Zestrea is a marriage negotiation game, for 3-6 players, inspired from ridiculous Romanian traditions.
Work hard, secure your dowry (Zestre), and match spouses wisely! This particular village is plagued by silly yet somewhat historically accurate catastrophes. From foreign invaders to highways in your yard, from Chernobyl to communism, who knows what destiny will throw your way? Fortunately, the Fate cards have your back, giving you powers to make villagers Musicians, improving wedding chances, cause Bar Fights to eliminate your competition, or simply make (and drink) traditional moonshine liquor! Survive the Hard Times and become the richest Boyar of the land!
Gameplay: You earn money from working the Land, but you also get new babies that turn into villagers that need feeding. When villagers produce too many kids, you should try to marry them off to turn them into productive couples, or risk selling Land to pay for their food and ultimately starve to death.
Marriage is consensual: roll the dice to see if the villagers want to get married, and use Fate cards to improve your odds (example: Bad Eyesight - improve wedding chance), or reduce them on your competition (example: The Village Idiot - reduce wedding chance). Various Fate cards also have interesting, highly interactive effects on the game: players must congratulate you by paying money when you play the Just Married card, other times they can Steal The Bride, and even break couples using the Trouble In Paradise card. If you make enemies, you can Unleash The Dog to eliminate a villager from another player (or yourself when having trouble feeding them...), and the Village Preacher will gain some income everyone someone dies.
If Eastern European arranged marriages can’t unite us around the table, what can? Take a seat with Bob as he reviews Zestrea, an intriguing international...