Pie Rats of the Carob Bean Farm
|Game: Pie Rats of the Carob Bean Farm||Age: 10+|
|Publisher: Wild East Game Company||Time: 30+|
|Players:2- 6||Replayability: 8/10|
Pie Rats of the Carob Bean Farm
With this year’s release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell no Tale, I am all too excited to dive into my pirate themed interests like running through the Nathan Drake series, replaying Black Flag, re-watching the Pirates of the Caribbean films, and until recently–playing Pie Rats of the Carob Bean Farm. Yes, this is easily one of the best analog experiences to help hype up my Pirate obsession. In fact, it’s so great, I want to say it can stand alone as a hype up experience during the game night as we play our way through games leading up to it. Pie Rats of the Carob Bean Farm take fun rat graphics, simple mechanics, and quick play time to translate a card game into an entire pie stealing competition between you and other players. In this card game, you are a captain, increasing your charisma, hiring crew mates, and stealing pie for the ultimate treasure–a win over your opponents. Begin by selecting a captain (each captain will have a charisma level and a strength), then draw three cards from the remaining deck (the pies are separated from this). You will be drawing either charisma cards, crew cards, or action/item cards. These will then be played, whether you want more charisma to steal crewmates from your opponents, whether you need more crewmates to lift out the pie (the sum of all the strength!), or whether you just need to hinder someone else or help yourself. When all the pies are stolen, whoever has the most wins.
I got to try this with all four players which was an absolute blast. I started the game and I luckily drew a charisma card and two crew mates. The first pie to reach the window sill was the lemon meringue. I put on a +1 charisma card on my captain and played one crewmate with a level one loyalty and level three strength. Before I end my turn I checked if I had enough strength to grab the pie (which I did not, I had a strength total of five), and if I wanted to turn a crew mate to its’ side, guaranteeing it’s safety from being stolen (more on this later). The player to my left placed down two crew mates and had ended her turn with a strength sum of five. Player three played a charisma boost on his captain putting him at a five and played two crew mates to his team. The charisma boost gave him the opportunity to steal a crewmate from the player to my left. He took a crewmate with a strength of two giving his strength a sum of ten and giving him the first pie of the game–the meringue. Now, what I wish I had before this happened (because he ended up winning and I believe in the butterfly effect) is if I had a carob bean card. This card can chase away one of the rats on any team, which I think I would have used to take away one of his crew mates. Unfortunately, this was not how the game played out and I ended up losing.
I found this game to live up to the hype I gave it. The graphics fit the gameplay well and the pacing is expanded across five phases. It is a game that can be fun with two players but I had a better time with and expect it to only get better with four or more players. The interaction is not too harsh but there is an opportunity to directly affect players with items. There is not much of a learning curve because it’s pretty straightforward, the rules do a fantastic job structuring gameplay in a way that It only took me one full read to understand (and with my ADHD; I give two thumbs up for). If I were to find an issue with this game I would easily say the box and clean up is a bit of a hassle. With two box types, I always struggle to find the right amount of card I can jam into a box before it gets stuck. All in all, this game is simple to learn, simple to play, and a truly fun card game for all ages.
You will like this game if you enjoy card building or resource building with a pirate theme
You will not like this game if you are looking for something more than resource collecting