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Since I first posted this review nearly two-years ago, we've played with all types of gamers and non-gamers alike. Especially our non-gamer friends still bring up how they like this game and how easy it was to learn and how fun it was.
It is a fun, fun, thematic game.
We opened this up for the first time this weekend and played it through several times.
+ Great looking game
+ Fun artwork
+ Durable pieces
- Did NOT like the fold out instructions "map". Glad I found a scanned PDF online, so I could put on my tablet and read much easier without covering the table with a map that leads me to the one rule I need on the bottom left corner
- The map instructions are very large and I had 5 copies in different languages. A waste of printing and taking up space in the box.
+ Easy to follow and seem to cover the basics
+ When a question came up the wording in the rules left little discussion, which was good
LUCK vs. STRATEGY
+ The luck is the combat and to some level its like Risk or any d20 RPG...it's your attack strength vs. "defender's" attack strength and winner get to loot one thing from the loser
+ The choice cards in your hand are random from your character's draw pile, but since you can hold 3 in your hand (4 with a special treasure card) then its still up to you and gives enough options for you to play your strategy vs. forced to play a luck move
- Found on boardgamegeek a similar comment that someone could hang back, turn in their double-gold card whenever there were two sixes rolled and still win more points even with a -5 penalty for not crossing the 3/4 mark on the board. I could see this happening sometimes, unless you make a house rule where the penalty is -7 or more, not just -5.
- Other than that, we had no flaws that we found initially that could be exploited
+ Great suggestion by someone online was to add a "sea monster" token on a spot. Whenever ships pass by roll a six sided die. For each number rolled that is the hold on your ship that loses loot. If you roll a six you got by safely...unless you have the 6th hold card and thus lose that hold's loot. Nice easy rule to add some flavor.
+ Ghost ship idea, similar to the two player rules in the game, but someone said with a 6 player game the ghost ship made the game drag for hours
- Yes, I've contacted "support"/customer service a few times in order to get my hands on this game. For months all I got was "Follow our Facebook page and you'll get notified of when we are releasing more copies." NOT! Finally contacted them again saying the FB page only talks about your new game, Timeline, you are trying to promote. That's when I got a different answer that they were making a bunch more in January 2014. Well they didn't and the three game shops around my house couldn't get a copy either. Not happy with this manufactures service.
Easy mechanics you can teach in two minutes to any friends who do not normally play board games.
Art and quality pieces will get new people like the game as you take it out of the box.
This is our first "racing" game, and we had a lot of fun with it as a family of six.
Now if only the publisher would make more copies so these idiot retailers aren't selling the game for $90 or more, then it would be accessible to more people.
1. Are fun to play.
2. Are easy to learn.
3. Can accommodate at least five players,
4. Have a lot of replay value.
Jamaica fits all of these criteria. Although it is a newer game and is still establishing a name for itself, I am certain that it will become a widely popular game at some point in the future.
The premise of the game is that of a pirate race around a topical island. Each player takes one of the six available pirate characters (who are actually based on authentic historical figures!) and sets out with a meager supply of gold and food tokens. To make it around the island, each player must take turns moving their ship and replenishing their stores of food, gold, and ammunition tokens. Most of the spaces around the circular board have a "cost" associated with them. The player must either pay the required cost or be forced to move backward into a space that they can afford. Spaces that have no cost associated to them, instead offer potential treasure to the player who first lands on them. When two players end up on the same space, they must "fight it out." A combat die is rolled and the player with the highest roll wins the fight, though players may boost up their attack strength by using any ammunition tokens they have in their holds. The winner of the battle then gets an opportunity to steal items from the player they defeated.
The game is very light and fun, and sometimes players have more fun just fighting each other rather than pursuing the goal of being the first to cross the finish line. When one player does cross the finish line, the game ends, and points are scored according the each player's position on the map and according to the total amount of treasure they have accumulated. Games typically take around 45 minutes to play, which is just about right. Any longer than this, and younger kids lose interest in a game. Although I have yet to try it, there are optional rules for playing a two-player game. Every time I have played this game, I have had five or six players, playing, and everyone enjoyed themselves.
This game has a very high production value, with gorgeous artwork, thick cardboard or plastic components, sturdy cards, a not-overly-big box, and a nicely-designed plastic tray insert that has a proper space for each of the game components. Not only does this make things more organized, but it makes set-up of the game quicker and easier.
The only complaint I have with this game is the rules book. Rather than make a small, concise pamphlet of rules, the designer, instead, chose to lay out all the rules on a giant fold-out poster that looks like a large map. While this may add to the fun theme of the game, it makes reading the rules a pain in the butt. Rather than holding a copy of the rules in your lap for reference, you must unfold the spacious poster and lay it out on the table to find what you are looking for. This is cumbersome and impractical. Other than this small gripe, I have no complaints with the game, and I would highly recommend it to families looking for a fun new game to play together!