Review – San Juan (2nd Edition)

There’s nothing like the Caribbean sun, I’m sure (I’ve never been down there, unfortunately). I know it gets really hot down there, especially when you’re working out in the streets or in the fields, building markets or working the indigo plants. Maybe you are building some statue to some long-honoured military general?

Of course, you aren’t actually out there doing all that stuff. You’re organizing it all, directing traffic, and having others build all of that for you. Still, watching them work while you’re sipping lemonade can be…ok, it can be peaceful. But you might start feeling bad for the workers!

So why not do it all in cards instead? That saves a lot of the hard work involved. And the messy sweat. Now everybody can drink lemonade with you! Or rum, if you like (though maybe that’s more of a Jamaica thing)

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You can do all this by playing San Juan (2nd Edition), the card game designed by Andreas Seyfarth, with art by Harald Lieske and Mia Steingräber, published by Alea & Ravensburger. Based on the board game Puerto Rico, it does have some similar mechanisms to its parent game.

But it’s so much more fun, at least for me.

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It’s All About the Insert

One of the really fun things about board games, besides playing them if they are really good, is that wonderful feeling when you first get a game. It’s all in shrink wrap, pristine, nobody has touched what’s inside. It has that new game smell.

What’s waiting for you when you take off that lid? You know that there are going to be a bunch of counter sheets and a board, or some cards or something, but what will it look like? And what will it look like when you have spent the time punching out everything and bagging it up?

Is there a nice place to put all of the stuff you just punched out or the cards from which you’ve removed all the cellophane? Is it an empty box without even any baggies (like the first edition of The Castles of Mad King Ludwig)?

Some games come with beautiful inserts that fit everything perfectly.

Others are Fantasy Flight Games.

Planet Steam 1
(Planet Steam insert above)

Don’t get me wrong. Fantasy Flight Games isn’t the only competitor¬†in the crappy insert tournament. But they would win a lot of years.

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