The Quintessential Gamer’s Game
Some games are destined for greatness. They may not win a lot of awards or achieve instant fame, but as word spreads they amass a geeky following that catapults them into a place of honor.
Puerto Rico is such a game. It’s not flashy or slick, but the mechanics are so sound and the concept so engaging that it’s hard not to love it. It’s probably a bit on the heavy side for some players (there are some tricky rules to master), but if you give it time this game will really grow on you.
Players take turns as wealthy merchants who are colonizing and developing the island of Puerto Rico. You will have to plant crops, harvest them, and then export them for points. You can also buy cool buildings that give you special perks, but you will also need to import enough colonists to man them all. And you will have to do all of this without accidentally helping out your opponents too much!
- Decisions: 5/5. Even though you can only choose from 7 actions at most, the consequences of each of those actions needs to be considered. Do choose the Mayor now and activate my newest building, or do I wait for someone else to choose it so I can do something else?
- Artwork: 3/5. The artwork and graphic design in Puerto Rico is functional and clear, but it’s not beautiful by any means. Don’t get me wrong, I like it, but it definitely could have been better.
- Replayability: 5/5. No coasting or easy decisions here; each game requires your full attention. Everything depends on what your opponents have done (or might do), and the first building you purchase can have a huge effect on how the rest of your game goes.
- Awesomeness: 5/5. In my opinion, Puerto Rico is up there with the best games of all time. There is a lot going on, but it all works together and balances perfectly. This is the creme de la creme of game design.
TOTAL SCORE: 18/20
Bottom line: Not many games can compete with Puerto Rico when it’s all said and done. Give it a shot and see for yourself what all the hype is about!