Harbour, Plenty of Fish in the Sea Review
|Game: Harbour||Players: 1- 4|
|Publisher: Tasty Minstrel Games||Ages: 8+|
|Time: 30 minutes||Replayability: 8/10|
Tasty Minstrel Games has always impressively fit huge games into small packages and Harbour is no exception. This worker placement card game insists that you handle with care because there are many opportunities to get that one up on your opponents. As entrepreneurs, you are in the busy port of Gullsbottom, purchasing as many buildings in the harbour as possible. The player with the most valuable buildings at the end of the game wins. In this Harbour review you’ll find how to play the game, How I felt about the game, and my experience.
You begin by placing the market board in the middle of the table in reach of all the players. After selecting your meeple and character board randomly lay out 1 of each good token onto the markets cargo slots. Give all the players 1 of each good and allocate your goods on your personal cargo supply in a way that you’ve collected up to 3 goods. Depending on player count, distribute cards from the top of the deck (after shuffled) across the market as actions to take. (these are also the buildings you’ll be buying). Each turn relocate your meeple onto vacant buildings and take the action described. For example, placing your worker on the “Inn” will have you remove a fish, wood, and stone good to recieve +4 livestock goods. Eventually these goods you recieve will have a turn around profit which you can use to buy the buildings located around the market. These buildings have a value and a cost.
Once the game started I was on the prowl of a strategy that would promise me wealth and good fortune, I played as Drover (who can adjust the price of livestock whenever he gains livestock) so my goal was to focus on collecting 2 types of goods and use livestock as a way to fix prices in my favor. I would alternate my building to the buildings are the shop, collecting my livestock (+anything of my choice) and reselling them for higher good returns. When I’ve gathered enough resources to purchase the best building; I;d rely on my unique ability to adjust the stocks so my goods gave me what I needed. On top of collecting high value buildings, I balanced this out with warehouse icons so I can conserve goods I didn’t use. I repeated this process until games end, where I ended up drowning in wealth (and stone) and ending the game short of excitement. Overall, the spirit of the game was there as well as the delivery of a big game in a little package. However, the game can find itself feeling a bit repetitious and a little more of a race to take your turn again (not very interactive).
I wanted to write this Harbour review because of the solo variant this game offers. The game provides you with a “traning dummy” character that is solely an AI. This character has it’s own move set, action decisions, and turn order. To be honest, I think it does a great job adding that nudge of difficulty to the play through. It truly lives up to being a “training dummy”. I also enjoyed the artwork as it considers the size of the game and depicts nothing too heavy but nothing too soft. I think the game itself can find itself dragging toward the latter half of the game but typically ends shortly after this happens. I’m not sure if it’s because the buildings happen to adjust the same action around to appear assorted or does collecting victory points just seem a bit too back-and-forth. Either way, it’s has proven to find itself off the shelf more often than not and offering a solo variant has definitely given this title the two thumbs up from me.
You will like this game if you’re interested in a small boxed big worker placement game. Each player has their own variant of actions and abilities which is always fun.
You will not like this game if you’re not interested in fluctuating economies. The game is definitely big but doesn’t offer much more than a few opportunities for actions at a time.
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