Last night I played Puerto Rico
for the second time, with Scott, Dave, and Emily
. I had been playing similar board games with them, like Settlers of Catan and its variants, since I came back from New York. But I find this game particularly enjoyable because it's almost all strategy; there are no dice and it has the most miniscule factor of chance. Yet unlike Chess and Go, and like Catan, it's not thoroughly abstract. It's "story" (plantations, workers, factories, ships, roles like captain and craftsman) gives a player plenty of colorful mental hooks for hanging decision trees and strategies on. The turns go around in a bit of a twisting daisy pattern: the first person to go in a round picks a role, and then everyone has a turn making a move in the spirit of that role (if the role is builder, then everyone can build, but the person who picked builder gets a special privilage) and then when everyone has a had a chance to go, the next person picks a role, etc., until the round is over--then the round itself shifts over a player. Apparently, it's fairly popular with serious board game geeks
, and there's even an online version
Looking up these links I was intrigued by the fact that this game actually has an author
: Andreas Seyfarth, apparently of Munich. Realizing that one man designed this game almost makes me want to try a hand at the business, but I had probably play more games first. In the mean time, for sheer silliness' sake, I point you to Google's translations of his profile
, apparently the original maker of Puerto Rico (Google translation of their motto: "alea - the play is good, is pleased humans
"), and an article about him on SpielTrieb
. Some quotes, courtesty of the translation bot:
- " "my play passion kindled my wife", says Andreas Seyfarth (class 1962), author of Puerto Rico ,"
- "and above all again with the marriage wife to play..."
- But then the plays became ever more fastidiously and finally turned Karen Seyfarth this hobby the back.Married man Andreas let that be based not on itself and took up contact with different play publishing houses. It noticed: "plays can one also make".
- Eight years long it was calm around the author.