Thursday, September 15, 2016

Go Nuts for Donuts (Daily Magic Games)

Sushi Go! is a super popular game, due to its low price-point, ease of learning, quick playtime, and cute illustration style. In a similar vein, Daily Magic Games has created a game called Go Nuts for Donuts! In this game, you are competing with your friends to eat as many donuts as you can. The game is designed for 2-6 players ages 8+. It takes about 20 minutes to play, you will be able to back it on Kickstarter on September 20th.
Setup
1. Give each player a set of Selection Cards according to the number of players. (In a two-player game, players will each receive cards 1, 2, and 3. In a three-player game, players will each receive cards 1, 2, 3, and 4. And so on)
2. Shuffle all of the Donut Cards together and place them face down in a stack to form the Donut Deck. The area to the left is the discard pile.
3. Deal out Donut Cards face up to the right of the Donut Deck equal to the number of players plus one, so in a two-player game, you would deal out three. (Note: The dealt Donut Cards order number matters, so the it would look like this Discard Pile, Donut Deck, Donut 1, Donut 2, Donut 3, etc.)
Game Play - The game takes place over several rounds, until the Donut Deck is exhausted, so that you cannot deal out enough Donut Cards for the number of players.
1. Decide which Donut Card you want and take the appropriate Selection Card from your hand and place it face down. If you want Donut 2, you would play your #2 Selection Card.
2. Once everyone has secretly played their Selection Card, everyone simultaneously flips them face up.
3. Starting with the lowest Selection Card number, players go in order and see if they get to claim their Donut Card (eat a donut). If you played a unique Selection Card, you claim the Donut Card and carry out the action on the card (if applicable). If you and any other player played the same Selection Card, the Donut Card is discarded. (Think of it as two kids fighting over a donut and their mother getting frustrated and telling them that no one gets it.)
4. Refill the Donut Cards and start a new round.
Review
For better or for worse, Go Nuts for Donuts! is going to draw lots of comparisons to Sushi Go! At their core, they are both set collecting games, centered around food, with cute, kid-friendly graphics. However, that is where the comparisons should stop. For starters, the game mechanics are completely different. In Sushi Go, you are drafting cards from separates hands of cards and then passing the hands and going again. In Go Nuts for Donuts, everyone has access to the same cards at the same time, but you are fighting over them. You aren't just able to affect the people to your left/right, but you are able to affect the whole table. This leads to deeper strategy. Not only are you trying to figure out what you need and what your opponents need, but you are also trying to figure out if your opponent is going to pick a card they need or pick a card that you need and they don't want you to have. This leads to my next point. In Sushi Go, everyone gets a card every turn. It might not be a card they want or need, but they get one. If Go Nuts for Donuts, you don't always get a card and that might be okay due to scoring.

Speaking of scoring, there are your typical ways to score. A pair of some donuts will get you five points. Some cards scale in value depending on how many you have (1 = 1, 2 = 3, 3 = 6, 4 = 10, and 5 = 15). However, there are cards that give you negative points for the donut, but provide you with special abilities, like discarding an opponent's donut or taking a donut from the discard pile. There are even cards that give you end game goals, which makes you focus your strategy on perhaps getting more than six types of donuts or fewer than ten donuts total. If I counted correctly, there are currently twenty unique donuts, so there is ample room for many different strategies and a lot of replay value. I enjoy playing Sushi Go and using it as a gateway for other card-drafting games, but after a while it grows stale, and I also just don't like sushi. Go Nuts for Donuts on the other hand is a good gateway game, but it also provides a lot more strategy and decisions, which will appeal to the heavier gamer. Plus, who doesn't love donuts? I highly recommend this game, so be on the lookout for the Kickstarter launch September 20th and let's make this game a reality!

This prototype was provided to me by Daily Magic Games in exchange for an honest review.