Hey everyone! Hope you’ve had some good game nights in the last little while. I have been playing some great family games lately, and the next review, fits wonderfully into this category. Lets have a look at the winner of the Boston FIG Audience Choice Award, and was featured in PAX South Indie Showcase: Wicked Apples from Almost a Game.
If You Love:
- Light Memory Games
- Family Games
- Quick Filler
- Passing Cards
- Player Elimination
How It’s Played
Wicked Apples is a very quick, easy game of steps in which players are picking apples, and eating them by placing them in their baskets. The goal is to be the last person standing. Each player is given a basket and a wicked apple, and from there is dealt three more apple cards. They will look at their hand of cards and place them all face down in front of them. From there, the rounds will start and game play will commence. Players will determine who goes first by the number that is on their bucket. Lowest number will go first and rather than going around the table, players go by ascending numbers. From there, the player whose turn it is, will either give one of their apples to another player, or look at one of their apples to confirm what it is. Once all players have done this, everyone picks and reveals an apple they want to eat. Each player then fulfills the abilities on the apple card from lowest to highest order once again. After abilities are resolved, your eaten apple will go into your bucket and the round will end. When the new round starts, whoever has the lowest numbered apple will be the start player, similar to who starts with the bucket number at the beginning of the game.
The Pretty Little Bow
There really isn’t a ton of pieces in Wicked Apples, other than a deck of cards. The cards themselves are very nice and good quality. The art in the game is very good. The main logo and wicked apple card art is great. As an arborist, to see an apple look cool, makes me smile a lot. The only knock I have on the look and pieces of the game is the rules. They are printed on four cards. I completely understand why this is done as far as costs are concerned, but it is an annoyance to keep four cards separate, and four potential pieces to lose. Overall though, it is a very good game and a great quality deck of cards.
What’d You Love?
The straight forward play of Wicked Apples is a wonderful selling point for the game. It is a quick game, and is the perfect length to kill a few minutes in between bigger games. Honestly, with how quickly it plays, I think you could even use it to determine the first player of a bigger game you have planned during your game night. It is very reminiscent of a playing card game I have played with family before, so I feel that this could be a great game to play with classic card game players as well. The big difference between classic games and this is that these cards have abilities. Once you can teach those to new players, I think you could really get a light family hit, and having a non gaming family, I can’t have enough options in this category!
What’s Not to Love?
Other than the slight annoyance with the rule cards, I only had two points that really stood out to me as issues I had. First of all, the game is listed as a 2-5 player game. I really don’t feel that this game has the ability to effectively be a two player game. With a game where the point is to eliminate the other players, you are essentially just passing a card along, eating an apple you know wasn’t wicked, and in next rounds, getting rid of whatever your opponent gave you, so you don’t have that as an option as being another wicked apple. I have tried other strategies in the game, and even with abilities, I found that just ridding yourself of whatever your opponent gives you, is the best option in a two player game. Maybe it was just contradicting strategies I experienced, but it felt like every time I tried anything other than giving back cards, I was losing quickly. Saying that, I found the game to play great at all the other player counts. The other issue I had was a thematic one. The game is about how you are eating an apple every turn, and once the apple is eaten, you put it in your bucket. Why would you put an already eaten apple in a bucket? I find this to be a little silly as in my mind, no one is going to buy a bucket of already eaten apples. I mean, this is a minuscule issue, and maybe there was no better way to do it, but if nothing else, maybe make the bucket into a compost pile, or something of that nature. I know it may not be as appealing as a bucket, but to me, I can accept that more thematically, than a bucket collecting eaten apples. Maybe I’m nit picking. Also, I’m sorry for saying bucket so many times within five sentences.
What’d You Think?
Overall, this is a solid filler and a great card game with a classic feel to it. I find it to be a necessary aspect of a game to have a classic card game feel to it when I bring games to family events, as they always have been, and always will be in that mind set. To stray too far from it is really pushing boundaries for them, so if I can find something in a game that they can relate to a game they already know and love, it is a huge advantage for me to expand horizons. Wicked Apples does this incredibly well, and adds a bit of take that, which it turns out my family loves. Now, the big question for me is will it stay in my collection. This is something I am unsure of. I know I will have fun with it as a filler at game nights, but the family loves it so much, it may end up being a game I pass along to them. It will get play from them every time they have card friends over without a doubt in my mind, and I am certain that when I go to visit, it will hit the table frequently. So, to really answer that in what I believe will likely happen, is that I will bring it with me to my family events for the next couple of months or so, and eventually I will hear “Hey, Randy and Darla* are visiting this weekend, can we borrow that apple game?” and that will be the end of me bothering to bring it back and forth, and just keep it at my parents and let them enjoy it with their friends. This isn’t to say I like it less than them, but I know the main time I will play is with them, and they will get more use out of it when I’m not there than me while they aren’t here. Long story short, it will stay with me to play, but it will stay at the house that it would get 98% of the plays at anyway.
*Randy and Darla are not real people, I just made up names. In case you were wondering if I had and Aunt and Uncle Randy and Darla or something.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my look at Wicked Apples, and you will be back when my next review is up and ready to go! Don’t forget, I love you all!