Since I did an unboxing video a few weeks ago I thought that I should post my thoughts on Tiffin. I think that the reason I didn’t rush to do it is because unfortunately it left me a tad underwhelmed. I played it again today just to make sure I wasn’t making a hasty decision based on a couple of games but no, unfortunately it’s not for me.
I was really excited to get this game, I thought it was a nice concept and it looked fun. However it was one of those ‘on a whim’ purchases, that has finally taught me the valuable lesson of reading every rule book thoroughly before buying, at least for games over £20 anyway. I like pick up and deliver games, but Tiffin is more like just deliver. It’s missing something that I can’t quite place.
I’ll give you the general premise; you have location tiles with route spaces where you place progress cubes, and you bid on the locations with your own colour cubes (your ‘Tiffins’) and depending on where you place them and how many you place will mean more or less bonus points when the location is completed. After a certain number of Tiffins have been bid on the location you are no longer allowed to adjust your bids. Every time a location is completed a new card is drawn and this effects how many Tiffins can be placed before you can ‘start’ the route and also points increase for whoever has placed the most cubes. The person with the most progress cubes on the route will score the most points so that you can move up the score track. Each route is a different colour, so you have to play coloured cards to place cubes on the location. The route cards are chosen from either the central marketplace or the draw pile and you always draft two cards. When used in combination with one another cards can mean you may substitute one colour for another and such. You can also use two cards to shorten or lengthen a route e.g- if you have the most cubes on the location and you want to score it quicker, or if you want to receive more bonus points and want to add more before it’s too late. There is also a competitor track and depending on number of players the ‘competitor’ will also get dibs on your route. That’s about the size of it!
The problem I had with Tiffin is that it just wasn’t very fun, or innovative or interesting. It wasn’t like I hated it or it was awful, it was just passing time until the inevitable ending, without much care about what happens. Thankfully this doesn’t happen often but when it does I just know a game isn’t for me. Some people might like it I’m sure. But to me and my playing partner it was just a bit dull, too light, but too fiddling, the physical design wasn’t great with placing the cubes and removing them and the score track was annoying to navigate. It was just lacking in something for me. I hate being negative about games because having started a design process myself and having had more chats with designers I understand how challenging it is and how much soul goes into it. But I can’t say something is great when it’s not. I shall pass Tiffin along and see if someone else enjoys it but for me it was a 4/10. Waaaah.