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Gary Meacher
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Full review with images can be viewed on The Gamer Nerd.
http://www.thegamernerd.com/reviews/cinque-terre/

Cinque Terre is a coastal region of the Italian Riviera, known for its five beautiful and culturally diverse villages; Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore. Paths connect the villages to each other, cars can’t reach the area because of its proximity to the coast and steeply developed terraces, so carts are often used to transport goods back and forth. Here in lies the core of Cinque Terre as a game, pick-up and deliver.

Players take on the role of farmers and operate food carts in which they harvest produce and deliver them to villages. Players compete with one another to sell the most valuable produce to the five villages, amassing Lire (Italian currency) along the way. Not only do players harvest and deliver goods, they also take on orders to be fulfilled and traded in for more Lire. The winner is determined by the farmer who has earned the most Lire, gained popularity within the villages, and fulfilled orders.

Cinque Terre is a beautifully colorful game with quality components. Each player has a wooden food cart, a fulfillment card to monitor where they are selling their produce, and order cards that act as mini goals to motivate the player to harvest and sell certain goods and gain Lire. The gameplay itself is elegant in its simplicity and complexity (that statement makes sense, I promise). During each player’s turn you can perform 3 of the following 4 actions in any order (players may also perform the same action more than once per turn); Move up to 4 spaces clockwise to harvest or sell goods in and around the coastal line, Draw a produce card (which are used to add product to your cart), Harvest produce (exchanging cards for up to 4 produce to be delivered on your cart), and lastly sell produce at a village market. There are 8 types of produce; Olive, Funghi, Agli, Uva, Zucchine, Limoni, Arance, and Pomodori. Each produce type matches the color of produce pieces and colored 6-sided dice.

One of the more interesting and redeeming quality of Cinque Terre is its replay ability. The game’s economy is randomized at the beginning of every game. Some produce will be more profitable at certain villages, and less profitable in others. The color coordinated dice are rolled at the beginning of the game to determine which cities will pay what amount for which good. The dice are then left next to the city for the remainder of the game. These dice show which produce are more desirable and most profitable in that particular village (all villages buy all produce, but certain types fetch a higher price). When a player sells something to a village they keep track of it on their fulfillment card. Once a player has sold produce to a village 8 times they become the Most Popular Vendor (MPV) for that city which equates to more points at the end of the game. The end game is triggered when a player has combined to complete a mix of 5 produce orders and/or MPVs (an average game takes 50–60 minutes). The player with the most Lire wins.

Cinque Terre is a wonderful game. The gameplay feels light but can be deceptively strategic —much like Ticket to Ride. Some of the gameplay is closely related in that you gather cards of certain colors, trading them in for placement on the board, and using cards to guide your strategy and playing style. As a gateway game (opening doors for new gamers to play more intense games beyond Monopoly and Yahtzee) Ticket to Ride has been tremendously successful. Cinque Terre is easily in the same league, but brings more to the table. Its yet to really dawn on me as to how this game can be expanded in the way Ticket to Ride does, but I'm sure if there’s a will there’s a way. Cinque Terre brings a fun and colorful theme to the pick-up and deliver mechanic and manages to maintain your interest with other game goals and ways to win. If you're a fan of Ticket to Ride you will love this game. If you're getting bored with all the trains and gimmicky map expansions, adding the economy element to this style of play is a great way to energize the table. Finally, if you're looking for the next step beyond some of the more popular gateway games, Cinque Terre will do the trick.

Rio Grande Games provided The Gamer Nerd with a review copy of this game.
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François + Daphné
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Thank you for this interesting review! I was eager to read something like that about this game before buying it!
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Gary Meacher
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Camdin wrote:
Thank you for this interesting review! I was eager to read something like that about this game before buying it!


Thanks for the kind words. I really do love this game. Highly recommend it.
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Nicolas Shayko
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Sounds great. Do you think this game falls more closer to a gateway game or a medium Euro (ie Stone Age or Lords of Waterdeep)? Would you still recommend playing Ticket to Ride before this one for a new gamer or can someone skip right over a gateway game into Cinque Terre?
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Gary Meacher
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niczone wrote:
Sounds great. Do you think this game falls more closer to a gateway game or a medium Euro (ie Stone Age or Lords of Waterdeep)? Would you still recommend playing Ticket to Ride before this one for a new gamer or can someone skip right over a gateway game into Cinque Terre?


I would still play Ticket to Ride first if I had a choice. Adding the pickup and deliver element might be just enough to scare a new player away. That being said its in that odd spot between a gateway and medium Euro. I wouldn't be afraid to call it either one.

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The Soot Sprite
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Thanks for bringing this game to my attention.

Do you have any thoughts on 2p?
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Gary Meacher
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spritey wrote:
Thanks for bringing this game to my attention.

Do you have any thoughts on 2p?


The game plays quite well with just 2p. No complaints.
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Cole Foote
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I have only played this with 2p and thought it was a good game. Took me a bit to wrap my mind around the language of the game, but once I got it straight in my head things went much smoother. Wouldn't hesitate to pull this out with only 2ps.

There are some similarities to Ticket to Ride but I also feel its a much different game. It made me think more than Ticket to Ride does. Plus it seems there are an infinite amount of set ups where ttr can get repetitive after awhile.
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Gary Meacher
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skyguy1983 wrote:
It made me think more than Ticket to Ride does. Plus it seems there are an infinite amount of set ups where ttr can get repetitive after awhile.


I completely agree. The replay value is huge with the random economy element of rolling dice for produce prices and reordering the way they are placed on the board.
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Kenneth Lewandowski
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As a pick up and delivery gateway game... how does this compare to Africana?

Thinking about getting CT but will it scratch the same Itch as Africana?
 
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Gary Meacher
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Lewk1700 wrote:
how does this compare to Africana?


Man, you guys are doing an awesome job at suggesting more games for me to check out. Unfortunately I've never played Africana. Hopefully someone else can step in with an answer for you.
 
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Patrick C.
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mmmbraaains wrote:
Lewk1700 wrote:
how does this compare to Africana?


Man, you guys are doing an awesome job at suggesting more games for me to check out. Unfortunately I've never played Africana. Hopefully someone else can step in with an answer for you.


Have played both. CT by a mile. Africana has a second player advantage problem and some (although not all) have encountered a balance problem with the assistant cards. My jury is still out on the latter, but the former is just there - the second player has an easier time getting money within the first two turns due to the card distribution which never changes from the initial set up.

Africana is good. CT is better. If you had to choose only one, CT all the way.
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