Continuing off of the last game that was brain bendy we have another with lots of meat to it, Grand Austria Hotel. Players are working on building up their own hotel/cafe combination! Some of the best part of the game is the staff that you can recruit have some stellar powers. They would feel unbalanced and broken if it wasn’t for the fact they are all powerful and available for anyone!
One of the aspects of heavier games that really brings us to the table is dice drafting. Grand Austria Hotel mixes it up by making the dice more valuable the more dice there are left of the same value. This change compared to other dice drafting games gives an incentive to draft some dice earlier because they are powerful. Grabbing those early might mean an action you want to take is lost though. So you have to prioritize the actions that are super powerful and those you really need to get done.
While you are working on picking your dice and getting resources you also have to work on getting guests into your hotel. Most of the points in the game come from getting those rooms filled. There are even bonuses for getting floors or colors finished while you go. You also need to focus on getting people served in your cafe. As with many strategy games there is lots of paths to follow to get the points you need.
While you are trying to work on making your hotel the best there is political matters and the emperor to deal with. One of the actions you can take moves you along the emperor track which gets you victory points. If you can satisfy political goals you get some points as well. Adding even more to the list of things to balance as you play through the seven rounds.
While it sounds like there might even be too much happening in this game it really signs once you get into it. There are still hard choices to make depending on what you want to prioritize but you will quickly understand your options. And as we mentioned earlier everyone winds up having a very different interaction with the game as they get more and more overpowered staff. The unique theme and fun interactions bring this to our #15 on the Top 100!