Publisher: Rio Grande Games
Designer: Anthony Rubbo
Renaissance Man is like multiplayer solitaire. You largely play on your own board, with your own cards, and rarely interact with any other players. Some people hate games like this. Some people only desire games that involve a lot of social interaction, tangible tension and big dramatic moments. One of my favorite reviewers, Shutup & Sit Down hates games that limit player interaction, and Renaissance Man in particular. The idea, from what I understand, is that games like this suck at parties and everybody gets sleepy and bored. I think that, however, there is a time and a place for quiet, peaceful games. Should you open up Renaissance Man during community board game night? Probably not. But, a quiet night at home with your significant other is a different story. This is where quiet, tensionless games shine. Ren Man is one of my favorite games to play two-player with my wife. A chilled glass of whiskey, some smooth jazz in the background and an economical pyramid of artisans makes for an excellent night.
This game is like multiplayer solitaire. You are building a pyramid of cards starting at the base of the pyramid. Each card constrains what may be placed on top of it, so you must cycle through your hand, managing risks, and exercise the options for acquiring new cards wisely. The first player to complete their pyramid first is the winner.
Reading back over what I've just typed out, I'd like to clarify that the pyramid you are building is not a three dimensional structure. So I guess I should call it a triangle.
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