Dos Rios is a brilliant example of a tactical minmax-game action point game. Every turn is a puzzle, where you must find the best way to use the action points you’re given to maximise your own score and minimise your opponents’ scores. If that’s what you enjoy, Dos Rios is a very good game for you. Susan Rozmiarek’s review proves that, pretty much. However, I’m more with Shannon Appelcline: the game looks great, the river mechanism is neat and the game is better than average — but nothing else. It’s too tactical for me, in the end.
I have only tried the game with three players and I’m apprehensive of trying it with four. Too much chaos, I’m afraid. There’s the typical risk of analysis paralysis, but I think that’s fairly light compared to some other games (Kramer-Kiesling mask trilogy comes to mind), as the problem space is quite small and there’s only six action points to use every turn. With three quick players, however, it’s good fun and one of my current favourite three-player games. Everyone should at least try it, because the river and the way you can dam it is neat.
Trivial Pursuit — well, you know Trivial Pursuit. It’s interesting how the new edition has made the game quicker: there are less spaces on the board and the roll-again spaces are now teleport-to-scoring-space spaces. There are also less question cards, I think, and they sell additional booster packs. Yeah, right.
However, it’s still probably the best general trivia game around. I haven’t seen better, at least. The gameplay is very boring, but if you don’t like that, just ask the questions. Questions tend to annoy me a bit and they do introduce quite a large random element in the game, as they range from very specific and hard to easy yes or no -guesses. As someone noted in one GeekList on party games, trivia games aren’t terribly exciting: you either know the answer or don’t. Therefore while I play anything my dear wife likes to play (and Trivial Pursuit does make that list), I’d choose a different party game unless trivia game was especially requested.