The board game Puerto Rico is the somewhat quick game that is full of the best gaming features for a fun time. When we played it usually took us about and hour and a half or so but the more we played, the quicker the game passed. This game was designed by Andreas Seyfarthand, first published in 2002. This is a 2-5 player game usually lasting about an hour or so,depending on how well the players know the game. It seems to be best played with 4 people. This game can be categorized as farming, city building, and economics since the purpose of the game is to plant crops on your island and ship them off for victory points(VP). The person with the most victory points at the end is the winner. The components of the game are mostly wood chips and cardboard tiles. The game has VP chips, island tiles, buildings, doubloons, cargo ships, colonists, and role card cards. Those are all made of cardboard while the colonists and goods are made of small pieces of different colored wood.
Puerto Rico is simple yet can be complicated and stressful. To win one, must earn VP but to do that the player needs to be able to read what the other players are going to do on their turn. If you can do this, you can postpone a move that will advance them further in the game. Doing this is rather simple, one just has to pay attention because there is a lot to look for. Of course while every game has a theme, Puerto Rico’s theme is Puerto Rico and the buying and shipping off of goods to Europe. During the game each player has their own board that consists of spaces for plantations, buildings, and resources. The players also share places: the trading house,doubloons (money), and ships.
Each player will grow crops which they will trade for doubloons. The players use doubloons to buy their buildings and plantations. For the player to use the buildings or plantations each has to be filled with colonists. So, to do all of these things, players take turns picking a role card. Each card has a role written on it. Ex: captain, mayor, trader, builder. When a player chooses this card they must do what that card says to do. After the player who chose the card takes their turn, the other players will also do the role if they choose to. As the game progresses the VPs will run out and the game is over OR the first player to fill up all their building spaces with buildings first ends the game. When this happens each player adds up total amount of victory points and points earned from buildings. Whoever has the highest number wins. In most games the person with the most money wins but money only counts in this game if there is a tie in VP. Each player must remember to keep their VPs hidden from the other players. You do not want them to know how many VPs you have.
Now that the rules are covered, lets begin my experience playing Puerto Rico. I played this game for two days consecutively. On the first day there were four of us playing. We were very excited about playing because the box and name was very appealing. We set the game up and passed out all the pieces. No one knew how to play so of course Dr. Peterson had to explain multiple times in multiple situations what should be done. I played rather well on the first day but not the second. I believe it was “beginners luck”, that always happens to me. I also had a great time playing the game were as the other players did not enjoy it as much, that is probably why I played better. When learning how to play it comes across to a new player that the mayor is the best role card to choose, or the building card, because these give you colonists and money. It was difficult for me to adjust my usual thinking that money is not how you win in this game. VPs are how you win this game and it is nerve racking when a player chooses the captain role because they are usually about to rack up on VP points. Both days we played this game, the Captain move always ended the game. First day, I was stuck between choosing Captain and ending the game or choosing a different role and allowing other players to make moves that would help themselves. It was difficult for me to choose because VP for each player are always kept hidden. Not knowing how many VPs other players had made up my mind to choose the Captain role and end the game, which was a good decision.
Second day was a bit more easy but I did not do as well. Until one is completely comfortable with the rules, things can still get rather confusing. Our professor played with us on this day which made a total of three players. Dr. Peterson helped us throughout the game but in the end he won both games we played and guess what? -The Captain move was how. The Captain move will always “getcha!”. I came in last in both games played but I was OK with that because it was so much fun.
Puerto Rico is extremely fun if one likes to play using strategic thought and actually seeing what you want done happen. For example: when you want to ship your goods away, you literally put your goods on a cardboard boat and ship them off. It is really fun seeing this take place and makes the game much more entertaining. It may look difficult but once you start to play, it is quite simple to understand its purpose and what the player must do.Depending on where you buy it and if the game is new or used, Puerto Rico usually runs between 20-30 dollars. Not bad for such a fun game.