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Le Havre - Board Game Box Shot

Le Havre

| Published: 2012
165 6 3

In this universal adaptation of the popular board game (winner of a 2009 International Gamers Award, among others), you can compete with up to 5 people — or against a computer's AI — to construct buildings and ships to support your shipping empire. An in-depth tutorial and hint system help you develop the strategy you will need to dominate the harbor.

Collect resources to build and use new buildings, while paying your workers and saving up for ships. Buildings are a good investment, but ships provide necessary income. Deciding where to put your resources early on may determine your fate later in the game, so choose wisely!

With no setup time required, no pieces to lose, and no arguments about the rules, the future of board games is here and Le Havre gives you exactly what you want — to play!

Le Havre tutorial screen Le Havre setup screen


  • Universal app
  • Solo play; solitaire or against varying degrees of AI difficulty
  • Pass and play with 2 to 5 local human players with or without AI
  • Turn-based multiplayer using Game Center
  • Full tutorial and in-game hints
  • Eye catching design and interactive game pieces using art from the original board game
  • Create your own playlists from your iPod

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User Reviews (4)

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Plaid Hat Games fan
AEG fan
Tasty Minstrel Games Fan
119 of 131 gamers found this helpful
“Are you up for the challenge?”

I bought this game to see if I wanted to buy the hard copy of it. I want to find a light game that my girl friend and I can play together so we can get a break from Carcassonne.

I started out with the tutorial which in my opinion isn’t very good. You’ll be presented with pop up windows that tells you what to do and what the AI-player does. This got too confusing for me so I ended up with watching a game walkthrough video on youtube instead.

When I first understood the rules and how to play this game it took a while before I found out what I should and should not focus on – and I still don’t know for sure.

As of my understanding of this game so far you can do 2 things on your turn; 1. claim one of the offers (building materials and coin), use a building OR build 1-2 buildings and 2. buy a building.
You wont be able to do both on every turn you have, so the way to success is to plan what offers you should claim or what buildings to use so that you will be able to build and buy buildings and ships as often as possible.
Since your playing with one or more players and buildings can only be used once in a while, your planned strategy will sometimes not work when your fellow player occupies a building you want to use. But that’s the nature of these types of games.

Of a total of 10-12 playthroughs I’ve only managed to win once and I feel that was dependent on quite much luck.

What I like about this game is that (so far) it’s a game you don’t win easily; you really have to take on your “thinking cap” and execute a good strategy to be able to do ok at all. This is a challenging game, but I wont give up until I’ve broken the ‘code’ so that I’ll win more than loose:)

I play Le Havre on my iPhone. For this game I wish that I had an iPad cuz the screen is way too small so I have to zoom in and out a lot to check the details of all the cards.

Player Avatar
I play purple
Football Fan
Movie Lover
125 of 138 gamers found this helpful
“Better than the non-digital version? Yes. And no.”

Yes, if you want to learn the game quickly and get lots of experience and take a long time thinking about your next action.
No, if you want to be able to read the cards, handle lots of quality game pieces, and prefer in-person interactions.

If you’d like a review of the full and great game of Le Havre, there are several already on its main page here. This review focuses solely on the digital version experience.

Just like with the ND (non-digital) game, there are many cards that take up a lot of space on the tableau/screen. Don’t even try playing this on your smart phone; trust me, I have better than perfect vision and the highest-resolution screen currently available and I can’t read the card titles well, let alone easily select cards for action. Even with each card in a stack on a tablet, unless you’ve played the game several times and know all of the cards, I found myself having to spend lots of touches to figure out what other players have and what’s available in these stacks. That being typed, I can’t imagine presenting it much better than what they have done. Maybe if there was the option to keep all of the building cards together and sortable with a color on each card to indicate who owns it (this is an option we often use on the tabletop), or using the whole screen when zooming in on a card. It was nice that they used the exact cards and art from the game, but it is also what makes it hard to view/use on iOS.

The real beauty of this version is the ability to play many different scenarios that may not be available to you in person. 1-5 players means you can play against a mix of up to 4 other AI or human players. The local mode (as opposed to the online mode) allows you to play with humans next to you using the same device as well as additional AI players. You can choose the short version of the game (which I highly recommend for your first game), you can adjust the AI difficulty for each player, and there are several options to make the game experience enjoyable and evenly-paced. The only option not available is the ability to play with more than 1 human on the same tablet while having another play in online mode.

Like other online games, you can make your move and wait until it’s ready for your next turn (in seconds or days depending on who you are playing with). Since there are the same number of moves independent of the number of players, the length mainly depends on short vs normal version and the speed of the humans playing. My last game lasted 6 weeks even with only 2 humans & 1 AI, but with 18 rounds and turn-order at the end of each round for “feeding your family”, this is 43 + 18 = 61 individual turns! Needless to say, I recommend adding more AI players when possible. Also, there is no animation showing what the online players do, so you have to view a text list of prior moves or guess from the changes on the board.

The other reason this is superior to the ND game: game setup, upkeep, and scores are done so very quickly. OK, this is obvious, but for 1/12 of the price of the ND game you can be taught how to play, practice against the AI in many games (each ~20 to 40 minutes), and you get comfortable with all of the cards. It will also rank your performance (along with any other players including AI) using the Elo rating system.

While I personally prefer the ND Le Havre, I expect that I will hand my tablet to all new players to use and learn how to play a game or two before playing ND in order to help keep everyone at similar familiarity levels. I just hope they’ll still want to play the ND version afterward. 😉

Player Avatar
Professional Reviewer Beta 1.0 Tester
Silver Supporter
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
82 of 113 gamers found this helpful
“Great way to play a very fiddly game without the mess!”

Le Havre is game designed by one of the hottest designers in the industry, Uwe Rosenberg. This is second game in his big trilogy of worker games: Agricola, Le Havre, and At the Gates of Loyang. Le Havre was designed by getting rid of some of the tenser moments in Agricola which make you feel like you’re scraping by as a medieval farmer to a more of a game about optimizing your choices as you deliver, sell, and pick up goods as shipping company in France without big penalties.

Way less fiddly than the board game
Graphics are excellent and easy to see
Awesome tutorial
Solitaire play available
Good price

Not an exciting or tense theme

Le Havre is all about collecting francs to win the game. You do this in many different ways such as picking up raw materials and converting them to goods that can be sold or picking up francs. You can also earn francs by buying buildings that other players will have to pay fees to use your buildings. You really have to balance things out by feeding your workers at the end of each round, but this isn’t near as bad as Agricola harvest time partly because you can make your loans later in the game where it’s harder to get rid of begging cards in Agricola. You can also play on the same buildings as other players on the final round of Le Havre, so you’re not blocked out of some last minute scoring opportunities.

Each player begins with a ship and some francs. You take turns traveling down the harbor either picking up resources on the docks determined randomly (wheat, francs, fish, clay, iron, wood, cattle), visiting buildings to perform certain actions. Players can also buy buildings to allow them to perform actions for free on future turns, sell buildings at half their value, pay off loans, buy ships (helps with feeding your workers). Normally, you visit buildings to enhance or improve the resources you have collected making them more valuable to sell or helping you building more complicated items like advanced ships. The game becomes a constant back and forth between converting goods for better options, keeping track of new available resources all the while feeding your workers each round that keeps increasing and hoping your francs continue to keep pace with everyone else or above.

I liked Agricola when I first bought it, although it is not my favorite. I get a little tired of managing all the little bits during the resupply phase of the game and keeping track of everything. The design was tight, so I had Le Havre on my radar while reading a lot of rave reviews. However, I’ve never been able to pull the trigger for two reasons: it looks extremely fiddly just like it’s cousin Agricola and looked like a “nicer” version of Agricola. I figured buying the iPad version would be a compromise rather than plunking down full price for the board game. I must say that I’m glad I did, because I probably will not by the board game for myself. If you don’t like fiddly games, then just get the digital version and let the computer do all the work.

Also, Le Havre seems a little less exciting to me than Agricola. Agricola has me caring more about my little farm then my shipping enterprise in Le Havre. I feel like I really need to make every action count in Agricola than Le Havre or my little farm could really be in for a tough harvest. Le Havre feels a little more forgiving in some ways especially the last round by allowing other players to use the same building. Allowing only one worker per action in Agricola can be such an essential way to seal your victory sometimes by denying other people the action they need on that last round.

Overall, I’ll stick to Agricola in cardboard format for now, and play Le Havre in digital at my leisure.

Player Avatar
United Kingdom
Book Lover
68 of 107 gamers found this helpful
“Fine Game”

That’s a fine game! A++++++. Low price to iPhone. Replay value excelent, components excelents, and very easy to learn with the tutorial. A lot of pros and nothing cons. Gameplay easy and very funny. Cool to play solitarie in all places. My friends love this online game. Short time to play, about 30 to 45 minutes. Playing this game is very cool. The components … Hum… I don’t know… Is fine! Game setup is very fast. To learn the game is very fast and pratical… “…..”..”………………………………………………………….”……………… …………………………………………………………


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