Gathering and selling produce is the basis for this great family game that balances strategy and economy, set against a backdrop of five villages in the beautiful Italian Riviera.
|Cinque Terre||Rio Grande Games||Board Game|
In The Box
The first thing you’ll notice on unboxing Cinque Terre is the amount of color spilling across every component. This certainly mirrors the sunny seaside setting of the game, with five Italian villages that dot the game’s board and fields stocked for harvest with yellow lemons, red tomatoes, green zucchini, black olives, purple grapes, white garlic, gray mushrooms, and oranges. You’ll find wooden resource cubes to represent the fruits and vegetables you can harvest throughout the game, and a set of wooden dice in matching colors. The board is a foldout beauty that also serves as a playing space for cards, with a scoring ring around the edge to track progress with small wooden markers.
Players get to choose one of five wooden pawns in the shape of a motorized food cart and a matching card that shows how much produce has been harvested and delivered. Delivering enough produce to one village will earn you a special ‘Most Popular Vendor’ award, so there are also five of these sturdy cardboard badges available. The remainder of the box is given over to one deck of cards for produce and another deck showing standing orders from each of the villages. Cinque Terre is a blast from the moment you begin to lay it out on your table, thanks to high production values and strong art direction.
How It Plays
The economy in Cinque Terre is simpler than games where the market value of items can change each round, making it an ideal introduction to the genre around a family table. The ultimate goal of the game is to outscore opponents by delivering produce, where players can earn more points delivering to villages that pay more for certain produce, and by filling special orders. There’s no money management required to buy and sell produce. Players manage a hand of cards, each showing one type of produce, that can be discarded to harvest the matching fruit or vegetable on your turn.
An important piece of your strategy is planning how to move around the region and land on the right spots for harvesting, based on the cards you’re holding. After that it comes down to finding the villages that pay the most, determined by randomly rolling and placing the colored dice next to each village at the beginning of the game. The random assortment of produce and prices keeps things fresh each time you replay Cinque Terre.
Players must draw produce cards during breaks between harvesting and selling, and can win special order cards to earn more points by satisfying certain produce requirements across all five villages. The latter is a more advanced approach to the game that allows for a deeper strategy and will appeal to more seasoned players. Once the dust clears, the player who has earned the most points (lire) is crowned the winner.
Easily one of our family’s favorites. No reading means it works for any kids able to hold cards and count to six.
If you’re behind, try filling special orders or going after the Most Popular Vendor cards.