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Bad Beets

September 8th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

I don’t like beets.  Granted, they’re not as bad as turnips, but they are roughly in the same extended family in that they are root vegetables.  Apparently I’m not the only one who doesn’t like them as someone developed a card game specifically designed around getting rid of all of your beets before the other players do.  Before we get into specifics though, I’d like to quickly thank the folks from Stone Blade Entertainment for reaching out and providing me with a press copy for review purposes.

 

Bad Beets

Bad Beets: 2-5 Players, Ages 8+, Average Play Time = 15 Minutes

 

Components

The game includes 15 Role Cards, 50 Beet Tokens, 12 Ice Cream Tokens, 5 Action Reminder Cards, and 1 Rulebook.

Setup & Gameplay

The deck of role cards is shuffled.  Each player receives one face down card from the deck (which they can look at) along with eight beet tokens and a reference card.  The player who last ate a vegetable goes first and will start the game by drawing another card.  The ice cream tokens are only used if you’re playing more than one game (one game win equals one ice cream token).

On a player’s turn, they’ll choose one of the two cards in their hand to secretly pass onto the next player (clockwise order) and then take an action.  The action can be anything, even if you don’t have the matching card in your hand.  However, a player can call your bluff and demand to your remaining card if they don’t believe it matches to the action you just took.  The exception is the “Eat a Beat” action, which anyone can safely take.

If the active player initiates the “Feed the Dog”, “Tattletale”, or “Share” action on the other hand, then the other players are free to challenge it.  This forces the active player to reveal their card.  If the active player was telling the truth, the challenging player receives a beet.  If the active player was lying, then they don’t get to take the action and the challenging player gets rid of a beet.

In addition to this, the deck contains orange reaction cards (the action cards are blue) that players can utilize to counter actions.  Instead of playing the reaction card however, it stays in the owner’s hand.  Here’s the kicker: you can play a reaction action whenever you want, even if you don’t have that matching reaction card in your hand.  The active player is free to call the other player’s bluff with consequences similar to those listed above.

The first player to get rid of all of their beets first, wins the game!

Editor’s Note: The above doesn’t cover all of the rules found in the manual, but should give you an idea as to how the game is played.

The Review

This game is a simpler version of “Coup” in that there is a heavy emphasis on bluffing and taking actions in order to achieve your goals.  The game may appear overwhelming at first, what with the ability to not only call bluffs on the active player’s action, but also on other players who play reaction actions against the active player.  Luckily, there are only a total of four actions and three reactions, meaning that you won’t need an elaborate matrix to keep track of what’s going on and how things resolve.  Each player also only has a hand of one card (the active player has two), further simplifying things.

I appreciate the fact that action cards are blue and reaction cards are orange, making it easy to tell what category card you have in your hand at the present time.  Having the active player pass a card onto the next player was also a neat mechanic, as it gives the ex-active player an idea as to what actions the next player in line may take.  If they play the action of the matching card just passed to them, then the ex-active player will know that they’re telling the truth and observe their tells accordingly.  Of course, said player could have passed the matching card they just received onto the next player and took that action just to throw the original player off.  Like I said…similar to “Coup”, but somewhat less complicated.

“Bad Beets” is perfect for families who find “Coup” to be both intriguing but too complex.  If you’ve never played “Coup” but enjoy bluffing games, then “Bad Beets” is an easy recommend at the $14.99 price tag.

Final Verdict: 9/10

 

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