Title: On the Rocks
Designed By: Michael Pittre and Christina Pittre
Art By: Christina Pittre
Published By: 25th Century Games and PenTree Games
Player Count: 1-4
Time to Play: 60 Minutes
On the Rocks is dice rolling, marble drafting, push your luck, set collecting game about mixing up the best cocktails! Players work as mixologists to mix drinks by collecting the right ingredients (marbles). Earn tips and try to avoid spills in order to be the best cocktail server ever!
What's purr-ty cool:
Gameplay: So while I would not exactly describe On the Rocks as a take-that kind of game, I do enjoy the element of how you try to optimize things for yourself on your turn, while simultaneously trying to make things harder for other players. There is a chance to be strategic when adding the ingredients to the jigger bowls that can be really fun and create a bit more complexity than just randomly assigning ingredients would.
Theme: On the Rocks is definitely one of the most thematic games I have played in awhile. From the cocktail menu player boards (see my thoughts on components for more), to ice cube dice, to bar tending challenges like spilled drinks, On the Rocks weaves the theme throughout the whole game. One other reason I love the theme is that I think it is accessible for new gamers. While On the Rocks is close to pushing the light-mid-weight category opposed t o very light (which is common for new gamers), it's theme is something that is relatable and enjoyable for many adults, which makes On the Rocks enticing. Simply put, it looks like the kind of game you want to pull out on a hot summer days, or to play while drinking with friends. I think games the look enticing to non-gamers are fantastic because they provide a way to pull people into the hobby. There are also handy "how to play" and "helpful tips" cards to help players remember what to do. These are super useful for newer gamers who are not used to games where multiple things happen in a turn.
Components: The components are one of my favorite parts of On the Rocks. On the Rocks is great for gamers that enjoy tactile games with pieces you can play with. First up, we have marbles which are used to fulfill drink orders. They are pretty and look like cracked glass. If you want to see a really satisfying, slow-motion video of them making cool noise, check out our TikTok. You also have the jigger bowls, which are squishy bowls that hold your marbles. And finally you have my favorite player boards I have ever seen. The player boards are designed to look like a cocktail menu, including opening and folding closed while laying completely flat, spot UV gloss on them, and dual layered thickness to allow the marbles to be held in place.
The cat's meow:
"Must whack the marbles! Must whack ALL the marbles!" - Pudgy Cat
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.