Recommend
30 
 Thumb up
 Hide
10 Posts

Agricola» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A new convert's review rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Anastasios Kyparissidis
Greece
Thessaloniki
none
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I firmly believe that to asses some things you need to be a bit detached from the item that you're trying to evaluate, something like an external marker for a university exam. This is the reason why, after having played only 3 games of Agricola I decided to write this review and share my experiences with the community. I think that a spontaneous review after having experienced so little of the game might provide a revealing image of Agricola to would be buyers and players out there.

First of all, I must say that I don't believe in halos surrounding upcoming games as, from experience, I've had my fingers burnt more than once. So I was a bit skeptical about Agricola and all the fuss that had been created around its name. I didn't pre-order and decided that I'd wait for my retailer to stock the game. He had promised me a copy after all. Second, I have a rather handsome collection of euro/eurotrash games and some of my all time favorites include Puerto Rico, Settlers of Catan, Age of Empires III and El Grande. Now, I do not pledge to be some kind of a game guru or expert but I can tell when a game really catches my audience of fellow players.

We tried Agricola this past Sunday with 4 players, I played on Monday solo and today we tried a 2 player version of the game.

While the game is not revolutionary in its mechanisms (Need prioritizing is present, as is resource optimization, building expansion and improvement and so on...) nevertheless the whole package is breathtakingly fresh and astonishingly clever in some aspects.

First of all the game has a completely non linear approach to the gameplay buildup. Whereas in Puerto Rico after playing the game some times you settle down in 2-3 prevailing strategies around some key buildings, here the choices are so many that you simply cannot play a same game twice. Sure, you generally get the feeling of what resources you have to amass at what time, but my first impression of it is that each gaming experience is bound to be unique. To this end the game is helped by massive decks of cards with various improvements and occupations that not only flavor the game, but they offer you practically limitless possibilities for one to vary his game style. In short, the feeling that I got is that there is no clear path for certain victory which is excellent news for game replayability.

Another plus that Agricola enjoys is that the game plays superbly with any number of the designated players. It plays well with 4,2 or 1 player. Yes, Agricola is an excellent solo player game as well. At first I didn't believe it but I decided to try it. I thought...how difficult or interesting can this be? I must admit I broke a sweat trying to beat the game in the final round with just one point above par. How does the game do this? Well apart from the well thought over game mechanics, the card decks can be easily varied to suit the needs of 1,2,3 or more players. Depending on the number of players you play with different cards. This point by the way, enhances the idea of non linearity in the game that I was describing in the paragraph above. In short, the game plays just as well with any number of players which is really rare to find in a game.

There is no way a player can map out his strategy 100% ahead of time and say "if I receive this card then I'll do that, if this card comes along I'll do that". There is no clearcut "IF THEN DO THAT" case. Besides, I feel that the cards you draw each time may force you to alter your strategy each time you play the game. On one game I was gathering lots of one resource due to the cards I had been dealt, on the other I was amassing another.

I will not bother explaining the rules for you since I feel that a review should contain positive and negative feelings about the game and not bog down into minute details. I will say that the game is somewhat complex in its approach and I wouldn't recommend it to a newcomer to the scene [although I must confess that the family version of the game is quite playable by almost anyone]. In a 4-5 player game where people take there time to think you'll certainly need 150-180 minutes. You'll also need a generous amount of table space and you'll have to calculate about 10 minutes [at least] set up time and another 10 to tidy up the game after you're done. The game quality is really very good and the graphics design is really superb and puts you into a "farmer's" mood. The rule book in the english version is ok, with some illustrations [more would have been welcome] but some points need to be read over and over and personally, there are a few question marks for me to dig into.
Perhaps better quality cards would have been nice but no real complaints from me here...after all if you want you can always laminate the cards or use sleeves [although there is a goodly amount of cards in the game...you'll need a lot of sleeves]. Overall, the whole package really immerses you with the game theme and that's a really welcome asset for a game. You really feel like a farmer playing this Well ok, somewhat like a farmer...

In general, before buying this game I had read about many "Puerto Rico Killers". But for Agricola, in my humble opinion, I can say that it deserves 100% that first place that it has captured in this site.

10 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mat Nowak
Canada
Halifax
Nova Scotia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
I firmly believe that to asses

Freudian slip? devil


Good review.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan
United States
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
At least he didn't assess asses.

Good review. I liked Agricola more after my 3rd play but, for me, Puerto Rico and Caylus are still #1 and #2 respectively.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anastasios Kyparissidis
Greece
Thessaloniki
none
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Unfortunately spelling was never my strong point in any language so please be gentle
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Branko K.
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gee, folks, I wanted to ass a question concerning this review, butt your childish jokes have totally confused me.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
McDog
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice review, ignore these jokers giving you crap about one minor spelling issue.

I played Saturday for the first time and had a fantastic time. I wanted to play Sunday but the wife shot that down.

I was quite impressed, can't wait to play again.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan
United States
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Rastak wrote:
Nice review, ignore these jokers giving you crap about one minor spelling issue.


No pun intended? :o)

I wasn't trying to give him "crap," but I actually thought this post was ranting about people who did/didn't like the game due to his first sentence. Then I reread it, because the syntax was off, and figured out where the error was.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
E J
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Von Falkenheyn wrote:
Unfortunately spelling was never my strong point in any language so please be gentle


Your English is far superior to my Greek. (of which I know none)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alec Chapman
United Kingdom
Lincolnshire
flag msg tools
Anyway, how's your sex life?
badge
"She said the same thing about waffles."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Really nice review.

ignore these people - You should be proud of your ability to write in a second language (or do you know more? If so don't say so cos I will be jealous)

Quote:
I played Saturday for the first time and had a fantastic time. I wanted to play Sunday but the wife shot that down.

I was quite impressed, can't wait to play again.


You could have played on your own. I did this the first time I couldn't get anyone to play with and really enjoyed it. This is the first solo game I would recommend for anyone.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anastasios Kyparissidis
Greece
Thessaloniki
none
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for all the nice comments guys, you encourage me to write more reviews [this was actually a first for me]. I realize now that it is assess. Silly me, forgot an s.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.