Monday, July 28, 2014


For today's Puzzle in the Spotlight, I've actually chosen a multi-player game.  The interesting thing about Agricola is that it has a Solo version, so it can be considered a single-player game too!  I've been wanting a copy of Agricola for a very long time, but I wasn't willing to pay B&N $70 for it.  Last week we found it on the bargain bin for 50% off...and we now have a new game to play!

Agricola is a rather complex game for 1-5 players.  It is recommended for ages 12 and up.  And I would say, unless you and your kids are experienced, saavy game players, you might want to skip on this one!  My kids and I, of course, are quite saavy and experienced ;-), so we gave it a go!

Jack had bed head this morning!

We started our game last night, but by 8:30 Ginny was getting cranky, so we put everyone to bed and planned to finish in the morning.  Jack was so wound up by the game, he actually had a hard time sleeping!  Silly kid!  We did finish our first game this morning and Jack won.

It was slow going at first because the rule book is like an encyclopedia!  We barreled through this on our own, but I'd definitely recommend checking out the video below before reading the instructions, if it's your first time.  It helps clear up a lot of things and familiarizes you with the playing pieces.

It is a half hour long, but it's worth the watch and reading all the instructions will take longer, although you need to do that too!

I also read though this strategy guide from Game Knight which has some very good hints and tricks for play.

Jack and Ginny both really enjoyed this game.  I was surprised because Ginny generally loses interest in the longer games (she's only 11 after all!)

There is a "family" version of the game where you play without the cards, but both kids vetoed trying that first (to easy for them!), so we did use the Occupation and Minor Improvement cards.  And I think that was what made it so much fun for them!  Jack really enjoys card games like Pokemon and Magic the Gathering where each card can do something different.  The Occupation and Minor Improvement cards are just like that!  They had a great time trying to figure out which of their cards to play for the most benefit.

Here's a picture of our scores after the first game.  Jack upgraded his house to stone and he definitely had a point advantage doing that.

Agricola comes with 3 sets of cards.  We played with the easiest set, but the other sets add more complexity.  The kids and I agree, it's the cards that really make the game!  And you should definitely study your cards closely before you even consider your first move (you get 7 occupation and 7 minor improvements at the start).  They will probably dictate your strategy for each game.

Agricola meeples

We're considering getting some cooler meeples and vegeemeeples.  Or maybe making our own!  The ones in the picture above are on etsy, but they are super pricey!.

Ready for another round!

Well, those are our impressions after our first game.  We left all our game pieces out so we can play another after lunch!  Definitely check out the video and strategy guide if you want more info about Agricola. 

PS - You can get a copy of Agricola for $45 on Amazon, which isn't too bad a price.

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