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Game Preview: Point Salad, or Eat Your Greens...and Yellows and Reds

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
My previews of Gen Con 2019 releases continue with a quick take on Point Salad, a game from Molly Johnson, Robert Melvin, and Shawn Stankewich that Alderac Entertainment Group will feature during its Big Game Night at Gen Con.

Point Salad is a card-drafting game, albeit not like Carnival of Monsters in which you draft from a private hand of cards, but instead like Amul in which you draft from a public array. (Now I feel challenged to link even more Gen Con 2019 releases in a single sentence.)

The game includes six types of vegetable cards, with a different scoring pattern on the back of each of the 108 cards. After adjusting the deck to account for the number of players, you lay out three piles of cards (scoring side up), then flip over the top two cards of each pile to create the veggie display. On a turn, draft two veggies or one point card, then refill the veggie display by flipping over point cards in the same column as the cards that were removed. Once per turn, you can flip over one of your point cards — something that turned out to be useless, perhaps — to its veggie side. Once all the cards have been claimed, tally your points based on the point cards and veggie cards that you hold.

I've played Point Salad three times on a review copy from Alderac — once 2p, and twice 3p — and the game is a quick ride through a supermarket of randomness, with the items on display changing each time your turn arrives. You start with no plan, no direction, but have to assemble one quickly from whatever you grab off the shelf. The trick is that each time you grab a point card, other players can respond by snatching the veggies you need to score with it — but if you grab only veggies, you'll score nothing or be reduced to crossing your fingers and hoping that a perfect point card awaits your clutching fingers at just the right moment. What your cart looks like at the end of the game is always a surprise!

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