Port Royal

RRP: £10.99

NOW £9.79
RRP £10.99

The merchant players in Port Royal, which won the Austrian Game Designers Competition under the title Händler der Karibik, are trying to earn as much as they can out of the Caribbean Sea, but if they set their goals too high, they might take home nothing for the day. The 120-card deck depicts a coin on the back of each card — with players earning and paying coins throughout the g…
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Category Tags , , , SKU ZBG-PEG18114G Availability 5+ in stock
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Awards

Dice Tower

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Fantastic filler for up to five players.
  • Fun push your luck mechanics.
  • A surprisingly good game for two players.

Might Not Like

  • Some cards are useless in two player games.
  • Flipping forever can get a little silly.
  • The rule book is just meh (watch a play-through).
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Description

The merchant players in Port Royal, which won the Austrian Game Designers Competition under the title Händler der Karibik, are trying to earn as much as they can out of the Caribbean Sea, but if they set their goals too high, they might take home nothing for the day.

The 120-card deck depicts a coin on the back of each card — with players earning and paying coins throughout the game — and different items on the card fronts. On a turn, a player can first draw as many cards as they like, one at a time from the deck, placing them in the harbour. Each card shows one of the following:

  • Person, who stays in a face-up row next to deck.
  • Ship, which the player can attack immediately if they have enough swords on their people cards, after which the ship is discarded; otherwise, the ship stays in the harbor.
  • Expedition, which remains above the harbor until a player fulfills it by discarding people who have the items required for the expedition.
  • Tax Increase, which forces everyone with twelve or more coins to discard half their money, after which the card is discarded.

If the player draws a ship with the same name as a ship already in the harbor, they've spent too much time dilly-dallying and their turn ends (after using the ship to attack, if possible), with all the cards in the harbor being discarded. Otherwise, the player can stop whenever they like, then use/acquire one card if three or fewer ships are in the harbor, two cards if four ships are present, and three cards if five ships are present. Players rob ships, collecting the number of coins shown on them, then discarding the card while they hire people, paying the number of coins depicted. After the active player takes their 1-3 cards, each other player may pay the active player one coin in order to take one card in the same way.

When one player has at least twelve influence points — which are on both people and expedition cards — the game is played to the end of the round, giving everyone the same number of turns, then the player with the most influence points wins.

In the harbour of Port Royal life is bustling! Will you be able to make the deal of your life?

  • Ages 8+
  • 2-5 Players
  • 20-50 Minute Playing Time

 

Looking for a pirate game? Well, Port Royal isn't based on Pirates but they do feature. Port Royal is a multi-award winning card game with a mere 120 card deck.

The goal in Port Royal is to build the greatest port, by recruiting crew members, trading with ships (including those Pirates!) and completing missions.

How it plays

The cards in Port Royal have multiple uses: Gold (as depicted on the reverse of each card), Ships and Crew members. Some cards feature elements of expeditions, whilst others are tax cards that could prove beneficial but could also be costly if you hold too much gold.

Port Royal is an engine building game which relies heavily on push your luck mechanics. Each player improves their port by collecting gold coins (trading with ships) and then recruiting crew. Crew upgrade your port and are also worth VPs. Community expeditions also offer VPs.

On your turn you will flip cards from the deck and lay them face up on the table or in your 'harbour'. Cards can be flipped as long as you want or until you flip two ships of the same colour. The more ships there are of different colours means the more opportunity to recruit crew from the harbour.

Up to three ships of different colour means you can take one card from the harbour. Four ships will mean two cards and five ships means three cards can be taken. However, the more cards you flip the more likely you will pull a ship of the same colour, ending your turn. It also means more choice for your opponents when you are done choosing.

When choosing cards you can trade with a ship and collect it's worth in gold; cards are taken from the deck and act as your gold store. You can also recruit available crew which costs gold. Your opponents can also trade and recruit from your harbour but they have to pay you one gold each time they do so. This makes five player games really interesting!

Each player takes turns revealing their harbour, trading with ships and recruiting crew until one player reaches 12 VPs.

Final thoughts on Port Royal

The game is really well balanced. The stronger the crew member ability the more it costs to recruit. It is also worth more VPs. To gain the upper hand you will need certain cards early on, so luck is a factor. For example, the Mademoiselle reduces each cost by one gold - very handy if recruited early. Cards may be used just as gold which means that they may never show up in a game, offering huge replay-ability.

One small let down was that the push your luck element of the game can get a bit out of hand, especially if a player has many sailors or pirates in their crew.

Port Royal has made it to the table many times as a quick filler and is a surprisingly good two-player game, although it is worth removing the Jesters from the deck as they are seemingly worthless.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Fantastic filler for up to five players.
  • Fun push your luck mechanics.
  • A surprisingly good game for two players.

Might not like

  • Some cards are useless in two player games.
  • Flipping forever can get a little silly.
  • The rule book is just meh (watch a play-through).