Bazar Quest (the French 'translation', here again in English) counts as one of my December attempts to try out games in order to get rid of them.
(image from BGG)
Apart from changing the title in a weird way, the French version also includes the solo mini-expansion, which is rather convenient in my case. So, I read the rules (always the annoying kind where you have to go through the whole set of multiplayer rules, then read the specific solo rules which specify the ways in which these rules are altered, so you must go back and forth between the two to understand anything). It didn't start well, as a whole phase is skipped in the solo rules, which is a printing error (from the original printing, and carried out in the French version).
This is, at its core, a drafting game. You play as your regular Fantasy world retailer, selling items and weapons to heroes about to go on an adventure. You first draft item cards that you can either put on sale or on display. Putting cards on display will attract heroes, meaning you get the first pick in the following drafting heroes phase, but you can't sell these items to them. Then, you equip the heroes with stuff (provided they can afford it) and send the heroes to meet the current encounter. A fight ensues, and you get points if the heroes that came to your shop hurt the monster, and also points if they survive (these two scoring bits are independent). Finally, you go through two additional phases, and you are basically done for the round. The game ends when the heroes defeat the third encounter (they are increasingly powerful). Your goal is to have hoarded enough points by then, and enough gold as well (by selling adventurers your items).
In the meanwhile, you must manage the bot, which is rather discrete but introduces bot cards that trigger events here and there. Also, the current encounter may also trigger events during specific phases. And your items. And the heroes. Well, to sum up, there are a lot of tiny little things that trigger every time, and trust me when I say it's easy to overlook one, or many ones for that matter.
But, first, let's set up the game.
You can see the encounter on the right (bandit), the heroes queuing for shopping (above the board), and the shop itself (the board), with the specific spot for the item on display. In the course of the game, you can purchase upgrades and employees to make your shop a bit better.
So, having fixed the rules issue (and really you can't play without checking BGG), I played a few rounds. The first encounter got defeated. By that point, I was really tired of the whole of it. Let's say it's pointlessly fiddly. You have all these phases to go through, but you actually do very little, with few interesting decisions. The amount of upkeep far crushes all other aspects of the game. Further into the game, the table was full of components, as always!
Now, I wanted to complete a game. That's a pre-requisite when I try them: I want to have at least one full game. But starting with the second encounter, I told myself that I would be much happier being released of this chore right now. It just wasn't fun, and it was clear I would attempt to sell it at this point. So, I left things as they were, packed everything neatly, and put it for sale online.
This is exactly the kind of game I dislike. Plastering too many circumvolutions on a core system to make it sound original, while very few of them are actually justified by the additional fun they bring in. It's like a pastry with too many layers - here there are far too many phases - so you can't appreciate any. Fortunately, it found a new owner very quickly.