Hello there and thanks for reading my review!
Since Puerto Rico has been around for so long and is rated so high on the games list, it has garnered countless reviews about it. Though I doubt I will have anything new to speak about on the game, I'd still like to offer my thoughts on it.What it Comes With:
The components of Puerto Rico are rather simple. You have player mats where you build your town and plantations. There are cardboard chits for the buildings to be put in the town and types of crops to be planted. There are small wooden disks that stand for your population that work the fields and buildings. There are wooden cylinders that represent the finished goods that can be shipped. And finally there are chits for points and money. Everything performs its function well and seems to hold up to multiple plays well. I kind of wish the player boards were a little thicker then they are, but careful play will keep them looking nice. The plantations are easily identifiable by color and name making playing a larger table easy. The buildings can offer the biggest pain perhaps to those unfamiliar with the game or have forgotten their uses due to the small text on the chits. After numerous plays I still find myself and other gamers leaning over to the building pile to read what each of them do. It isn't a large complaint, and I am sure there are some player aids to be found that can help alleviate this problem. The finished goods look nice and stand up on their own well, preventing any goods from rolling away from you. Overall I was very pleased with the components.Gameplay:
I am not going to offer a comprehensive breakdown of the rules here. I'd likely skip or mess up an important rule and there are undoubtedly better breakdowns in other reviews and videos. Rather, I am going to talk about my thoughts of how the game plays. After going over the rules, I found the game to flow very smoothly. The idea of selecting a role to carry out seemed to fit thematically with the game for some reason and I found it intuitive. The game is all about selecting a role that benefits you at the right time and doesn't help the others at the table too much since they all get to do the action too, minus the bonus you received for choosing the role. I also found the idea of building buildings with money, and sowing plantations easy to follow, and the idea of needing a worker in the spot to activate it easy to follow. There is a spot on the building or plantation for each needed worker so it is easy to follow. Some I've taught the game to and played with had a little trouble with buildings that could take multiple workers to harvest multiple plantations. They thought the building had to be filled, but that was easily put to rest. The ship mechanic can also be a little confusing to new players since a ship can only take 1 type of good and only sails at the end of a turn when it is filled. Again, it can be explained with little trouble.
This brings me to why I enjoy this game so much. The rules and gameplay seem so easy to follow. You need to make finished goods to ship and get victory points from. That's about it, with of course all the mechanics of going about doing so. But even though it is a rather easy game to learn and play, I've found it a hard one to master. There are a lot of choices to be made on when to pick a role, what building strategy to choose, what crops to go after, and when you should ship or cash in. I don't play it often enough to have the game down to a science yet, and perhaps that is why I enjoy it so much. I can play it differently each time based on the flow of other players. I enjoy games that require you to think on your feet.Final Thoughts:
Looking at other reviews and ratings of this game, I can see many many people enjoy this game as well. As I mentioned above it is an easy to learn, hard to master game that allows you to try new options and offers quite a bit of replay I've found. I like to save it as a 'treat' in my game group (I am the game library of the group so I have the power to choose which game gets played
). We come away from most plays of the game commenting on what a good game it was and how we'd try different options next time. I think that's probably the hallmark of a good game, how much it gets discussed after it is over. For me I find that Puerto Rico and Agricola are two that I like to come back to over and over even after trying numerous new games. I hope you enjoy the game too, and give it a try (or a buy!) if you haven't already.
Thanks for reading my review!