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Subject: Puerto Rico Review rss

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Brad Morgan
United States
Schenectady
New York
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I’m sure there already plenty of reviews for Puerto Rico in the BGG archive, as it is such a popular and well regarded game. That being said, I just recently picked up this game via math trade, so it is new to me.

I have played multiple games with 3, 4, and 5 players. I have also played with other complete newbies, and online with others with far more experience. As to be expected, I feel this game plays best with 5. That does not mean it doesn’t play well with 3 or 4, it just seemed that the more people swiping potential actions and resources, the more stressful the game…and I personally like a stressful game with there just isn’t enough turns or resources to do everything you want, so you have to make the tough decisions. As is to be expected, I also feel the game plays better with more experienced players. Again, this is not to say it isn’t for newbies, as the rules are straightforward, and the main gameplay is intuitive and easy to follow.

I am going to skip the detailed review of the components, and just say that the pieces all serve their purposes fine, and the heavyweight cardboard tiles are very nice. The artwork is effective, although certainly not spectacular.

The gameplay is obviously the star of the show (as it should be in any good game). The combination of role selection combined with several different types of resource management make for a wonderful game. Each round the first player (or Governor) selects from among 6-8 (depends on the # of players) roles. The player then gets to perform the actions of this role with a slight bonus (or Privilege) for being the player that selected this role. All other players that take turns performing the base actions of this role. The 2nd player than selects a role from among those not selected, again receiving the Privilege, and the player performs the action. This continues until all players have selected a role. The Governor title is passed to the next player, and this role selecting begins again.
The crux of the game is that players are building plantations that produce different crops. The players also have to have a matching production building to be able to refine the crop into a usable good. However, in order to use the plantation and production building, the player has to have recruited workers to work on these spaces. Players then must decide if they want to sell (for money) or ship (for victory points) these goods. Also, players have the option of building additional buildings that grant bonuses to different actions and game-ending victory points (again, these buildings need to have a worker on them in order to be activated).
This can be a maddening balancing act, as the role you wanted for its special privilege is not always available when you want it. Additionally, there is a very limited number of goods, workers, and buildings, so it can be difficult to obtain the exact mix you want.
For me, this is by far the best part of the game. There are many roads to victory – do you just produce goods and ship, even though it may not be super-efficient? Do you collect as much money as possible and focus on high point value buildings? Do you collect money early to buy efficiency –increasing buildings, and then focus on producing and shipping, although you may run out of time before you get this engine up and running? Etc.
What makes this even better is that is can be difficult to go into a game, having already decided that you have a “winning strategy” and expect to be able to follow it. The predictability of other players forces you to be able to adapt on the fly, and focus on the strategy that is available to you, not necessarily the one that you want.
The only downside for me is that when you play with 4 or 5 players, the additional roles are “do-nothing” prospectors that provide a little money. I don’t know how to fix it, but I would love to see more detailed roles available for 4 and 5 players. It certainly isn’t a game breaker, and there is a probably numerous reasons the designer decided use that role…it is just something I would like to see explored.

In conclusion, this is a fantastic game. It is relatively easy to learn, and doesn’t take too long. It isn’t too intense and doesn’t involve much conflict. That being said, it takes a long time to “master”, and provides many options and paths to victory to help it avoid becoming stale. This will be a staple game in our rotation for many years to come.
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Nat Li
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TYhis game is great. I also like it for the reason that it feels like it flows rather quickly from turn to turn.

Anyways, You say, you like intense and stressful games yes?

You --MUST-- find out more about Space Alert and try it out. This, I recommend!

The '10 mins' are the most action packed you can find. Best with 5 players.

This, for me, is the only "true" co op.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
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Abdullah Ibrahim - African River
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BMinNY wrote:
I’m sure there already plenty of reviews for Puerto Rico in the BGG archive, as it is such a popular and well regarded game.

Only 86 previous ones.
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Nat Li
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The first reviews are reviews. After a while these new reviews are like love letters to the game itself, exPressing the writers' fondness of the game.
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Guillaume Chaput
France
Veneux les sablons
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alafter wrote:

This, for me, is the only "true" co op.


If I may, there is another "true" co op: Hanabi

Sorry for the change of subject, but it needed to be said!
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