First, the good points. The game definitely felt much less random than before when I played with 3. Choices were more tactical in deciding which cards to pick for personal use and which to pick so as to deprive your opponent. There is also a need to prioritize when you obtain a hand with a few attractive cards. You basically aim to leave the card you want which is most unattractive to your opponent, in hope that it will be returned to you. The fact that all cards came into play also meant that combos were more meaningful and we were actively looking out for cards that would complement the cards in our tableau.
On the other hand, the fact that we cycled through all the cards meant those with * and *3 dominated. I took the win with 161 points mainly due to the reason that I paid more attention to those cards than Van. I checked out some other 2-player variants at BGG and suspect I will adopt one which allows about 60-80% of the cards to be cycled through instead. This will hopefully balance out the strength of the * and *3 cards versus the 1 and 6/7/8 pointers.
And while we paid more attention to each other's cards this time round, the natural instinct is still to give more attention to the cards you are pursuing. Perhaps this was down to inexperience because as the cards in our tableau grew, we paid decreased attention to what each other was acquiring.
The level of interaction is still dissatisfactory but the 2-player game is far more interesting than with 3. Not gonna take it off the trading block just yet but I'm definitely keen to try the game with 4 where partnerships can be formed, and is widely regarded as THE way to play the game.