Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Tuesday, 8 September 2020

...You Never Know What You're Gonna Get:- Truffle Shuffle

Game: Truffle Shuffle

Publisher: AEG

Designer:  Molly Johnson, Robert Melvin, Shawn Stankewich

Year: 2020


 

Truffle Shuffle is a 2-4 player card game that has you drafting chocolate cards in order to complete sets to earn chocolate coins. The game revolves around picking cards from a drafting pyramid, where only the cards no currently partially covered by another card are available to draft. Each card has both a colour and a number associated to it. To prevent things from being too predictable half of the cards are placed upside-down so you only know the colour of the chocolate, and even then there are special chocolates which are used in atypical ways so there's no guarantee of what you will get.

 

 

Once you have some chocolates you'll be wanting to play them to get points. You can only carry two chocolates over to the next round, so there's no point squirreling a good set away for a rainy day! Sets reward points (in the form of chocolate coins) based on how difficult the set was to play. Functionally they are much like poker hands, with straights, flushes, sets of a kind and colour sets available to be scored. A large amount of the decision making in Truffle Shuffle comes from knowing when to hold out for a better card and when to bite the bullet and score a lesser reward. To help entice players to play fast there are some bonus points for the first few plays of a turn, given that the simplest set is playing a single "1" card, this can result in some quick and easy bonus points for a cunning player. At the end of the third round, once you have gone through the entire deck of cards, players will add up their points to determine the winner.

Truffle Shuffle takes the card drafting mechanic made popular in 7 Wonders Duel and uses it for a very different playstyle. The mix of a new card mechanic with a traditional scoring mechanic brings a unique game that is easy to learn, though you may find yourself double checking what the scoring mechanics are mid game. Fortunately, the player aide was wise enough to list them all in a clear format

Production-wise there's not much more you could expect. After all, Truffle Shuffle is a card game and it features good quality cards with wonderful illustrations of chocolates on them, though every different colour set has the same basic art design with a colour swap. The cardboard scoring tokens look like chocolate coins which is charming and they are suitable chunky. The game ends up looking as good as a card game reasonably can, through we did find that our pyramids became increasingly messy the more you played the game, setup for each round feels slightly painful and uses up far more table space than you'd expect.

Overall I enjoyed the card play of Truffle Shuffle, but found it lacking the ingenuity that the designer's previous two games have featured, is it a good card game? Yes, it's a fantastic mix of old and new to make something not seen before, but in doing so, it lacks the spark of enjoyment I got when I first played Point Salad, from the same design team. There were also moments when the game felt a little too luck based for a drafting game for my personal tastes. That doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy the game, it's a enjoyable experience and a great little 20-minute filler.

7/10

Truffle Shuffle was a review copy provided by Asmodee UK. It is available at your friendly local game store for an RRP of £19.99 or can be picked up at http://www.365games.co.uk

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