I said, the rules seemed a bit complicated at first, but once we were into the game, it went really quickly, and it seems like this game will be very easy to teach to newcomers.

In short, another Sackson classic, and (like Sleuth) a great one to bring on a trip where space is at a premium.
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