Scoville: Heating up The Themed Board Games

 Game: Scoville  Players: 2- 6
 Publisher: Tasty Minstrel Games  Age: 13+
 Time: 45 minutes  Replayability 8/10

pic1903464_mdScoville: Heating up The Themed Board Games

Scoville is published by one of our favorite group, TMG. It is a board game about concocting some fantastic recipes or selling off your craft made of peppers. Each player will control a farmer who will be planting and harvesting peppers in order to accrue points through a salad-point system. This is a totally original concept laid out in a typical Euro fashioned experience. The rules do a great job expressing gameplay while capturing the actions available on the board for quick references. The board is designed through a few large cardboard squares that are put together to make up the farm. The farm is surrounded by the recipes, player actions and turn-order, goals, and ways to get and sell peppers. It’s a functional board game with quality production and a fun experience. In Scoville, everyone begins by betting on turn-order. Players in descending order players get peppers based on the pepper card they draw from cards drawn from a morning stack. They will then place down their peppers down in the farm. This ‘planting’ is where the farmers movement comes in play. After each pepper was planted, in reverse turn order, players begin harvesting. You will move your farmer up to three slots around the board collecting mixtures of peppers as you go. In descending order of the original order, with selling peppers, making recipes, and collecting coins and points for your work and effort.

My Experience

I had this at game night with one of my main groups. Four of us grabbed our farmers, collected our single yellow, red, and blue pepper and began playing. We started the game by betting on turn-order. I personally enjoy going last because I want to harvest peppers first. So after everyone took turns picking up a morning card and collecting the peppers on each card. Player one places a yellow pepper to the right of an already planted yellow pepper (which was placed down before the game started). Player two places their red pepper below that yellow pepper. Player three places their blue pepper to the left of the red pepper, and I place my red pepper below the already placed red pepper. In reverse order, we begin harvesting (which is what I wanted to do first). I move my farmer diagonally down, this collects me an orange pepper, I then move right again, another orange pepper. I stop my move there because I can’t collect peppers if there are not two available between my farmer. Everyone else moves their farmers, not being able to collect much because of how little peppers are available on the field, and how many farmers there are (we can’t go around each other). In the original turn-order players begin selling off whatever abundance of peppers they have for some extra coin.

Play continues until we get toward the end of the match. At this point, I have used a couple of my bonus cards in order to reverse my farmers’ direction and to harvest one more location. I’ve not made many recipes however, I was first to plant a lot of the pepper colors. This gave me placards that rewarded me a few points. While I didn’t win the game, I was in a close 2nd. The first place player was strategic, they gathered enough peppers to be able to create a lot of recipes. I feel recipes are where the bulk of points come from.

scovilleFinal Thoughts

Scoville is a board game that captures the fun seen in a variety of games and consolidates it into one big title. Through peppers, you can experience the fun of a Euro-style game and the excitement of variable strategy. It’s not very directly interactive however, each player can leave a huge dent in the game, being a big influence on players’ strategy. I find it replayable because of how many different strategies a player can use while experiencing Scoville. Their abundance of cards and recipes give players enough content to last a couple games before seeing it all, and it’s just a lot of fun. I love how the peppers look, they are given very vibrant hues and the farmers are constructed well. My only gripe is the transparent pepper (ghost pepper) is insanely long and does not look good nor fit well in the farm. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a great blend of salad-point style and theme.

You will like this game if you enjoy multiple ways to victory, enjoy the theme, and want a game that can support 6 players.

You will not like this game if you’re not interested in a bit of density. This game doesn’t ask for much, but there is a lot going on and could be overwhelming.

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Joseph Nicholas

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Indietabletop. Communication major. Favorite mechanics include: Bluffing and Deduction, modular boards, and action point allowance. Favorite video game genres are Rpgs, Puzzles games, and Sim/Tycoons.

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