At an anime/gaming store my brother sometimes goes to, there was a deck-building game that always caught my eye, and Sunday of last week my brother and I finally got someone at the store to demo it for us! The game is Tanto Cuore
. A deck-building game about maids. xD (We played with the Vacation expansion for the demo.)
Some random dude in the store walked by us as the employee was setting it up and asked if he could join. We let him, so there were 4 players at the start. It seemed like there was a lot of work the employees needed to do that day and about when we started playing a bunch of people came into the store out of nowhere, so the employee had to step out of the game after we understood the rules. My brother won, but I came in a close second! I really enjoyed the game and decided to buy the original version, but when I get another set, I'll probably want the Vacation expansion, since I liked the mechanics for that and a lot of the maids in that version.
The random dude who joined, us, though... He seemed to be taking a little longer than my brother or I to understand the rules and the game-flow, and yet he kept comparing it to other deck-building games in a way that made it sound like he was complaining about it. -_- And then after we were done and I picked out which version to buy and stand at the register, he was nearby and said stuff like "You should come here more often" and was recommending some other game to me (I wasn't paying enough attention to really hear the name of the game). I was wondering if it was a little mansplain-y, but I'm not sure whether he was directing his comments more towards me or to both my brother and me. *shrugs*
Anyway, overall I felt that it was relatively easy to understand and to get used to the flow of gameplay. It didn't feel overly complicated and the explanation for what each of the cards did was all written fairly clearly on each of the cards. But at the same time there's a lot of possible strategies and you have to combine maid effects well use each of your turns wisely to get a lot of points. So I think it could appeal to a variety of playing styles.
I think compared to other deck-building games though, since it uses a bunch of human characters with names, it adds another layer to it, since you could conceivably think up back stories and personalities for all of them. (Although maybe you could do that with any game? I guess it just depends on what kind of subject matter you like the best.) Or like, it stood out to me because of the cute art and kind of silly subject matter in ways similar games didn't.
I was pretty worried about finding people to play it with (one reason I really wanted to have it demoed before buying it), but I actually got my Dad to play it with my brother and me tonight. He said he enjoyed it, and he actually won. xD
In other recent news, I've been playing a couple of BL visual-novel style games I found for available for smartphones. That's been entertaining. :3