Designed By: Eduardo Baraf, Steve Finn
Art By: Clémentine Campardou
Published By: Pencil First Games
Player Count: 1-100
Time to Play: 20-30 Minutes
Delicious might just be my favorite Pencil First Game so far. If you have been following along, you know I love Floriferous and Herbaceous, Delicious takes the parts I love about both of those and adds one of my favorite mechanics... roll and write( well technically flip and write)! In this delightful, small box game, you work to plant the best gardens by growing fruits and veggies. It's relaxing, it's pretty, and it's fun. Each round, a top vegetable and a bottom vegetable are flipped over and a random fruit or tool is placed onto each card. Players then choose whether to use the top card, the bottom card, or both. There are four options for how to use the card, each with a limited number of uses available. You can use the card as is, meaning putting the top veggie in a top planter. You can do it reverse, so top veggie in bottom planter. You can use both as is, so top on top and bottom on bottom. Finally, you can use two anywhere. Planters have specific rules for placement, so you need to think carefully about where and when to plant certain veggies. You also then get to use the corresponding fruit or tool. Fruits have their own special planter and tools allow you to add extra fruits or veggies to special matching places. Score the most points by the end of round 12 and you win!
What's purr-ty cool:
Simplicity: One of the first things I enjoyed about Delicious is how simple it is to learn and get started playing, especially if you are already familiar with Herbaceous. Its a roll and write with set collection. Basically every turn you pick one of four options that allow you to play one of both of the cards. Even if you have not figured out a deep strategy initially, it is really easy to get started. As you play, you will quickly learn how the different planters work and be able to start thinking more critically about your choices and placements. One of the other great things about Delicious is that it is a game with no hidden information. This means that more experienced players can help novice players without gaining any advantage for doing so. Novices can ask questions and experienced players can reference cards and score sheets to help explain anything the new gamer is confused about.
Minimal Downtime: Delicious is a great choice for those with larger game groups that don't want to have to worry about downtime in between turns. Delicious is a simultaneous action selection game, meaning that if you play with two people or twenty people, everyone is away taking their turn at the the same time. This means that the time to play should not go up much no matter how many people you are playing with.
Thinky choices: Because you can only choose to do each action a limited amount of time, you have to balance your current choices with what you hope will be available in a coming turn. It is a very fun mechanic with a little bit of a push your luck element as you leverage taking a good move, or waiting and hoping for something great. The fact that you are choosing a vegetable and it's location, along with the fruit/tool that goes with it, means that each choice has multiple impacts and you have to weigh what matters most to you, the specific veggie, it's location, or the fruit/ tool associated with the card. The set collecting is also satisfying as you have to decide which sets to spend more focus on in hopes of scoring their max points, while also working with what is actually available.
Finals thoughts: Delicious has a lot of great reasons to play. The components are nice, the game sheets and cards are pretty, it has a solo mode in addition to just being able to beat your own score by playing the standard mode alone. The box is small and easy to bring on the road and it does not take up much tablespace to play. It plays quickly so it is great if you don't have time to play a long game but still want to have a good time. Oh and the rulebook has a cute diagram on the back to teach you how to draw the fruits and veggies! If you like relaxing games, you should definitely give Delicious a shot!
Disclosure: Pudgy Cat Games was provided a copy of this game in exchange for a review, however, this review reflects the honest thoughts of the author.