Jamaica Tabletop Review - Set Sail!

Published: January 7, 2015 9:00 AM /


Jamaica Cover Art

Race around Jamaica! Feed your crew! Fight your friends! Steal their treasure! Hope that treasure isn't cursed! Read the Jamaica Board game review!

Today we are looking at Jamaica published by Asmodee / Gameworks. Jamaica is a racing/resource management game for 2 - 6 players in which players each command a ship in an attempt to gather gold and treasure while racing to be the first to make a complete trip around the island of Jamaica.

Jamaica - Game Structure

In each round of Jamaica, the players will have a hand of 3 cards showing two actions each, one to take in the Morning and one to take in the Evening. The player who has the Captain token for the round will roll two dice and place one on the Morning space and on on the Evening space. This determines the numbers used for each player's action, whether it be moving a number of spaces or loading a number of goods tokens. Player will all simultaneously choose one card to play from their hands and, beginning with the Captain, play their Morning action followed by their Evening action.

Jamaica - Goods 

Players need to manage their ship's hold, which has room for five stacks of goods.

Goods include:

Doubloons which are used to pay port fees when landing on a port space and count toward a player's point total at the end of the game.

Food, which is used to feed a player's crew when landing on spaces showing food squares.

Gunpowder, which is used to modify the die roll when players land on the same space and fight each other!

Jamaica - Pirate Booty

Players are also able to claim pirate treasure cards if they manage to land on one of the Pirate Lair spaces. These treasures either impart a special ability to the player, grant extra points, or, in the case of a cursed treasure, grant negative points. Players can fight to steal these treasures from one another, steal a hold full of goods or force their defeated opponent to take one of their cursed treasures.

Players need to manage their goods, stack as many Doubloons as possible and race around the island as quickly as they can while gathering pirate treasure cards, avoiding cursed treasures and avoiding (or attacking) the other players.

Jamaica - A Few Notes

A note on game length

A game of Jamaica usually lasts around 60 minutes. As you add players the game length increases only slightly as all players plan their moves at the same time. This is a great game to play with 6 people as it doesn't get bogged down with increased player count.

A note on “chrome”

 The art and components of Jamaica are wonderful. The box insert holds everything perfectly and the game is absolutely beautiful when laid out on the table. The cartoon-ish art fits the theme and game-play perfectly.

Should I Buy Jamaica

Jamaica is a great family game and a great lightweight game to play with both gamers and non-gamers alike. It is quick to teach, there is very little downtime and is beautiful to look at. You should get the game if you're looking for a lightweight, family game to play with your family or friends, or if you just love a good pirate game. If you're more in the market for deep strategy and you hate RNG, then you should look elsewhere. 

The copy of Jamaica used in this review was provided by the publisher. This review was originally published on 01-07-2015. While care has been taken to update the piece to reflect our modern style guidelines, some of the information may be out of date. We've left pieces like this as they were to reflect the original authors' opinions, and for historical context.

Review Summary

A very fun beer and pretzels/family game! (Review Policy)
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