Cinque Terre Board Game Review: The art is vibrant. The approach is simple. The strategy is deep.

Intro

Cinque Terre is a colorful, engaging game of harvesting and selling produce in the BEAUTIFUL Italian countryside of Cinque Terre (just look at this place!).

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Phew! Back to reality. =-)

This game is a blast and is one of my wife’s all-time favorites. It’s one of the most mentally-engaging games we play on a regular basis, but you can still have fun and do well without the “deep-dive” mental investment.

Gameplay Overview

Play as an Italian farmer with an “ape” (pronounced “ah-pay” which is a small, motorized, 3-wheeled cart) trying to cruise around the five towns of Cinque Terre harvesting goods, selling them, and fulfilling orders. There are only eight spaces on the board, three to harvest and five to deliver. The harvest spaces have two or three associated produce (e.g., lemons, olives, zucchini, etc.), and the town spaces have different values for each produce delivered. Get points for selling produce, fulfilling orders, or receiving best-vendor awards. That’s it! Simple. But oh, the nuances are many! =-)

Analysis

We love Cinque Terre. Throughout the entire game, your mental wheels will be turning. You’ll be planning ahead, you’ll be counting, and you’ll be keeping an eye on your opponents. It’s a fast-paced game with very quick turns which are (or should be!) planned out ahead of time.

Replay value is so high due to a completely changed game each time. The position of the produce is random as well as the value of each produce in each respective town. With the order fulfillment cards being different every time as well, you get a fun, new, fresh experience each game.

The storyline is so engaging. With the adorable little carts and the colorful fruit, you can just picture yourself tooling around the sunny Italian countryside in this little 20 horsepower cart, collecting fruits and vegetables, selling to vendors or customers, taking and fulfilling orders, etc.

Tips & Tricks

Waste as little as possible! This is my only tip because it’s so important. Make sure you focus on not wasting actions, whether it’s movement or harvesting, the more you waste, the more you will get behind. This sounds basic, but it’s a major component of the strategic side of this game.

Scoring & Wrap

Overall, I give Cinque Terre a very solid 8.5 out of 10 for the following reasons:

Promoters

  • They kept the Italian names of the produce on the cards! And the name of the game is Italian! I lived in southern Italy for two years and speak Italian fluently, so that’s all a big plus for me. =-)
  • I love the colors! They are so bright and vibrant; the pieces, the board, the cards, the dice, everything.
  • Cinque Terre scales flawlessly. It’s just as fun playing with two players as it is five.

Detractors

  • Certain types of players can get into extreme analysis paralysis. This game needs to move quickly with planning and foresight throughout. If you wait until your turn to think about what you’re going to do, you’ll get some eye-rolls. =-)

Disclaimer: I received this game for free in exchange for my review, but believe me, I post authentic reviews every time and will be brazenly blunt if needs be.

Link to Rio Grande Games

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