I am part of a rather small group of players meeting only once every two months so I still need a bit of convincing that we should take the time and learn this game.
Initially, this was a game I wanted to own as soon as it was announced. However, like many others, I became concerned with the negative comments that started coming out. This put me squarely on the fence about making a purchase. Luckily, I had the opportunity to play it at a game convention, twice.
The first game was definitely a learning game and under less than ideal circumstances. First off, there were five first-time players. Secondly, only two out of the five had read the rules. Thirdly, the game officially started around 9PM (after an hour of punching out bits). I was impressed that all five players stuck through to the end, some 6 hours later. The make up of this first group definitely had a negative impact on the session. A few of them just weren't into it. They were looking for Clue or Murder in the Abby. After playing, I was still unsure if this was a game worth adding to my collection. Frankly, I was too tired to make a decision and the last half of the game was somewhat hazy.
On the last day of the convention, I was wandering around in open gaming and a group of people had just finished punching out the bits of a newly opened copy. Actually, one person was punching out bits while the other two were reading through the rule book. I asked if I could join the game. They said yes under the condition that I had at least 6 hours to dedicate to it. I must say, this second session was much different than the first. The person who owned the game had played once. I had played once. And the two other players had read the rules.
Eveyone was really into the theme and there was a lot more player interaction than in the first game. Temporary alliances were made and broken several times. Players were focusing on their plots. There were really neat exchanges of light and dark cards being played. This second game just ran more smoothly. The total time was around 4.5 hours.
After that second game, I was sold. I called the FLGS and ordered a copy. Honestly though, I don't know if I would have purchased it if I hadn't had the chance to play it first.
I focused on only a couple of people in my gaming group to play with. There are a couple who are into adventure-type games who I was also confident would read the rules before the actual game. It worked. The game was a success and subsequent sessions have consisted with new people trying. Everyone has played at least once, but a few have played three or more times. It's not for everyone in the group. Several have politely declined when a spot at the table is offered.
It is the overall experience that I really like about Android. Don't get me wrong, I like winning. With Android though, it's a fun ride to see how everything turns out. The game presents a framework, but it takes the right group of players to turn it into a memorable story. The game is fiddly. It's not complex, but there is a lot going on.
If my game group wasn't the size and make up that it is, I don't know how successful it would have been. This a group of 8-12 people with a wide variety of taste, who get together 6-8 times a month. Most of lean towards the adventure-type games, but we also play war games and euros.