If you're looking for a politically correct game, this probably isn't the best choice. That may be an overstatement, but consider the premise—your job is to get rich managing your very own plantation. Of course, none of the potentially problematic elements of such a scenario are included, and Puerto Rico ends up being a great game for strategists that you can play with anyone free of shame or embarrassment.
The goal is profit. This is primarily accomplished through shipping items like indigo, tobacco, sugar, corn and coffee back to Europe, though simply getting your goods on a ship is only a small part of gameplay. Players grow and store crops, construct and maintain buildings, deploy colonists, and sell, sell, sell.
Unlike many agriculture and trade based games, Puerto Rico allows you to complete each turn's phases in whatever order you want. When your preliminary turn rolls around, you pick a "role," and when your actual turn is underweigh your role for that round helps you accomplish what you need to become the fattest fat cat in the whole New World.
Well, the whole South Atlantic New World, anyway. If it's pure historical accuracy you want you're bound to be disappointed, but for logic, planning and strategy (with some cutthroat spice thrown in for good measure) Puerto Rico's hard to beat. Setup is easy, gameplay isn't difficult once you get the hang of it, and replay value is exceptionally high for a game about raising healthy corn plants.
- 3-5 Players (2 player variant possible)
- 90 Minutes
- Ages 12+
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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