The basic game seemed to be about laying tiles to create a little vale of cities and roads. We each took turns laying a peace. Once you have done that you can place a meaple on the tile and claim some aspect. These would be a city, road or pasture for the most part. I actually am a big fan of games that build out the board like that, though usually they are haunted house type games in my case. Here I don't know i really couldn't see what i was doing half the time. When I did I started building a giant city which was probably unwise as It generated no more points than several smaller cities which would have been less risky.
I think the thing that tanked the game for me was this scoring. It just didn't seem to reward risk other than in the case of the pasture. That really wasn't much risk as in our game the one person who placed a meaple early was viewed as owning the pasture and no one really tried to challenge. Apparently there are ways of placing tiles to screw people but in our big six person game everyone focused on their own plans for the most part. There were a couple of places were people horned in on cities but that worked out being sort of stupid looking back. It would have been better to just build their own cities without risk as the bigger cites the were created were of no more points. The cathedrals were another point that seemed out of wack. They generated a point for every bordering tile which was a huge generator of points. One guy got four of them and won the game while paying attention to the internet and not the game.
All in all it seems like the game was too simple or need better scoring that factored in risk. Maybe this would be fixed with the expansions, I am curious what the pig does. For my game dollar I think there are better investments, so I am going negative on Carcassonne.