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Greg Berry
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I bought "Cannes - Stars, Scripts and Screens" as a Christmas present for my brother. We played it several times the following Tuesday at our regular gaming night. Listed below are my thoughts on the game:

Rules: The rules were printed in several languages. The English rules were contained in about six pages. The description of the actions a player could take were fairly clear but the rules broke down in their explanation of exactly when one phase, or sub-phase ended and the next began. For example, The rules show the second phase as being the one where you lay a tile, expand your network and produce items. It tells you how to do all of those things but not specifically if you can do them in any order you want (e.g. produce, alter network, lay tile vs. alter network, produce, alter network, lay tile, produce). The rules don't even explicitly state when the scoring phase is for your movies (we assumed it was part of the production phase).

Components: The pieces were made of decent cardboard. The artwork used on the board tiles and pieces was not of high quality or even highly functional. For example, the difference between "ordinary people" pieces and "star" pieces was basically that the drawing of the "star" was of a slightly more attractive person. This low quality art continued to the other components, such as the area tiles. I expected more from a euro game.

Game Play: I feel I can sum it up with the phrase, "So much potential with some dissapointment." Each player takes their turn drawing three hexagonal area tiles which they can expand the board with. If they expand the board with two tiles their turn is over (unless they have access to the special "real estate agent" tille). If they lay one tile they can expand their network, and produce goods. Networks are represented by five wooden rods used to connect the centers of a hexagonal area tile to another hexagonal tile. The network rods must stay in a connected state (i.e. no breaks in the chain of rods.) Any area tile that a player has connected can produce for the player. The area tiles are either a resource source, resource consumer, or special ability tile (like the real estate agent). From the producer spaces the player can gain resources like people, beer, and micro-chips. From the resource consumer tiles the player can convert the simpler resources into more advanced resources (such as trading in a micro-chip for a computer) or even completed movies (such as trading in a script and star for a "girly movie".) The special tiles are such things as the real-estate agent that allows the player to lay an additional tile and still being able to produce goods, or a critic space where the player can trade in beer to upgrade the value of a certain movie type.

I liked the concept of the networks and production quite a lot. The problem of this game was that by the time a player got a good network together the game was over. The game ends when the last area tile is placed or the last "good old boy network" rod is placed. There simply weren't enough area tiles to make the game very strategic. In the two or three player version it also limited the number of special tiles to only one. This meant that one player could fairly easily monopolize certain critical tiles and coast to a win. I wish the inventor of the game would have found a way to use all the good concepts in the game to make something that offered slightly deeper play. The game has deep concepts but a very shallow game play experience.

Overall: If you play the game with the expectation that it isn't as deep as you might have thought, or hoped, at first then it is playable and somewhat interesting. If you expect more from the game you will likely be disappointed in this one.





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