Harbour by Scott Almes, is a worker placement game that uses a unique economy system and micro-sized components to create a very fun game.
In Harbour players collect the four resources (wood, fish, livestock, and stone) in order to turn them in to purchase buildings; the end game is triggered by purchasing four buildings from the market. However, this is not as easy as it sounds to do. Every time someone purchases a building from the market the economy of the game changes, meaning what did have a high value before is now worth much less and you won’t be able to afford what you were planning on buying, because you are invested in the wrong type of resource now. This makes the game differ a lot from other games like Settlers of Catan that have a constant price to purchase settlements and other buildings. After the end game is triggered everyone has one more turn, this is important since the winner is not the person that triggers the end game, but the person with the most points. Points are determined based on the point value of all of the players purchased buildings. There could be some additional bonus points given out as part of an optional rule.
I have found Harbour to be a fresh breeze compared to some of my more constant games. The games tries very hard to give you tons of variety in game play, with the changing economic market, different character cards, and large collection of different buildings for sale in the market. Because, of the games small size it is great for taking on trips! I also love the artwork in the game, it has great attention to detail, but also has a humorous cartoony twist to it. Personally I would recommend this game to any experienced gamer, but would definitely want to personally show any new gamers how to play, because the first time can be a bit daunting trying to figure out exactly how the economy system works.
I also look forward to Tasty Minstrel Games upcoming game “Harvest” by Trey Chambers, which has a striking resemblance to Harbour and is bound to be tons of fun.
Ages: 10 and up
Playtime: 30-60 Minutes
Players: 1 to 4
If you would like more information on Harbour, please check out their website.