Friday, July 10, 2009

Puerto Rico Board Game

guest review by Carrie's brother, Christopher

As I've said before, Jonathan likes games and I do not. However, as I've also said, I'm particularly fond of all the games I've played (so far) by Rio Grande Games. I had a few to try out so I asked my brother, Christopher, and his wife if they'd like to play Puerto Rico "for" us and see what they thought of it. They gladly obliged and here is Christopher's review:


Puerto Rico is an engaging game that really can become quite addictive. It is designed for 3-5 players, of ages 12 and up. Once you have learned the rules, playing time averages 90 to 150 minuets.

My wife and I have now played Puerto Rico with two completely different sets of friends, and in both cases our friends have become hooked and are now looking for their own copies of the game to purchase. Part of what makes Puerto Rico a great game is that there is no one way to win. Everyone who has played board games knows that in most cases, there is a single path that the winner must take to achieve victory, and whoever is most successful in accomplishing that one predetermined set of goals will be the ultimate winner. Not so with Puerto Rico.

The way to win Puerto Rico is to come to the end of the game with the most victory points – which doesn't sound terribly profound, until you realize that there are three completely independent elements in the game that can bring it to an end. Moreover there are two different ways to earn victory points, and at least a dozen different ways to manipulate the amount of points earned by purchasing various privileges during the game

Another positive element in Puerto Rico is that every player has the opportunity to play the various roles that are offered in the game (e.g. Mayor, Builder, Captain, etc.) and to enjoy the privileges that come with playing those roles. This keeps game play fluid and intriguing.

Puerto Rico is a game of strategy and economics. There is just enough chance in the game to keep you on your toes and from knowing what will happen, but the goal of winning will ultimately be achieved by the player who has thought ahead and planned their moves accordingly. You have to keep your thinking cap on for this one, folks.

The only difficulty my friends and I experienced in playing Puerto Rico was in understanding from the directions how game play was to begin. The game was originally developed in Germany and I think that perhaps the difficulty was due in some part to translation issues which made the directions somewhat opaque when starting out. However, I have to say that once we figured out how to begin playing, the directions became very helpful as they do clearly answer questions that arise without having to dig through a lot of useless data.

Overall, I would give Puerto Rico 9 out of 10.

If you would like to play the game, I would also recommend going to the website Board Games with Scott and watching Scott's video on Puerto Rico to learn more.


Carrie here again: I guess we can safely say that Rio Grande Games are a hit with our family. So far, no strike outs!


Katrina said...

While I have not yet convinced my husband to play Puerto Rico with me, we both really enjoy the card game version -- San Juan. It's a bit simplified, and plays faster, and while it can play with more than two, it is a great two-player game as well.

Thanks for the review!

Deus Lo Volt! said...
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Marks of Faith said...

This is an amazing game! I strongly recommend it to folks. My family and I have played this game several times over (several days in a row) and have yet to tire of it. BUY THIS GAME! You won't regret it! : )

Thank you Katrina for the info on San Juan. I will look in to that as I'd love a more intriguing card game that just my husband and I could play.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a fun game. Thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

This game was my first strategic board game that i played in my life and i love it alot! I can no longer find any strategical game that is fun and intriguing. 9.5/10 for Puerto Rico!

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