Princes of Florence

Princes of Florence is a game published by Rio Grande games. Princes is a city building game, with auctions to determine which actions you can take in the game. The number of turns and actions are fixed from the start, you only have a limited amount of time to gain your objectives.

As with all Rio Grande / Alea games, the game components are excellent. The rules are generally well explained, but quite complex, expect to play a few times before gaining full understanding.

There is a simple strategy that is almost certain to win the game, if you are allowed to complete it. Bidding for ‘Jokers’ early in the game will give you a massive advantage, if you can buy them cheaply enough. For this reason, I think it is a strategy that should be avoided unless all players know of it, otherwise the game will be over before it has really even started.

In my opinion, Princes feels like an first draft game of Puerto Rico. It has many similar elements to Puerto Rico that are more fully developed in the later game. Puerto Rico doesn’t suffer from the obvious strategy issue, which is a bonus.

If you’ve never played Puerto Rico, then I’d advise it over Princes of Florence, but if you want to try out something new, and have played Puerto Rico too much recently, then Princes is certainly worth the effort to learn.

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