Agricola is an interesting new game in which players find themselves playing the role of a farming family in the 17th century (“Agricola” is the Latin word for “farmer”).
Starting out in a simple two-roomed hut, these families work to improve their quality of life through home improvements, breeding their animals, and improving their fields. During the 14 rounds of this turn-based game, players can generate building resources like wood and clay, add more people to their family, and see to that they don’t starve. Family growth is important as each family member is allowed one action. But growth means that more food must be produced by plowing fields, planting seeds, and harvesting. Pastures must be fenced in order to allow grazing animals to be raised. Occupations and Improvements can ensure a family’s growth and give players small advantages in the game.
Agricola is a balancing act between comfort and quality of life versus food requirements. Victory points are awarded for the number of fields, pastures, and fenced stables, as well as for Grain, Vegetables, Sheep, Wild boar, and Cattle. Points are lost for unused farmyard spaces. After the Harvest at the end of the 14th round, all players’ points are tallied and the player with the most wins the game.
Agricola can also be played without cards (family game) and can even be played solo.
Agricola was the winner in the “Multi-Player Games” category of the International Gamers Awards for 2008.
Here’s a video from BestDangGames.com that gives you an in-depth look at the game of Agricola:
See Also: Other Farming Games
Note: This is an archive post; it was originally published on February 5, 2009.