The classic board game Puerto Rico is receiving a major update, which will push the game forward in time in an attempt to make the game more inclusive. Ravensburger announced that it would publish Puerto Rico 1897, a new version of the Euro-style board game Puerto Rico. While the original Puerto Rico was set in the 16th century and featured players as regional governors using "colonists" (a thinly veiled reference to the slave trade) to build up the island, Puerto Rico 1897 will have players act as local farmers instead a colonial governer and is set during an era after slavery was abolished. Significant other historical updates were made to Puerto Rico 1897, bringing in "culturally and historically accurate people, crops, buildings and imagery" while retaining the original gameplay.
Although Puerto Rico is an award-winning game and is currently one of the highest rated board games of all time according to popular board game review aggregator BoardGameGeek.com, it also has been the focus of immense criticism due to its dismissal of slavery and its casual use of colonization as a core game mechanic. In response to this criticism, Ravensburger noted that it had brought in cultural and sensitivity consultants to help update the game.
"Puerto Rico's place in the history of the US tabletop scene is undeniable, but we needed to make changes," said Filip Francke, CEO of Ravensburger North America and Global Head of Games. "We brought together a passionate team, who carefully listened to consumer feedback and thoughtfully updated aspects of all areas of the game, from storyline to historical accuracy and imagery. We are grateful to Jason Perez at Shelf Stories Consulting and Dr. Teresita Levy for sharing their perspective and expertise."
One of the core goals of Puerto Rico 1897 is to make the game more inclusive and welcoming, so that it can be enjoyed by gamers for generations to come. Puerto Rico 1897 will be released this October at game stores.0comments