Kickstarter Lagniappe: DONUT SHOP

Hey board gamers, BJ from Board Game Gumbo here back with more Kickstarter Lagniappe for you. It’s time to make the donuts! (I wonder if that’s a reference kids get these days?)

DONUT SHOP is a new game coming out from 25th Century Games on Kickstarter soon as part of a three-fer with Color Field and Agueda. (Look for our blog post on Color Fields soon). DONUT SHOP is designed by Jeffrey Allers with art by James Churchill (who did the wonderful cover) and Nick John Whittle.

My wife and I sat down to play a few games. It was easy to entice her, because we both love puzzly tile laying games so I knew the main mechanisms would appeal to her.

Also, there has been a trend of late for puzzly games to have what some call “chill” themes — like animals, birds, junk drawers, glass windows, chocolate making. DONUT SHOP fits right in that wheelhouse with games like Cascadia or Verdant. (This new Kickstarter from 25th Century features three different games in that genre). My wife enjoys settings as much as I do.

Let’s see how it plays before we talk about the lagniappe that you can expect in this game. Players will try to score as many points as possible while placing racks of donuts on a shared tableau. They will also try to fulfill orders from customers based on types of donuts. There are two ways to score points:

  • when you place a tile, you get to pick one of the types of donuts and score every donut on the tile of that type plus all the donuts of that type in groups that are orthogonally adjacent; and
  • after you place a tile, you can — but don’t have to — “box” up the donuts that are in the shared tableau that match your order cards by grabbing one of the available point “boxes” and cover the matching donuts

And then you get to draft a new tile and new order card, with the twist that there are tiles and cards that are face up in the “market” and tiles and cards that are face down in the draw stacks. You get one face up of either a donuts tile or order card, but then you have to pick the face down of the other stack.

Players will do this until the draw decks are empty, then each player takes another turn (without drawing another tile or card). Total up the points, and there’s a winner!

Of course, the game sounds simple and from a rules standpoint it is, but like the best of its genre, the complexity comes in ensuring that the tiles you place match up to your overall strategy. This is a game that rewards good, strong tactical play with small bursts of strategic play built in, too.

You will probably cycle through your order cards pretty frequently. Many of them have cool bonuses like looking for donuts with sprinkles for extra points or playing multiple coffee cards with your donuts for more bonuses.

There are also opportunities to feel clever, like when you hold an order card for a while and build the perfect area to grab a large order box for big points. (It helps that you can play duplicate donut order cards as ‘wild’ cards.)

And don’t forget that there is some lagniappe in the project that should come standard in the release. We played on a prototype copy, but already it comes with a “napkin holder” where the order cards draw deck goes, and a “donut rack” where the donut tiles go. Are they needed? Nope, but they really do add some visual heft to the game.

So that’s DONUT SHOP, coming out on Kickstarter soon. DONUT SHOP is just light enough to teach your family, but just puzzly enough to satisfy any fan of the genre. Even in prototype form, it looks amazing on the table, too, with the usually top notch production we have come to expect from 25th Century Games.

I do not have the particulars on the Kickstarter project yet, but you can click here to be notitied when the project is launching.

Until next time, laissez les bon temps rouler!

— BJ from Board Game Gumbo

A copy of the prototype was provided by the publisher. Note that the pictures show the prototype and there may be changes from this production to the final delivered product.

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