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From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:Andreas Seyfarth & Andr Wichmann



Copyright 2005, Andr Wichmann

San Juan is a great fanmade PC conversion of the card game of the same name, which is in turn based on Puerto Rico board game. The description at explains the basics: “The pack of 110 cards consists of production buildings (indigo, sugar, tobacco, coffee, and silver) and “violet” buildings that grant special powers or extra victory points. Cards from the hand can be either built or used as money to build something else. Cards from the deck are used to represent goods produced by the production buildings, in which case they are left face-down. A seven-card hand limit is enforced once per round. In each round or governorship, each player in turn selects from one of the available roles, triggering an event that usually affects all players, such as producing goods or building. The person who picks the role gets a privilege, such as producing more goods or building more cheaply. Though similar in concept to Puerto Rico, the game has many different mechanics. In particular, there are no colonists and no shipping of goods; goods production and trading are normally limited to one card per phase; and trades cannot be blocked. Victory points are gained exclusively by building, and the game ends as soon as one player has put up 12 buildings.”

This PC version lets you play against up to three computer opponents in a four-player game, and is a much better PC rendition than another fanmade game called San Juan reviewed earlier. Coded in Java, JSanJuan features different types of computer players, each with a different level of competency and playing style. Like San Juan, JSanJuan offers all the basic rules, all cards, and faithful gameplay (all cards are scanned from the actual cards). Highly recommended to fans of the board game, or anyone looking for an innovative RPG-type historical business game. Two thumbs up!

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