Design: Guillermo H. Nuñez
Publisher: Loyalist Games
Duration: Approx. 30 mins
It feels unnatural and wrong having not posted on my blog for so long. I was consumed with prep for GenCon, being at GenCon and recovering from… GenCon. For anyone who wants to find out what I got up to on my first day and how I found the experience I posted vlogs to my channel.
So, now I’m back and fully recovered I’m getting the blogging ball rolling again with a short review of a puzzle game called Pepper and Carrot: The Potion Contest.
I didn’t have any prior knowledge of the Pepper and Carrot web comic, so I was coming at this from the perspective of ‘this is a cute game about a witchy girl and a cat’, which is pretty adorable as it happens, but the theme is light here. We are simply trying to match the spells, which are laid out at random on the central board, with our own ingredients on our player board. There are three difficulty levels and I chose the easiest variant since I know that I am uniformly terrible at puzzle games. The easy level removes some of the ingredients and gives you shorter spells to follow. You can make the formations anywhere on your board as long as they match the order of the spell and are joined accordingly. This would be fairly simple, except you are governed by ‘order’ cards that mean on that on your turn you can either rotate, swap or push your tiles. In some variants you have personal order cards that you can use once during the game, and are very useful at times when you’re stuck in a tricky situation. You can also play the game solo, which is rather nice, and here you are aiming to beat the clock so to speak by finishing your spells before the order deck cycles twice.
As I mentioned I struggle with puzzles games, I guess my brain isn’t as logical as I once thought. Despite this I had a rather pleasant few games where I was unceremoniously thrashed, and I enjoyed playing the solo variant. In a similar vein to Shahrazad a couple months ago, I will always persist with games that I am not very good at in hopes to become better and improve on my skills. I like that even though it’s an extremely twee and cutesy game in appearance it’s challenging and tough to beat, and the difficultly levels can amp up the challenge.
This would be a very good one for young gamers to get their teeth into, not only because of the theme and packaging, but it’s wonderful for encouraging little minds to think logically and puzzle solve. It has that video/app game appeal with the organic feel of a tabletop game, and this is something I’m actually going to be writing about in a future article.
My minor bugbears with the game were the rulebook not being great (not terrible, or hard to follow, it just didn’t flow too well, but my that’s my proofreaders eye talking!) and I thought that the box was a tad on the large side and could have been condensed further. However as this was a review copy it may possibly go through some manufacturing changes here and there, and again it’s not a deal breaker. To echo what Nick from Board, Deck and Dice said in his preview video it would have been nice (in the base game) for there to be additional abilities from personal order cards, but I can see that the Kickstarter stretch goals will bring in a little more flavour.
I’m very pleased for Loyalist Games that Pepper & Carrot overfunded and I wish them all the best for future endevours! If you wish to view the campaign page, find out more information on the game or contact the creators. It aims to fulfill by December so keep your eye out for it early next year.
Thanks for reading!