Perfect game for new gamers –

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Perfect game for new gamers –

This review of Pusheen Purrfect Pick was featured on Episode 108 of The Five By.  Check out the rest of the episode, which also features aco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, Lucky Numbers, Ginkgopolis and Burgle Bros 2.

The American Tabletop Awards recently announced their top games for 2020 in four categories: Early Gamers, Casual Games, Strategy Games, and Complex Games. Soon after, a discussion launched off on Twitter regarding the naming convention, and how the word “early” is a much better alternative for what many would call “filler” or “gateway” games. The group members said they selected that term because they wanted to be respectful without being reductive. 

And as we know, as gamers dive deeper into the hobby, the term “gateway” is thrown around toward such games as Ticket to Ride, Catan, etc. to signify which game got them into the hobby. But we forget that these aforementioned games can be difficult for someone who has had no previous gaming experience whatsoever. And that high barrier to entry can be a turnoff from diving into our wonderful world. 

So what makes a good game for early gamers — those completely new to modern board games? The consensus seems to be a game that’s fun and can be taught very quickly and easily. Pusheen Purrfect Pick fits that criteria, along with its delightful artwork that makes it easy to draw new gamers in. The card game from Ravensburger, designed by Steve Warner, was published in 2021 plays 2 to 5 players and takes about 30 minutes to play, and comes with a nice glossy double-sided board, two decks of cards and a Pusheen figurine made of a study rubber material that’s used as a first-player marker. 

For those unacquainted, Pusheen is a cartoon cat, a rotund, adorable gray feline with little feets that’s an internet sensation. Her cuteness is directly translated in this board game, which includes her house, friends and yummy treats, a perfect game for new gamers and for experienced gamers who want something completely chill with the potential for a little playful meanness. 

The game comes a sturdy, glossy game board that’s double sided. This is the side with Pusheen’s house.

To set up the game, pick one of the board’s sides — either the setting for inside Pusheen’s house or outside at the park — and place 12 random essentials cards face up on each space marked with a dotted line. Then randomly place 4 Snapshot cards face up next to the game board. Give the Pusheen figure to the player who most recently fed a cat as they’ll go first. This, sadly, will never be me as I’m deathly allergic to cats and will only play with cats in board games. 

This side of the game board is set in the park. Essentials cards are placed in the dotted lines.

The game is played over a series of rounds, in which the active player places the Pusheen figurine on a paw space on the board. These paw spaces are situated in between four essentials cards, and the active player selects one of the cards to put into their hand. They then check to see if they satisfy any of the requirements from one of the face-up Snapshot cards, and if they do, discard the Essential cards for it, take the Snapshot card and place it in front of them. Each Snapshot card has victory points on it as indicated by the star symbols on it.

Then the rest of the players in clockwise order do the same exact thing: choose one of the remaining cards surrounding Pusheen — or draw a random one from the Essentials deck — to put it into their hand, and then score any of the Snapshot cards remaining. 

The Snapshot cards have requirements printed on them to score their victory points, as indicated by the number of stars on the card.

Game play continues until one player has 10 or more stars. If no one has 10 or more stars yet, then the Pusheen figurine passes to the player on the left, and a new round begins. 

Easy peasy, right? Describing how to play the game took less than a minute to explain. It’s purrfect for early gamers. (See what I did there?)

So what’s on an Essentials card? There are three types: friends, items and actions. Friends and items cards provide the items necessary to fulfill Snapshot cards. They include charming things like other fluffy cats, rainbows, diamonds and the like. Action cards require the play to do them immediately as soon as they pick up the card. Some actions include removing Essentials Cards from the board or choosing any layer to give you a card of their choice. Actions to mix up the game. 

The artwork in this game is just so adorable. But of course it is because Pusheen herself is very adorable.

For more experienced gamers, this game’s drafting mechanism for the gamed as if you see that an opponent needs a specific Essentials card to fulfill a high-value Snapshot card, you can place Pusheen away from any of those cards. It can be a little mean, especially at high player counts, because then it’ll be four turns until you get to place Pusheen where you want her. Again, the game is light enough that it’s just playful meanness. 

But in the grand scheme of gaming, this meanness is a small possibility as most new gamers will probably not be playing like this.The game’s sturdy, high-gloss components mean this game can be played just about anymore. And it’s very portable — the box size is a small square, like those 2-player games you’ve seen from Patchwork or Targi. 

Pusheen Purrfect Pick board game
This is seriously the more adorable first-player marker ever.

Pusheen Purrfect Pick is 100 percent a light game. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s anything other than that. But for what type of game it is, it’s just delightful and something that is purrfect for early gamers and those who love adorableness. 

And that’s Pusheen Purrfect Pick! This is Meeple Lady for The Five By. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as Meeple Lady, or on my website boardgamemeeplelady.com. Thanks for listening! Bye! 

Meeple Lady

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