Title: Sunrise Market Collection - 3 Games - Pier 1, Boba Mahjong, and 1-2-3 Cheese!
Designed By: Ta-Te Wu
Published By: Sunrise Tornado
Released: Coming to Kickstarter August 23, 2021
For this review, we will cover all three games. We have review copies for Boba Mahjong and 1-2-3 Cheese! and we will talk more extensively about these two games. For Pier 1, we do not have a review copy but will give a few quick FYIs about it. Also, Pudgy Cat is in that one, so we are super pumped about it!
Love cat sudoku? Introducing the newest games from Sunrise Tornado, which include more cats, mice, and bunnies! The Sunrise Market Collection, which features three games, all with differing player counts, will be coming to Kickstarter on August 23rd, 2021. Check out information for each of the games below!
Title: Pier 1
Art by: Kaiami
Player Count: 1
Time to Play: 20 Minutes
In Pier 1, you take on the challenge of arranging market aisles with unique fish vendors (who are cats!) to increase foot traffic at the pier. In this solo, pattern building, and grid movement game, the higher your score, the better you do!
Title: Boba Mahjong
Art by: Fuwa
Player Count: 2
Time to Play: 30 Minutes
Boba Mahjong is a unique take on set collection and rummy. Players will face off trying to create the best sets of bubble tea. Players work to collect cards to create sets, and then use specific cards from those sets to score points for future sets.
Give each player a player aid. Set the victory point tokens off to the side within reach of all players.
Get set up for the round: Shuffle the deck and deal each player five cards. Place three cards face up to make the mixing piles. If a card in the mixing pile is a zero, shuffle it back into the deck and draw again until there are no zeros face-up. Place the deck nearby the mixing piles, creating the supply.
You are now ready to begin.
How to determine the first player:
Whoever most recently had a boba drink goes first.
How to Play:
On their turn, a player will do three things. First, the player will either draw two cards from the supply or pick one card from the mixing piles.
Then they can either repeat this step OR create up to three sets. To create a set players can use three cards from their hand, or two cards from their hand, and one card from a mixing pile. Sets can be three of a kind, a straight, or any three toppings. Zeroes are wild and can be used as any number.
Once a set is created, the player then needs to decide which card from the set they wish to keep to score later. Here is where you will begin to use your sets to make more sets. For each turn, any sets created should be placed in a single stack in that individual player's tableau. The other two cards, that were not added to the player's personal stacks, will get returned to the top of the mixing pile(s) of the player's choice. Unless, a card that should be returned is a zero, in that case, remove it from the game.
The active player then checks that they do not have more than seven cards. If they do, they must discard down to seven. It is now the other player's turn.
Play continues until one player has five stacks of cards in their tableau. The opposing player then gets one more turn that round. Players then select six cards from their individual tableaus for scoring. Players can score points in four possible categories, freshness (same number), smoothness (straights), complexity (toppings), and presentation (same or different colors). Players take their total number of points and round down to the closest interval of five, taking one token for each set of five points.
If no player has reached six tokens, set up for another round. Play rounds until someone gets six victory tokens!
Boba Mahjong is a sweet little two-player game. It is super easy to learn to play but allows a lot of interesting choices with all the different set collection options players can choose to work with. The double-layer of set collection is something we have never seen before but really enjoyed. You have to think about what sets to work on collecting in the first part of your turn so that you can draft the cards you actually want for the sets that will score at the end of the round.
We also think that it was cool that no matter how many cards you manage to collect in your tableau before the round ends, you only get to pick six to score with. This helps balance out the game for if someone got lucky with cards (or was super strategic) and collected a lot more cards than their opponent. Yes, the more cards you have the more choices you can pick from for your final set, but the scores will likely be a lot closer than if one player only collected 7 cards and one player collected 13. This helps to stop one player from blowing another player out of the water.
We like that despite its adorable use of color (seriously it looks cute on the table, and reminds me of the inside of a lot of bubble tea stores), Boba Mahjong is designed to be color-blind friendly. Each color is labeled with a type of tea or ingredient, so even if you cannot differentiate the colors, you can still work to collect matching sets.
Boba Mahjong takes up very little table space and plays pretty quickly, making it a great game on the go. If you are looking for a simple, yet thinky set collection game to play with your best board game friend, you can't go wrong with Boba Mahjong!
Title: 1-2-3 Cheese!
Art by: Shenanjegans
Player Count: 2-5
Time to Play: 20 Minutes
Ever want to play a game where you are a mouse who is a thief? Want to steal all of the cheese? In 1-2-3 Cheese! you and your friends are members of a league of thieves led by Anton the mouse. You plan a heist to get all the cheese, but it goes wrong, leaving you scrambling to get away with as few crumbs as possible so you don't look guilty!
1-2-3 Cheese! is a hand management, racing game where players will work to stash away cheese cards and get rid of their hands by playing sets and runs, or gobbling up cheese in order to have as few crumbs left at the end of the round. The fewer crumbs you have, the more points you score. 1-2-3 Cheese! is played over multiple rounds and the first player to score 12 points wins.
Put the scoreboard in the middle of the table and have each player choose a meeple and put it on the scoreboard.
For the start of each round, you will shuffle all of the cards and give each player 14. It can seem like a lot, but you will use them up pretty quickly and be grateful for the options. Unused cards are removed from the round.
All players select one of their cards to start their stash and will reveal these cards simultaneously.
You are now ready to begin.
How to determine the first player:
The person who most recently ate cheese goes first.
How to Play:
The starting player will take their turn before passing play on to the player on their left. On their turn, players take one of three actions: drop, cheese, or gobble. For drop and cheese, you can play cards on any player's stash.
Dropping involves playing a card that is the same color but is the same number or higher. This can be a singular card or a set of matching cards.
Cheesing involves creating runs of three or more cards that match the color on the stash you are placing the cards onto. The number starting the run does not need to be higher than the number already on the stash, it just must be the same color.
So what do you do if no stash has a color you can work with, or your numbers are not quite right? Well, that's where gobbling comes in. When gobbling, players take the top card of any stash and add it to their hand. They then play ANY card from their hand to the top of their own stash. This card can ignore color and number rules. If the card you selected to pick up was the only card in a stash (meaning the stash is now empty), the owner of that stash gets to play any card from their hand to their stash before you play a card to your stash.
The round ends when one player is out of cards in their hand, though all players will get an equal number of turns, so it is possible someone goes out and another player or two still will get to go depending on who started the round and who is finishing it. Players then count up their hand and stash cards to determine how many crumbs they have. For each card in their hand, a player gets two crumbs and for each card in their stash, they get one. Depending on how many crumbs each player has they get a certain number of points, the fewer crumbs one has, the more points they get.
If no player has achieved 12 points, set up for a new round. If a player gets 12 points they win!
1-2-3 Cheese! is such a cute game for the whole family. 1-2-3 Cheese! reminds us a bit of Uno but with more things happening. You do not draw cards but must find a way to run out of your cards. You are playing on piles of cards, instead of just a single pile, and you have a few more options for how you can discard cards, but the general premise is similar, give your opponents stuff they don't want and be the first to have no cards left.
As you do not draw cards during the game, you really need to work on managing your hand to get down to zero without having to gobble up too much! Gobbling is great, but it always means a card is going into your stash which will mean getting a crumb.
One thing that works well with 1-2-3 Cheese! is that while players are working to try and give their opponents as many crumbs as they can, players cannot realistically all gang up on one single player by putting everything in only one person's stash. Since you are limited by the cards in your hand and the color of each person's stash, many times you have to play with what option you have, not necessarily what you would most like to do. We love when games address the ability to gang up on a player because more often than not, doing things like this leads to that one player feeling stuck and not having fun.
1-2-3 Cheese! is a great way to teach new gamers about set collecting and making runs on cards, which are common mechanics in a lot of games. We like that players have two goals in 1-2-3 Cheese!. The first is to run out of cards, but the second is to have the least amount of cards in their stash they can.
Lastly, we loved the special cards. Zeroes, fives, and Anton all do special things. Players can use zeroes, which are wild in color and count as any number when played, but still count as a zero for anyone stashing things on top of them going forward, which helps them to change the color of stacks to their favor. Fives, count as a five in their specific color when played, but reset the stack for the next person playing a card on top of it, meaning that stacks can go from a green 5 to a red 1. Also helpful in mixing things up! Lastly, Anton is what is known as a super wild, he can be played as any number or any color. When Anton is on top of a stash, he counts as a five and the stash can be reset by the next player. Cards like these make taking actions like gobbling extra appealing, because it may be worth it to risk having an extra card in your stash if it means you can use the card you gobbled up to get rid of more cards later.
We really enjoyed how 1-2-3 Cheese! played. If you are looking for a simple game for a family who LOVES cheese, 1-2-3 Cheese! will make your mouth water and your heart sing.
Lastly, we wanted to show off this fantastic deck of cards that Ta-Te designed. It features the cats of the Cat Sudoku world and is truly is the only deck of cards we will ever need in our lives ever again. Why have basic playing cards, when you can have cat playing cards!
Honestly, have you ever seen a more purrfect deck of playing cards? Because we most certainly have not!
Look for our pudgy cat Leyla on the 9s!
To find out more about the Sunrise Market Kickstarter, check out this link.