I just managed to convince the family to play Amazonas. Last time we played, I had a miserable game and got completely thrashed, although I can't remember who won. This time I lead from start to finish, and the final scores were 15-10-6. Not sure what the kid was doing, he didn't even get all 5 samples. I think one of my good moves was going for the big money at the beginning, so I was able to get 2 camps on my first 2 turns. There was a lull after that, but at least I had options for where I wanted to build next. I also managed to score 3 out of 4 natives, because the other 2 didn't value them so much. I need to play this more, but I am beginning to suspect that this game shares a flaw with Pirate's Cove, in that the rich get richer and the poor get the picture. Anyway, I enjoy it, it's gorgeous to look at, and I am the champion!
Postscript: Why does this game get such a bad rap? I find there are many interesting things to do. For example, it's vital to play the income cards in the right order, not just to choose the highest score at the time. If you can get 5 by playing flowers now, but you're planning to get another flower camp very soon, then save the flower card. You'll get an extra silver when you play it. Also, where's the best location to build your next camp so that your future income is maximised, you score in as many different types of samples as possible, and you're able to make all the right connections to fulfil your secret orders? And should I play my native now for the money, or save him to avoid a disaster? I find a lot of things to think about in this game. No, there's not much player interaction, except that you're sitting there at the table with the other players. You want the game to tell you what to say to them? I love this game, you're all wrong.