Euphrat & Tigris
Publisher: Hans im Gluck
Euphrat & Tigris is a fascinating and absorbing game where players try to create the most balanced empire. Unlike most games, each player plays all colours and most elements on the board do not belong to anyone (except perhaps whoever happens to be near them at the time).
The game's mechanics are fairly simple for the most part - even the conflicts are easy enough to carry out after a game or two - and the scoring has been finely tuned to ensure that games end closely. Games are rarely one-sided in Euphrat & Tigris since all players have to collect all four colours well to win. It is a satisfying two-player game but works better with three or four.
The board and pieces are beautiful and highly detailed; definitely a feast for the eyes. The game comes with English rules which are well-presented and comprehensible. The only German is an overview of turns and conflicts on the players' shield cards, not necessary once you know the rules. Euphrat & Tigris takes a little more effort than the average game to learn, but it is very rewarding in the long run. I highly recommend it.