Puerto Rico designed by Andreas Seyfarth, published by Rio Grande Games
The players are plantation owners in Puerto Rico in the days when ships had sails. 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 colonists to best effect, selling crops at the right time, and most importantly, shipping their goods back to Europe for maximum benefit. A novel game system lets players choose the order of the phases in each turn by allowing each player to choose a role from those remaining when it is their turn. No role can be selected twice in the same round. The player who selects the best roles to advance their position during the game will win.
Puerto Rico is one of our go-to games on nights when we have five players. We have an expansion, too, which means we can use a variety of buildings. This is one of those games where you have a strategy, but others can screw it up, sometimes on purpose and sometimes just by following their own plan. There’s no actual confrontations between players, keeping the level of hostility down, which can be nice, depending on the group of players. The rules seem difficult when reading them, but it is fairly easy once you get the hang of it. Winning isn’t easy, but playing is.
This is another must-own game, that you’ll find yourself playing again and again. You can buy it at Amazon.