You're in charge of a bit of Paris. One of the neatest bits of the game is the way it's set up. You pick the right shaped 'Notre Dame' section for the number of players, then arrange the boroughs so that they fit around it. Once all that is done, there are three sets of three rounds. In each, you pick three random action cards from an individual deck of nine, and pass two to the next player. You get your two from someone else, and pass one to the next player. You end up with your favourite, plus your favourite of the two someone else didn't like, plus the one two people didn't want. During the round, you have to play two of them.
The cards let you do things which will increase your money (you always want more), the number of influence markers you have in your hand (you always want more), victory points (you always want more), decrease the number of rats in your area (you always want.. less) or donate money to Notre Dame. At the end of a round, you can choose to hire someone who has extra powers - you always want to do this unless you are out of cash. At the end of each set of rounds, there are bonuses for whoever has done the Notre Dame visiting.
I blame not winning on... partly luck and partly, as ever, it turns out that we weren't playing the rules correctly. In this case, the message tokens, the collecting of which are one of the few bits of direct player interaction, are supposed to be face up, not face down. Guess who picked the worst ones? :)
Overall, it's good with some interestingly balanced decisions to make, and it's amusing to see someone get the plague due to too many rats that you just avoided, but I am not sure why it's rated so highly.
This entry was originally posted at http://lovingboth.dreamwidth.org/469115.html, because despite having a permanent account, I have had enough of LJ's current owners trying to be evil. Please comment there using OpenID - have and if you have an LJ account, you can use it for your OpenID account. Or just join Dreamwidth! It only took a couple of minutes to copy all my entries here to there.