Saturday, September 16, 2017

Game Review - New York Slice

As a family of pizza lovers and board gamers we were intrigued by New York Slice from Stronghold Games.

The game concept is simple an uses a mechanic that many parents of "fairness minded" children may find very familiar. One player divides up the pizza in a way that seems most fair to them and then everyone else gets to choose the portions they want first. The trick comes in trying to set up the choices so that the other players take what you want them to take and leave alone the juicy slice you want for yourself.

The first thing we noticed when we sat down to play was the art and graphic design. They really outdid themselves in terms of making a cohesive, thematic game. The game box is constructed to open like a pizza box (albeit a bit more durable). Inside you'll find the dozens of pizza slices that look almost good enough to eat. The other components continue the theme with a rule book organized as a menu you might find in your local pizza shop and a score pad that's a guest check register from that harried pizza shop waiter or waitress. Even the "today's special" bonus tiles look like the name plates you'd see in the counter display. The graphical experience is absolutely fabulous. My only design gripe is trying to store the bits back in the box after gameplay...the slices don't fit real well and end up sliding all around. Fortunately they're made of very durable cardboard so it shouldn't cause any real problems.

Trying to just explain the rules and game play had a couple of our younger players (youngest was 8 years old) a little confused but as we laid out the slices and walked through the process, she quickly caught on.

In the box are dozens of slices representing different types of pizza. In order to score, you need to be the player who collected the most slices of a given type. However, you receive negative points for any anchovies on your collective slices. Alternately you have the option to "eat" your slices rather than storing them. Eating the slices helps you avoid negative points for the anchovies but also earns you points for any pepperoni on the slices you eat. Additionally, each game has random "specials" that grant certain special scoring modifications.

Each round changes who holds the majority of a given type and so the pressure is always on to try and split the pizza in the best possible way and then for each player to try and figure out which section they want to collect and which of those slices they want to eat. For a simple game there were plenty of tricky decisions. The game moves quickly enough to keep players engaged and having fun watching what each opponent does. Even with the full 6 players, the game plays quickly so as not to overstay its welcome (and/or to allow for multiple plays in an evening).

Overall this is a fun game that went over well with players of all ages even if just to enjoy the tasty looking art. It's a great lightweight game that can be enjoyed in a variety of game groups.

4.5 out of 5 stars

To see the rest of my board game collection, click here.

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