Got a chance to play Ark tonight. It hit the table with four of us going over it for the first time.
There have been more than a few comments about how "fiddly" the rules are; I think these rules specifics make the game very interesting, requiring your full concentration.
Stuart, Brena, Mark, and I set it up and had just gotten through the rules when Aimee showed up. It wasn't so hard after all, but it did make our heads hurt. Brena compared it to an Age of Steam ache, but I don't know if it was that bad.
The illustrations are fantastic, the card laying requirements are complex, yet well illustrated on the cards, and underneath it all, it's a pretty challenging area influence game. I had been waiting for this game for a while, based on the theme and art, and almost didn't see it in my store because it had been placed with the children's games. It is anything but a children's game.
All of us agreed it was a lot of fun and more than a little challenging.