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.

Get in touch by emailing thegameshelfblog@gmail.com

Wednesday 26 January 2022

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Macaron


Publisher: Sunrise Tornado Game Studio

Designer:  Ta-Te Wu

Year: 2021

Sunrise Tornado Game Studio have a track record of crowd-funding very cute games. Up until now, our favourite has been Cat Rescue - a game of rescuing and re-homing cats from the streets, with lovely cat artwork, that has since been used in a number of their campaigns. The same designer and publisher combo also recently gained a wider audience with a reprint of Promenade released by Rio Grande Games.
Macaron continues with the cute themes - a small package that looks just like a luxury package of tasty marcarons. The artwork throughout the game is simple but lovely, and should be just the thing to attract lighter gamers to the table. However, if you're expecting a light card game, Macaron might hold a few surprises - it's a simple game, but it'll certainly exercise your brain!
Macaron is a trick taking game that takes course over a number of rounds. Players will choose to play to 10 or 20 points to win. Points are gained by winning more tricks during a round, and by correctly betting on how many tricks they will win this round. At the start of a round each player will be dealt a hand of cards before choosing two to pass away to the player on their right. The last player will then select which ingredient(s) will be trumps this round, while the first player chooses the allergy ingredient. Each player then gets a chance to bet on how well they will do before the round begins with the start player starting the first trick. 

Gameplay then proceeds as a fairly standard trick taking affair, the lead player plays a card with a number and ingredient (set), each other player must follow with a card of the same ingredient. Once every player has played a card the player with the highest numbered card in the correct set wins the trick. Should you not have a card that matches the set then you can play a card of any set, typically this is a losing move, unless you play a card from one of the trump sets. Trump cards beat all other cards except for another trump card of a higher number. 
At the end of a trick the winner will earn 1 box, this lets them move along the scoring track 1 space. Should a trick be won by a '1' card then the winner will instead gain three boxes. Should a trick be won which contains any number of cards of the current allergy ingredient then the winner will earn no boxes, unless one of the cards played this round was a '2'. The round will end either when each player has run out of cards or one player earns their eighth box at which point boxes will be converted into points and points will be rewarded for correct bets or lost for incorrect bets.

Amy's Final Thoughts

Macaron is certainly an interesting twist on trick taking gameplay, the fact that there are two trump sets (most) rounds changes up some of the standard trick taking tactics, even more so given that a player gets to choose which ones they are. Combine this with one set essentially becoming a poison that saps away points and you can do a great deal to counteract your opponents. That said I do feel that some of this ebbs away in a two player game. When each trick consists of only two cards there's less room for trumps or allergies to be played. You can deduce when a player has run out of a certain set and try to work around that. This is possible at higher player counts, sure, but it leaves more room for a wrench to be thrown into your plan. 
While Macaron worked perfectly well at two players, there was one aspect of the game that didn't quite match up to how I would have hoped. Betting for points should have been a valid way to earn bonus points, with a real risk for betting wrong. But in reality at two players you almost always reached a certain level almost regardless of what you did. On the advanced side of the betting board there were great bonuses for losing every set for the whole round, but with two trumps and a single opponent watching your every move this feels essentially impossible. Meanwhile betting on 5-7 boxes was an almost sure-fire bet if your hand was anything other than complete garbage. 
It's worth noting that trick taking games are far from my favourite genre. I quite like the mechanic in a co-op game such as The Crew, but when done competitively the flow of the games tend to focus on one player having control. Being the lead on a trick provides you with a lot of power over the other players, doubly so if you have a good hand of cards. This isn't something I find particularly enjoyable, and while Macaron has some unique twists, at its core it players trick taking very straight. Ultimately I didn't find myself looking forward to the next game of Macaron, but I think this speaks more to my taste than the game itself. 

Fi’s Final Thoughts
Don't let Amy put you off Macaron. It turns out that I'm quite good at it, and I've won every time we've played, so I can see why that's been a dissatisfying experience for Amy. All too often the shoe is on the other foot and I'm being trounced in a game where her natural aptitude is higher, so I know how it feels.
For me, Macaron is a delightful trick-taking game. There are very few trick-taking games that work for two-players, which is a shame, because they're a style of game I really enjoy, perhaps because traditional card games were the thing we played most when growing up. However, Macaron does not rely of this uniqueness as its only selling point, it has a few other unique aspects that I've really enjoyed puzzling out.
My strategy varies each round depending on whether I'm the player selecting the trump flavour or if I'm the player selecting the allergen (We've only played at two, so this just alternates every turn. The strategy when you're deciding trump can be quite simple - I try to put myself in a position where I have a lot of the trump card and ideally, noting in one or two other flavours, so that I get to play trump often. If you're deciding the allergen, it's far harder to visualise the correct strategy - if helps if you think the other player has lots of cards in the allergen, and perhaps if you have the '2' card from the allergen flavour, that'll give you an element of surprise to win one trick. I love that we've played a number of times and I'm still trying to figure out the best ways to play for each turn.
Not only is there this enjoyable layer of interest, but you also have the option to bet on how you'll score in each round. This element reminds me a little of Pikoko and also Fox in the Forest. Like Fox in the Forest, you might find yourself in a situation where you're really playing towards the scoring sweet spot - you might have won a few unexpected tricks early on in the round, and then need to deliberately lose some tricks just to make sure your bet is correct. 

Macaron is a fast game whether you choose to play to 10 or 20 points, and I really enjoy tryin to puzzle out the optimal way to play every time this game comes to the table. I'm quite disappointed that I won't get to play this more with Amy!

You Might Like...
  • There are more layers of strategy here than you might expect.
  • Here's a chance to play a trick taking game that works excellently for two.
  • There is no real theme in the game, but the artwork certainly makes this look like a game you want to play and introduce to people.
You Might Not Like...
  • If, like us, you have one player who's naturally better at the game, it might not be a good pick.
  • The betting does not feel quite as critical as it could be, especially if you're racing towards winning the maximum 8 points early in a round.

The Verdict
6.5/10 It's not often that a game polarises our opinion so much as Macaron does. I've really enjoyed playing the game, whilst Amy has been happy it has ended quickly.  It's always a risk when one player has more of an aptitude for a certain time of game than the other, and for once the player who seems more naturally able at the game is me! If you're looking, that rare thing, a trick taking game that plays well at two players, then Macaron is perhaps it. With the added interest of betting on your success and selecting the trump flavour and allergy flavour, there is more to Macaron than meets the eye.

Macaron was a review copy which appeared unannounced - thank you to whoever sent it our way!


  1. This game is fine if you just want to have a good time. However, there's not very much control, since your ability to avoid allergins is almost entirely out of your control.

  2. Thank you for sharing helpfully information.


  3. Is there any Roblox player and want to earn money from designing cloths on game Design Roblox green tshirt

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Design and strategy are perfect;)

  6. Rummy is a card game that has been around for centuries. It is thought to have originated in Asia, but there are many variations of the game that are now played all over the world. The game is usually played with two decks of cards, but there are also variations that use only one deck.
    The game can be played with anywhere from two to six players. The object of the game is to remove all of the cards from your hand by forming melds. Melds are sets of three or more cards of the same rank, or runs of three or more cards of the same suit.
    Once all of the cards have been melded, the player with the lowest score is the winner.

    Rummy is a great game for people of all ages. It is a simple game that can be learned quickly, but it also has enough depth to keep players engaged for hours. If you are looking for a fun and challenging card game, then you should definitely check out Rummy!

  7. Roblox Corporation announced today that it has launched the Roblox Everything Store for mobile devices and laptop computers. The store offers a wide variety of items for sale, including games, clothes, accessories, and more.
    In addition to the launch of the store, Roblox Corporation also announced that it has released a new Roblox Mod APK for mobile devices. The APK allows users to access the store from their mobile devices and make purchases directly from the app.
    The Roblox Everything Store is available now on the App Store and Google Play. The Roblox Mod APK is also available for download on the App Store and Google Play.

  8. Reading your review of the game Macaron was fun! How you break out the gameplay mechanics and tactics is really helpful. Have you ever kept track of how much money you spent on board games? The Fetch software, which I recently learned may help you track your spending and scan receipts, may be handy for gamers like us. How Many Receipts Are Scanned On Fetch In February?

  9. It's great to stumble upon this review of Macaron on The Game Shelf, and while it may not be directly related to gaming, I appreciate the opportunity to discuss an interesting topic, "How to Add Money to Cash App Card at 7-Eleven."

    Firstly, Macaron sounds like a delightful game, and your review has piqued my interest in trying it out. Now, let's dive into the topic at hand.

  10. I really enjoyed reading your review of Macaron on The Game Shelf! It's always great to discover new board games to add to my collection!
    What Stores Accept Manufacturer Coupons

  11. I love this post

  12. Thank you for sharing the post about macaron, I can learn a lot from it.

  13. I also want to share a small game, which is really fun and suitable for passing time with friends.
    You can Making Music Album in this website.

  14. "Kudos on a well-researched and thought-provoking blog post. Keep up the excellent work!"

  15. "Your blog consistently delivers valuable insights and expert analysis. It's a testament to your dedication to producing high-quality content."