As you dear readers may have noticed, we get sent a lot of Kickstarter games for review. Some are satisfying gems, a little rough around the edges, but overall a welcome addition to the hobby. Others – well, not so much. So, when Jamey Stegmaier asked us if we’d like to take a look at Viticulture we were a little bit apprehensive. You see, we love both wine and worker placement, so could a game that incorporated the two live up to expectations? In the end, we shouldn’t have worried – Viticulture delivered, and then some.
Some may say that worker placement is an overdone mechanic. I would humbly disagree, and Viticulture brings a solid and fresh take on this classic system. The great thing about worker placement is that it’s intuitive and often provides a load of interesting choices, especially when placement locations are limited. Viticulturecaptures that essence admirably, ratchets the limitations down almost to a dangerous degree, and couples the placement decisions with how best to manage your personal vineyard. Everyone has access to vines, and can build the requisite resource engine to harvest grapes, make wine and sell that wine for victory points. However, Viticulture also provides a healthy array of other ways to win, including selling the uncrushed grapes at market and outfitting the vineyard with a tasting room to maximize those winery tours. At times, players may find themselves spending a lot more time showing off their vineyards than making wine, but truth be told, I have a feeling a lot of wineries have operated the same way over the years.
Four card stacks that provide vines, tourists that grant special boons, and a market for wine buyers adds a plethora of variety, a lot of fun and a bit of luck. Interestingly, those same card stacks that bring a lot of joy to the game could also be a drawback for some hardcore Eurogamers who like information of the un-hidden variety. Still, for fans of games like Stone Age, Viticulture has the grapes to be a full glass of very satisfying gaming.
Viticulture is available on Kickstarter, but hurry – there are only a few days left to get tipsy!
Another fine DICE HATE ME! review