The second game that got playtested last game night was Sint Maarten, which has the dubious honor of never having had a complete play of the game (other than the one time when the ten-year-old purposefully threw the game, just to get out of the playtest).
After the great success of Disaster!, Mark and Gerald were willing to playtest another of my games. The ten-year-old solemnly informed us that he would not join us, since the store owner has invited him to play a demo of Flames of War.
In Sint Maarten, 2-4 players vie to spend money on building shops on a caribbean island and garner influence, use influence to bring tourists into the shops to earn money, and to eventually spend money on renovating the shops to gather even more influence. Once somebody goes off the scoretrack (either above 45 or below 1) in either Money or Influence, the game ends and the currency you have the least of is your score (i.e. Knizia scoring).
In theory, this game should work great. At the beginning of a player's turn a cruise ship comes in at the most expensive (Influence) port available. Draw five cubes out of the bag and place them on the ship. There are five different colors of cubes, corresponding to the five different colors of shops that you can build. Nobody owns any of the different colors, but you can have your Agent in a building meaning you get paid even when it's not your turn.
As I've hinted at, this one got called at about 45 minutes in. There's a few different issues, some I know how to fix, some I don't.
1> There's no quickening of pace. In my head, this game should go through distinct phases. In the beginning buildings should be the most important, then in the end game, buildings should be less important and renovation should be the key to winning. What happens now is a see-saw effect where Influence and Money cluster in the middle of the track and no-one can get a real engine going. Several things were suggested to fix this, including reducing the size of the board and increasing the size of the ships (e.g. Maybe a ship that hold five cubes, then a ship that holds seven, etc.)
2> The getting of cubes from the drawbag is a little fiddly. Maybe it's just because of them being 8 mm cubes and there being 90 of them in the bag with only 5 coming out in a turn but it's a little bit of a hassle. Mark said that's it's just part of being a boardgame, but it still bothers me for some reason.
3>It seems like ships coming in a that start of every player's turn is a bit too much, but I can't think of a non-clunky (every other player, except on Tuesdays in March) way to alleviate the issue.
VERDICT: Set aside right now, I may try to rebuild a smaller board, but then it gets to be an issue of how small a gameboard is viable as an actual presentable game.