Home > Board Games, Video Games > Puerto Rico and San Juan on iOS

Puerto Rico and San Juan on iOS

I’m going to talk a bit about Puerto Rico and San Juan on iOS.

If you never played either, well, here’s a review of Puerto Rico (PR):

PR is a very deep game and hard to play well. It’s a Resource Management Game that is a lot of fun, if you like thinking. The some bad items about the game:

1) It’s easy for one player to mistakenly give the game to another player and wasting a bunch of time just finishing up the game when it is already over.
2) Some of the buildings are overpriced and I would never build them.

Some good reading on how to play well:

Opening Theory Part 1: General Principles
Opening Theory Part 2: Openings
Strategy Principles (Condensed)
The Large Warehouse of Puerto Rico Knowledge
The Large Warehouse of Puerto Rico Knowledge Part 2

PR for the iOS updated its app a few weeks ago to allow for asynchronous play, which means, both people don’t have to be online to play a game. You make a move and when the player returns to his iPad he makes his move, etc. It works really well.

Not that long ago San Juan (SJ) was released on the iOS as well. SJ follows the same theme as PR, but it a card game and the rules are boiled down and are much easier. Here’s a review of SJ if you haven’t played it:

So here’s the point of all this…

Cost of PR app: $8 I can see this. PR is a deep game that can give you interesting moves to figure out even after playing it many times. Not cheap, but I could see (and have) spent the money. 🙂

Cost of SJ app: $8 This I can’t see and I won’t pay it. San Juan is a great game and they did a great job on the app (a friend did buy it and gave it a test run). However, SJ is not worth $8. It’s a good game, but no where near as deep. I’ve played the hell out of it (as have many others I know) and can play this on auto-pilot and still win. Some things that would help:

1) Add asynchronous play like PR. I bet they will, but it isn’t there yet.
2) Add the optional dealing rule: First player gets 5 cards, 2nd 6 cards, etc and discard to 4 cards to start the game. Having played in SJ tournaments, this is the fairest way to play. Otherwise the last player is at a disadvantage.

Sorry, don’t know what Ravensburger Digital was thinking on this. $8 is a lot to pay for an app like this. Caylus, for example is $5 and is a similar deep game like PR. I’ll wait for a sale and someone needs to talk to whoever is pricing these apps at Ravensburger…

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