This is one of those games that seems slightly too nerdy when you read about it, but it's one of the best two player games I've ever played. It revolves around developing areas around an established trade route, and then trying to control these areas. I just realized, I can't make this sound amazing in print, but try it ... you'll love it.
This is the one that hooked me into eurogaming!!! The classic "gateway game" for nongamers and gamers alike... who knew that putting tiles together to build cities and roads could be so much fun? It's different every time you play, there is plenty of opportunity to strategize, it's easy to learn, can be played by 2 to 5 people.... We are addicted to this game at my house!!!! official description: Winner of the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) for 2001. A clever tile-laying game. The southern French city of Carcassonne is famous for its unique Roman and Medieval fortifications. The players develop the area around Carcassonne and deploy their followers on the roads, in the cities, in the cloisters, and in the fields. The skill of the players to develop the area will determine who is victorious. Special rules for the 12 river tiles (River Expansion I included): Remove the special starting tile from the game. Instead, begin the game by laying the spring that starts the river. Set aside the lake tile and schuffle the remaining 10 river tiles face down and draw from these before drawing from the tiles from the normal game. These tiles ae played and followers may be played as in the normal game with one exception: a river tile may not be placed so that the river makes a "U" turn. Followers may not be placed on rivers. Once these 10 river tiles have been played, the next player plays the lake and then play continues with the normal tiles. Author: Klaus-Juergen Wrede
ThisNext members recommended Carcassonne and the service suggested it to me based on the other games I and my kids have played. Sure 'nuff, it turned out to be a fun and challenging strategy game that the whole family enjoys. I am consistently impressed by the wide variety of German-style games available. Carcassonne uses similar playing pieces to other games (tiles and "meeple") but the way they are used is completely different from other tile games, making it fun to learn and play. Carcassonne a bit easier (and faster) than Settlers of Catan and about the same level as Ticket to Ride; I think it's going to be more popular with our family than either.