Yesterday I had the chance to attend another board game meetup at Cool Stuff Games in Hollywood Florida. At the meetup, I got to play a few games I had been wanting to play, one of which was Jamaica.
Jamaica is a pirate-themed, dice-rolling, racing game with simultaneous-action-selection designed by Malcolm Braff, Bruno Cathala, and Sébastien Pauchon and published by Asmodee Editions.
While Jamaica is technically a racing game, it didn’t feel like I was rushing to get to the end. Part of Jamaica is managing your cargo. You have 5 holds to store cargo, and If all of those holds are full when you acquire new items (food, gold, or cannons), you have to jettison everything in one of those holds to make room for the new stuff, even if it’s not as good.
The player who reaches the finish line first ends the game, but doesn’t necessarily win. They will get 15 points, guaranteed, but every piece of gold in a players cargo counts for 1 victory point. My strategy was to amass as much gold as possible, and not worry about crossing the finish line. One thing that’s important, though, is that if you’re not within the last 15 spaces of the board at the end of the game, you automatically lose 5 points. If you are past the “-5” threshold, you gain victory points equal to the number of spaces from your space to the threshold.
There’s also combat in Jamaica, where if you land on the same space as another player, you fight them by rolling a 6-sided die. The die has number 2, 4, 6, 8, and a Boom symbol. The boom symbol is an automatic win. otherwise the higher number wins. And you can adjust your number by using cannons you acquired earlier.
Overall, I really enjoyed Jamaica. It’s simple and fun and I would play again if I had the chance. I would love to own it too.
Photo taken by me. Box cover image taken from boardgamegeek.com without permission.