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Puerto Rico

3.3 (2)
2.7 (12)
3041 1
Puerto Rico

Game Information

Game Name
Year Published

The players are plantation owners in Puerto Rico in the colonial age. Growing up to five different kind of crops: Corn, Indigo, Coffee, Sugar and Tobacco, they must try to run their business more efficiently than their close competitors; growing crops and storing them efficiently, developing San Juan with useful buildings, deploying their slaves colonists to best effect, selling crops at the right time, and most importantly, shipping their goods back to Europe for maximum benefit.

The game system revolves around the 'role selection' mechanism. Players choose a specific role on their turn that dictates what players can do at that time. The player who selects the best roles to advance their position during the game will win.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Easily one of the most important designs of the last twenty years or so, Puerto Rico is a master class in heavy Euro design. Nothing is out of place and every element feels deeply considered as part of a whole. The cyclical nature of the game play is really fascinating, particularly when everyone is at roughly the same skill level. Unfortunately skill disparities hurt the experience mightily, and the colonial theme has only become a worse look over the years. A shot of light randomness would make the game a little less stuffy.
Top 50 Reviewer 55 reviews
Top of it's Class. Shame about the class.
I can really see why this is such a popular and highly lauded game amongst a certain type of gamer. If you want an intense, cerebral multiplayer strategy game with low player interaction and in which randomness plays only a tiny impact, they don't come much better than this. Of course, the fact that it manages to be all these things also means that there are a bunch of things it isn't - thematic, accessible, social. It also has that infamous left/right binding problem where a weak player can hand a huge advantage to the next player in the chain. The thing I like most about Pureto Rico is the fact that by presenting you with a limited decision tree it manages to feel a lot less heavy than it actually is - which is a pretty impressive feat in my book. So it's worth a play simply for being the best of it's kind - and I find it interesting that it had to break so many rules of it's own paradigm (this is neither short nor simple) to get there.
#1 Reviewer 286 reviews

User reviews

12 reviews

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Amazing game
This has been my favourite board game for years (only very recently was it dethroned). I grew up playing the usual fare (Game of Life, Monopoly, Risk) and got introduced to Euros with Settlers of Catan which I really liked at the time (I don't enjoy it as much nowadays). I then discover BoardGameGeek and am obviously drawn to Puerto Rico out of curiousity. I get it as a gift and the rest is history. It's become the number one game we play when we get together with my family on vacations/holidays, etc. It's the first game I teach new non-gamers and gamers alike. I think in the dozens of people I've taught this game, only one has not liked it.

I personally LOVE tactical/strategic gameplay and this obviously delivers this in spades. NO LUCK! What an amazing concept. I can barely play Battlelore anymore because of that awful feeling I get after several key bad rolls.

The mechanics in this game are truly unique and unlike anything I had ever seen. The selection of roles really adds something special. There is an insane amount of depth (not to the amount of Caylus but enough for me to never get bored) and I'm always amazingly surprised at how different each game is. My mom and sister seem addicted to the Hospice (as was I in the beginning) where my fiancee and I love the Small Market. She loves indigo, I love coffee.

Although an effective strategy is important, it is completely dwarfed by how much tactics are important. And I think that's why the game is such a great fit. You can have little to no long-term thinking in this game and you can very well win just on that.

I suffer from immense Analysis Elbow and I find I don't get jammed in this game too much. I even played in the Canadian Puerto Rico Finals (I got 3rd :( and still didn't suffer from overthinking.

It's a great game to talk about after each match. You can really dig into which plays were key and which were obviously a mistake.

I grew up sometimes playing 5-6 hour board games which is something I hate now. I think 90 minutes is a perfect amount of time and I always finish games of this in under two hours. Perfect.

An insanely terrific game which after dozens upon dozens of games, I'm still nowhere close to getting sick of. I loves it.
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A perfect cohesion of rules, but...
Puerto Rico is a perfect engine. Though it's an impressive system, it's becoming more of a historical artifact as newer games utilize its mechanics in more interesting ways.

I have a fine time when I play it, but is a "fine time" what I'm looking for when I get together with friends to play games? No. I want to have fun. I respect Puerto Rico, but I don't really enjoy it.
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Really good Eurogame
It's an excellent game, but there are definitely times I don't want to play--it's so intense that the crowd needs to be into it, in my opinion. There are layers of nuance to the role selection that make for very interesting games. I feel some folks are a little too married to their style of play and don't like being put off it. It can get so bad in fact, that interaction drops down to murmurs about how non-optimal that last play was. As a solo game (using the Excel macro) it's a cool way to waste time at work while looking busy.
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More of a fling then relationship material.
Yes, this game was very innovative when it came out. It's clever and original and smart and all of that stuff. But after playing this half a dozen times the game seems to somewhat stagnate and play itself out the same each time - I suspect you don't really have as many valid choices to choose from as their first appears.

It's hardly an exciting game, and fails both as a rip roaring good time and as a true brain burning contest of wills. Ultimately this is a game that really impresses the first time you play it, but once the sheen wears off it becomes rather average.
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(Updated: August 08, 2008)
A lot of choices and strategy here, which is almost always a good thing. The theme is thin and uninteresting, though. Also, I guess you have to play it several times before you "get" the strategy. There wasn't much there to interest me, though. If the strategy isn't intuitive or if I can't figure out what to do after a game, there has to be *something* inherently fun or interesting about the game for me to want to play it again. It's *not* inherently fun or interesting to me, though, and I don't care for the theme at all. I just didn't get into the game at all. Maybe it was partly because of the theme, though I found Ingenious and Qwirkle more engaging and interesting that this game, so it wasn't just the dry theme.

I think the best part of the game was when I got to say "I HAS A CORM"
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