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Subject: Puerto Rico, a review by a New Gamer rss

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Aaron Perkins
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This is my review of the game Puerto Rico, and while the game has been out for some time now, it is new to me. While there are many reviews out for this game already, It has had a big an impact on me, and I feel that reviewing it felt oddly necessary.

THEME
The theme here is one that I was a little unsure of, being a settler in the early years of Puerto Rico did not necessarily sound like my cup of tea, however; the theme is very rich and fits well into the mechanics of the game. Puerto Rico really makes you feel like you are starting a colony from scratch so I have to give it high marks here. As it turns out, producing goods and shipping them to Spain is a lot more fun that it sounds. The game is played by selecting one of the different roles, the craftsman, the trader, the builder, the captain, the mayor, the settler and the prospector. Each role lets the players perform a certain task such as building buildings, producing goods, or simply receiving a gold doubloon. The way to win the game is by earning victory points by either owning buildings, or producing and shipping goods back to Spain. While the victory conditions may seem easy to achieve, there are many different strategies to accomplish them and this gives the game an amazing level of depth.

PRICE
The price of Puerto Rico falls into the sweet spot of around 30 dollars, and with the high level of quality of the components you are definitely getting your moneys worth.

QUALITY
From the moment I cracked the box open, I was impressed by the level of quality. The individual player boards are thick glossy card stock, and have held up well over the course of many games. The wooden pieces and cardboard chits included are all well designed, and fit well into the plastic compartmented liner that comes with the box. The game comes included with several bags to contain the many small pieces, and Rio Grande even threw in a couple of spares which I thought was a wonderful touch.

ARTWORK
The artwork of Puerto Rico is really not its strong point, and while the art looks good and serves its purpose, it is nothing to write home about. Although the art is nothing spectacular, it functions well to drive the theme along, and does not detract from the overall quality of the game.

LEARNING
Puerto Rico is a simple game to play, however it can be quite difficult to explain to others what is going on. The manual is well written, and will be an invaluable tool in teaching new players the ropes of the game. It might take a 5-6 turns before you can get a grasp on what is really going on, and it might take a game or two before you start to develop your own strategies.

COMPLEXITY
This game has a lot going on, and there are tons of strategies. There are a couple of main strategies that will be very apparent from game one or two, and several that will take much more experience to develop. There is NO LUCK involved in this game, victory depends completely on your strategy and how well you manage or mismanage your resources. While Puerto Rico is a very complex game, the overall rules are very simple. The complexity in this game comes from the many varieties of options available. Players who suffer from Analysis Paralysis will definitely have a hard time choosing their roles and other options.

INTERACTION
While there isn’t much direct player interaction, the various roles that you chose will definitely affect the other players. It is very important to pick a role that benefits you the most, and your opponents the least. While each player has his own turn, the different roles affect all players at the same time, and only offer a small bonus to the player that picked it. Picking the craftsman for example (the role that produces goods), can set the next player up to ship all of those goods back to Spain scoring points if you are not careful.

WAITING
Waiting your turn in this game is a non issue, as you get to take an action on every players turn. The pace of the game is great, and the mechanics are absolutely ingenious.

LENGTH
The game lasts around an hour, to an hour and a half depending on the level of player skill. The more experience players have the faster the game will move along, and I have had games play as quickly as 45 minutes.

RE PLAYABILITY
Puerto Rico is insanely re playable, I have played it over fifty times since purchasing it, and feel like I am never going to get sick of it.

OVERALL
Puerto Rico has become one of my favorites, if not my favorite game. I am always down to play a game, and think about the games I have played long after they are completed. What did I do right? What could I have done better? Like I said earlier, this game involves a ton of strategy, and discovering new ones is half of the fun. This game is like trying to build a machine, and then watching as it comes to life. I would highly recommend this Puerto Rico, and am truly glad to have purchased it.
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Douglas Glisson
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I have PR on my laptop and honestly it is a little hard to follow. I'm hoping to pick up a copy of PR today though. We are comming at PR from San Juan. Will that help or hinder us during learning the game do you think? Solid review, thanks for putting it up!

Kraken Fan #69
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Aaron Perkins
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Thanks, I've never played San Juan but would love to check it out.
 
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William Lindsey
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krakenfan69 wrote:
I have PR on my laptop and honestly it is a little hard to follow. I'm hoping to pick up a copy of PR today though. We are comming at PR from San Juan. Will that help or hinder us during learning the game do you think? Solid review, thanks for putting it up!

Kraken Fan #69


To me, Puerto Rico and San Juan are very different games. They have the role-selection mechanic in similar, but beyond that they only have the theme in common. That being said, the rules of Puerto Rico are fairly easy to pick up, it is the strategy that will take a while to see. This is one of the things that makes it such a good game, IMO.
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Colonel Mustard
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aaronfromatl wrote:
There is NO LUCK involved in this game, victory depends completely on your strategy and how well you manage or mismanage your resources.


I don't want to sound picky but your comment is not strictly true. The plantation tiles are shuffled and drawn randomly. What turns up can determines the direction you take and affect the decisions you make. It is a minute element of luck...but it is there.
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suPUR DUEper
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krakenfan69 wrote:
I have PR on my laptop and honestly it is a little hard to follow. I'm hoping to pick up a copy of PR today though. We are comming at PR from San Juan. Will that help or hinder us during learning the game do you think? Solid review, thanks for putting it up!

Kraken Fan #69


I think you will like the board game much better than the computer game. I think when I play the computer game I tend to just concentrate on my turn and really don't pay attention to anything else going on (probably because the computer players "play" so fast).
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Jason Weed
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A good game, nice review
 
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Douglas Glisson
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TedW wrote:
krakenfan69 wrote:
I have PR on my laptop and honestly it is a little hard to follow. I'm hoping to pick up a copy of PR today though. We are comming at PR from San Juan. Will that help or hinder us during learning the game do you think? Solid review, thanks for putting it up!

Kraken Fan #69


I think you will like the board game much better than the computer game. I think when I play the computer game I tend to just concentrate on my turn and really don't pay attention to anything else going on (probably because the computer players "play" so fast).


Exactly the feeling I got while playing the computer version. I wasn't able to score a copy today but I will soon.

Kraken Fan #69
 
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Craig Liken
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krakenfan69 wrote:
I have PR on my laptop and honestly it is a little hard to follow. I'm hoping to pick up a copy of PR today though. We are comming at PR from San Juan. Will that help or hinder us during learning the game do you think? Solid review, thanks for putting it up!

Kraken Fan #69


Having played San Juan is certainly a huge advantage - the role selection mechanism (although the roles are different) and the moving Governor card is exactly the same - ie the turn within a round structure.
 
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krakenfan69 wrote:
I have PR on my laptop and honestly it is a little hard to follow. I'm hoping to pick up a copy of PR today though. We are comming at PR from San Juan. Will that help or hinder us during learning the game do you think? Solid review, thanks for putting it up!

Kraken Fan #69


Well, you ARE Canadian, so there is that...

coffeetobaccoindigosugarcorncolonistthumbsupwhistle
 
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Douglas Glisson
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markgravitygood wrote:
krakenfan69 wrote:
I have PR on my laptop and honestly it is a little hard to follow. I'm hoping to pick up a copy of PR today though. We are comming at PR from San Juan. Will that help or hinder us during learning the game do you think? Solid review, thanks for putting it up!

Kraken Fan #69


Well, you ARE Canadian, so there is that...

coffeetobaccoindigosugarcorncolonistthumbsupwhistle


In the words of Geekly McNerdigan...WRONG!!!

I'm American. I only live in Canada eh?

Kraken Fan #69
 
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