I am going to damn Puerto Miau with faint praise but, the funny thing is, I actually mean the praise. It’s circumstantial but still actual praise.
Puerto Miau is a Roll and Write game that is actually a Roll and Move and Write game. You are moving a pawn across a grid of action spaces, although it wouldn’t be that hard to track the pawn with just a pen, particularly in a solitaire game. (The game does play up to two, though)
In the game, you take on the role of a cat who is stealing fish from the marketplace. The mechanics are dead simple. You start in the middle of the grid and roll a die to see how many spaces you move. You mark off the space where you land because you can’t visit the same space twice in the same game.
Most of the spaces are fish spaces with a number assigned them. Roll over that number with two dice and you get that fish in the accompanying points. There are also some action spaces. These include a guaranteed steal of a random value, erasing a mark so you can revisit a space, extra movement and extra dice when rolling to steal. After 20 turns, you add up your points.
Puerto Miau is strictly okay at best. It feels like the next step in putting a game on a place mat. Is it better than roll-and-move on a linear track? Definitely. Is it much better? Eh.
The game isn’t without decisions, although those really come down to going for low-point fish that you are likely to get or gambling for a high value fish that require a good roll. But, seriously, there are a lot of free roll and write games out there. There are some actual gems but this isn’t one of them.
I have been going through my backlog of Roll and Write games and I’ve played games with confusing rules, no real choices and where luck dictates everything that happens. After playing enough of those, Puerto Miau was a relief. It is actually a functional game.
I’m not actually sure the publication history of the game. I got it as a free Print and Play and it looks like it is still available as such. I’m not sure if it was ever officially published. I do see that there is a card version of it. The Roll and Write version might be simply publicity for the card game.
Honestly, the best use for the game might actually be to laminate it and use it as a place mat. Lord knows worse games have been used that way.
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