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Unique, well themed, fun, agonizing, long, some what tideous and original game. I like playing this game with the kids even if some of them find the idea of working together wrong. It does teach them how working together to reach a goal is important and is therefore a very good game to have if you have kids. That being said, this is not my type of game and such the rating. It is a good game and a must for families but I am rating it a 6 because I do not care to play it any other time. Overall Score 6, Appearence 9, Components 8, The Box (storage) 8, Rulebook 6, Ease of Play 7, Mechanics 6, Involvment 9, Replayability 7, Uniqueness 8, Luck 8 v Strategy 2 (The higher the number the more it leans that way.)
I've seen so many people rail on this game because it's basically just an abstract game with some LOTR pictures pasted on top. I really enjoy this game, and think it evokes a LOTR feel, but not in the way you would think. When most games try and go for a specific theme, they will have you physically do things related to that theme. A LOTR game might have you move your pieces around and fight orcs. But that's not how this game evokes theme. This game evokes the LOTR theme by making the optimal play to win the game be by sacrificing yourself for another player (most of the time). This game is extremely hard to win, and when you do win, you normally have to win by having one or more players sacrificing themselves, so another player can "carry the ring" to Mount Doom to win the game. In that sense, I think this game evokes the LOTR theme beautifully, because it makes you do LOTR themed things (sacrifice for another) without telling you specifically to do those things. That's pretty cool in my book.
Fun cooperative game, though it can sometimes feel like there is a bit too much to explain to newbies--lots of places to "look ahead" to in this one. The group has to be in the right mood to play it, but it's very well designed and remarkably thematic too.
So many people love this game, and I am still trying to find a group to help me see the appeal. I really want to like it, but it seems too mechanical compared to Shadows Over Camelot. I keep trying to pull it out and try it out, but it just doesn't feel coherent to me yet.
My 1st cooperative game. I liked it as there was lots of tension. Played this with the Sauron expansion and it was hard. Fun but you need the right group. The fantasy theme in this game is tolerable.