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An amazingly tight design, and I'd need a longer review to justify my next opinion, but it does feel a bit dated. Mainly in the austerity and the final scoring areas. I still look forward to many more plays.
One of my three favorite games. Fantastic blend of long term strategy and short term urgency. Even in the basic game, without cards, there are lots of different avenues to success. We've seen players win with only 3 family members, and we've seen players win with a wood home. We've seen players win by carefully building and sustaining a food engine, and we've seen players fish all the way to victory. And then, once you are comfortable with the basic game, you can add 7 occupations and 7 minor improvements for each player (out of several decks that contain hundreds of unique cards) that will make each game completely different. It's precisely those decks of cards and the harsher feeding what, for me, elevates Agricola heads and shoulders over Caverna.
Resource building and worker placement with a huge variety from game to game. Many ways to victory and many tough decisions throughout the game. Expands very well across number of players and even plays solitaire. Two reasons why the game is not a 10 though. First, the game can get a little long with 4 or 5 players. Second - and most important - the variability of the occupations and minor improvements can give one player a big [dis]advantage. INCLUDED: Agricola: The Goodies Expansion
Bought this having read all the positive reviews. Not sure if its the complex rules or having recently played Stone Age which was simple to explain and fun to play, but in comparison (which may be unfair), I just can't see the appeal currently. Hoping to change my mind... 20.11.2011 - Quick update, having ditched the family game version and had 5 games last weekend, this game is a blast. 20.01.2012 - changing rating from 9 to 8 as a group we've not gone back to it for a while and played the expansion only once. In comparison to other games played, this is a good game but for some reason not one anyone else suggests playing... :star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar: Easy to learn :star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar: Fun factor :star::star::star::star::star: Replay-ability Why this game stays in my collection? This has not hit the table for sometime, but i've never considered getting rid of it, even with caverna out (which i've yet to play), perhaps due to its lengthy play time in comparison to other games now in my collection. Would it be a desert island game, certainly. Oh and a special thanks to The Secret Cabal for this forever being known as Misery Farm in our gaming group.
All of the things that people cite as dislikes of this game never bothered me and in fact I would not enjoy the game as much if they were changed. I am firmly in the camp that Agricola is a better game than Caverna although I will play either one.
[b] :STAR: COMPLETE RATING: [/b] [c] [b]SCORE CRITERIA WEIGHTING ------- STAR RATING SCALE -------[/b] (9.0) FUN (x15): BORING :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar: REALLY FUN (9.0) GAMEPLAY (x5): NO DEPTH :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar: LOT OF DEPTH (FOR THE WEIGHT) (9.0) GAME FLOW (x5): FIDDLY :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar: SILKY SMOOTH (8.0) DOWNTIMES (x2): LOT OF :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: ZERO (6.0) RANDOMNESS (x2): PURE LUCK :star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar::nostar: PURE SKILLS (9.0) MECHANICS (x2): BORING :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar: INTERESTING / INNOVATIVE (10.0) REPLAYABILITY (x5): ZERO :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star: INFINITE (8.0) SCALABILITY (x3): POOR :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: GREAT AT ALL PLAYER COUNTS (7.0) PORTABILITY (x1): BULKY :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar: SUPER EASY TO PLAY ANYWHERE (5.0) THEME (x1): UNATTRACTIVE :star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar::nostar::nostar: ATTRACTIVE (7.0) AESTHETICS (x1): UGLY :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar: GORGEOUS (8.0) COMPONENTS (x1): LOW QUALITY :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: HIGH QUALITY (10.0) VALUE (x2): TOO EXPENSIVE :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star: REALLY CHEAP(LOW COST FOR WHAT WE GET) (7.0) SETUP TIME (x2): LONG :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar: ZERO (8.0) GAME LENGTH (x2): TOO SHORT/LONG :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: JUST PERFECT (8.0) RULES COMPLEXITY (x1): COMPLEX :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: SIMPLE [/c] [b]TOTAL = 430/50 =8.6[/b] :thumbsup: [b]POSITIVE POINTS:[/b] ++ The sheer number of cards available to play with makes replayability a non-issue. ++ Easy to teach the basics and get a game started. :thumbsdown: [b]NEGATIVE POINTS:[/b] -- Some cards are significantly stronger than others, "luck of the draw" in the drafting of cards can be an issue. -- AP can be an issue at times.
My favorite worker placement game and one the first difficult games I played. It sometimes feels like Uwe Rosenberg is chasing the success of Agricola and his successive worker placement games (such as Caverna and Feast for Odin) feel messier and not quite as fun or satisfying to do well at. There's something to say for a game that challenges the player and lets them fail. Caverna and Odin are friendlier games, and in my opinion are worse for it.
Absolutely love this game—we love the tension and stress. But when playing two players we find that we’re constantly fighting against each other because we’re both trying to accomplish exactly the same things.
While the mechanics aren't tough, the learning curve for game literacy is incredibly steep for a game of its type. You'll need somewhere between 5-10 plays before the frustration starts to fade away. Introducing new players to this game is a real hurdle. It is among the most frustrating gaming experiences for new players imaginable. It takes a certain personality to play a game that is frustrating on a game-system level and say "I want to do better at this game." It does feel less MPS than Caverna or Le Havre, probably because it's not a sandbox, and there are not a lot of opportunities to do what you want, so jostling for position is the order of the day.
Extremely fun worker placement, with a surprisingly non-gamer friendly theme (farming). The game can be tense in the early rounds, but a properly expanded farm can carry its own weight. The occupation and improvement cards can be a strategic trap; don't try to play too many. Significantly altered and improved by Farmers of the Moor expansion, which adds a variety of new options and strategies without altering the most significant parts.
A worker-placement/resource management game. It's easy to teach (though we had some problems learning our first time, as it was the group's first worker-placement game). It has built-in scaling to make it enjoyable for any number of players. The many decks of Improvements and Occupations (and the sheer number of cards and combinations in each) guarantee a lot of replay value for it. There are a lot of fiddly bits representing the resources available to your farming village, which must be fiddled with constantly, which can get time-consuming, especially later in the game or with more players. Second, there are some definite balance issues between some of the cards available, with some being all-around useful, some being useful if you have set your family on a certain path to prosperity, and some just sitting in your hand forever. (Update) Tried a "drafting" mechanic for assigning occupations and minor improvements after seeing somebody recommend it here. It's a fairly solid variant: it prevents the issue of getting dealt a crap hand, but it's still frustrating to see somebody (other than me, of course) playing a Wet Nurse.
Only one play so far. I enjoyed it. The theme really fit the mechanisms of the game. Enjoyable. I would play again. Possibly own too. Online Plays (boiteajeux.net) 2009-12-16 - Played with the "fuller" rules. 2009-12-12 - Bought 2010-09-18 - Sold 2012-11-01 -> 7.5 -> 8.5 (with the BAJ interface games are way faster and no setup/teardown) 2012-11-06 - Bought (Starlit Citadel)
The quintessential worker placement, with an array of winning strategies to analyze. The Occupation and Minor Improvement cards offer interesting combinations to explore, but are difficult to fully utilize, which as the main source of game-to-game variety is unfortunate. The scarcity of food and resources is oppressive, especially for new players, but as an experienced gamer I cherish this. You'd never expect farming, and the ever-looming harvest, to invoke such intense stress and worry, but these emotions work to quickly immerse players into Agricola's bleak world. While many will point to agriculture as the theme, I would argue that Agricola is a story of scarcity. There will never be enough resources, or workers, or time, to complete all of your goals, but you have to do the best with what you have. It may be simple life but it's hard as hell.
(3/17) 6. I'm sure this game "deserves" more than the 6 rating I've given it, but I've only ever played this game with extremely strong and experienced players and I'm nowhere near there yet, so it's not a game I'd necessarily jump at the chance to play again. Besides, I think I enjoy Caverna more, though I understand the arguments to the contrary. (10/17) 6. I enjoyed my second play of this a lot more, so this could be rising.
Great game. Not a lot of room for choices because of the great penalty for not having enough food. Being the first player is very important. Strategy changes based on the Minor Improvements and Occupations combinations.