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Pleasant enough, but I think it suffers badly in comparison to Puerto Rico (and atrociously compared to Race). The card draw can influence your success too much near the endgame. Still nice, though, and the lack of arduous setup certainly makes it appealing.
Race for the Galaxy in Puerto Rico. ;) While I learned and played "Race" first, I value this title in my collection as well. It's different enough and has similar "difficult decisions."
Fun and fast paced game that puts the "cards in hand are also resources" mechanic to great use, but I feel like Race for the Galaxy is probably the better game. On the other hand San Juan is the simpler, cleaner design.
Fun light game. Puerto Rico style action selection is always fun. And it feels satisfying to build up your city. Can be a little overlong, and a little shallow, but ultimately it's a light game i'm willing to play. Which says everything
One of the best card games ever made. The role selection is deep, the possibilities for your tableau are incredibly varied, and yet the game remains approachable for new players. It's one of my absolute favorites and I'm happy to finally own this edition.
I've played game upon game of JSanJuan, and I'm often able to come out on top in both 3 and 4 player games. Opportunistic, but basic strategy and wisdom still apply. Update 2/13/2009: I played this out a while ago. There are no longer interesting decisions in this game for me, as I "know what to do" in a given situation. I'd rather play something else. Downgraded to a 5.
It's among my go-to gateway games because it serves as a great bridge to Puerto Rico, and other role selection games like Mottainai and RftG. Far simpler than Race and the Puerto Rico-style role selection system maintains a semblance of player interaction for beginners that doesn't appear in Race until you get good at it. Ultimately, Race is the better, deeper game. Trade Condition Notes: New in shrink
Not a bad game but not one that I will play any time soon. 2009-12-XX - Got in a trade around Xmas 2009 2010-06-06 - I lied. My wife likes it. Rating going from 6->7.5 2017-07-16 - Sold river market
Being a Puerto Rico zealot, I was surprised that I didn't hate this game. It does away with many of my favorite parts of its board game counterpart, but it breaks out of the mold enough to feel more like a card game in the Puerto Rico universe, rather than Puerto Rico: the Card Game. The various new buildings, and tweaked roles keep this game both familiar and distinct. I won't play much, but I won't renounce it either.