Ra is an auction game designed by Reiner Knizia and published by Rio Grande Games. It is currently out of print.
Ra is an auction game, where players are bidding on different tiles that give them victory points, or prevent them from losing victory points. The tiles are things like Pharaoh’s, the Nile, Civilizations, Monuments, and Gods. Each turn, a player will either draw a tile from the bag, and add it to the current bidding pool, invoke Ra, forcing the auction to start earlier than it normally would, or discard a God tile they won previously in order to take any tile currently in the pool. If a player draws a Ra tile, an acution begins, starting with the player to the left of the player who drew the tile. Players can either bid one of their sun tiles or pass. If everyone passes, the auction ends, and nothing happens. If a player bids, they put up one of their sun tiles, which have random numbers on them. Each player may only bid once. The player who wins the auction takes all the tiles in the pool and the sun tile currently on the board, then they place the sun tile they won the auction with onto the board.
Players continue to do this for 3 Epochs, or rounds. A round ends when one of 2 things happens: Either a number of Ra tiles have been drawn (according to the number of players) or all players have used all of their sun tiles.
I really enjoyed playing Ra, and I’m a little upset that it’s out of print, because I wouldn’t mind owning it. It’s incredibly simple, but there’s enough strategy there to keep it interesting. The only thing I don’t like about the game is that, once you’ve spent all your sun tiles, you can be sitting around for a while, just waiting for the other players to finish out the rest of the turn.