Stonemaier Games consistently knocks it out of the park with production quality, from the textured plastic paper for the rulebook to the unique sculpted buildings to the textured player boards with matched up artwork to indicate how to lay them out properly. Artwork is beautiful and graphic design is award worthy for clarity and simplicity and language independence.
The game is…fine. It’s better than fine most of the time, the fun had in trying to maximize your civilization’s abilities on every turn. After only a few plays, it’s easy to be disgruntled by some civilizations roaring around the VP track whilst the more challenging ones lag and struggle to keep up. As with Scythe, there are some tweaks required to balance this issue, and Stonemaier did adjust the starting benefits of some civilizations a few months after the initial launch of the game. I suggest people Google and download these tweaks if you have the first edition of the game.
I haven’t heard anything about the expansion, but I suspect they’ve taken the above issue — plus the swingy Tapestry card issue — into consideration when developing that to help improve balance.
All in all, I enjoyed playing and would happily play any time, but with the understanding that highest to lowest scores often end up a full lap or more apart with 4+ players. If you can play to “do your best” in a multi-player solitaire fashion and not feel bitter about another player running off in the distance, it can still be rewarding to work through actions to combo as many benefits as possible each turn.