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The title of Toss Your Cookies (Gamewright Games, 2007 – Idea Zone Product Development) sounds a bit disgusting – perhaps a game pointed at adolescents with low- brow humor (“toss your cookies” is an American euphemism for vomiting). And even though I’m constantly advocating designers to find new themes, I’m certainly glad that the title has nothing to do with this. Rather, it’s actually about tossing cookies onto the table – a game well suited for young children.
With wonderful drawings and terrific, sturdy components, Toss Your Cookies is a nice variant on the game idea introduced in the public domain “spoons”. Players are attempting to collect cookies that are of the same type, along with a glass of milk. While the game might bore adults (although there’s some frenetic moments which are quite hilarious), I’ve found that kids enjoy it – as much for the simple, fun game play as well as the beautiful components. Although we really want to eat cookies when the game is over (the artwork is THAT good), it’s a good kid’s game that I enjoy playing with them, and it handles up to eight players.
Eight different round cookie tiles are included with the game: Iced sugar cookies, gingerbread men, fortune cookies, generic “Oreo” cookies, chocolate chip cookies, macadamia nut cookies, fudge swirl, and fruit center cookies. One set of six identical cookies is used for each player as well as some “wild” cookies and “half-eaten” cookies, which, along with a single milk card, total seven cards for each player. The tiles (cards) are shuffled face down on the table, and each player draws seven of them. Two custom six-sided dice are given to the player who last ate a homemade cookie, and the game is ready to begin.
On a player’s turn, they simply roll the two dice and take the action indicated by the combo. The combos that occur can be:
- Whichever player has the milk must pass it to the player on their left (or right). Before doing so, they may draw a random card from that player’s hand.
- Same as above, but the player receiving the milk card is the player rolling the dice.
- The player rolling the dice chooses another player, who must swap the number of cards with them shown on one of the dice (“1”, “2”, “3”, or “all”).
- Everyone passes the number of cards shown on one of the dice to their right (or left).
- The player with the milk card must toss it into the center. Everyone else makes a grab for it, with the player who snags it losing a random card to the former milk holder.
- Everyone must toss a certain number of cards into the middle of the table – face up. Everyone then grabs the same amount as quickly as they can, filling their hands back up.
The game continues until one player has five of the same cookie type (wild cards act as any type of cookie) AND the milk. They should then shout out “Snickerdoodle”, causing them to immediately win the game. Players can also choose to play a certain number of rounds, with the person winning the most round being declared the final champion.
Some comments on the game…
1.) Components: Each of the cookies is a large round cardboard tile, showing a depiction of a different type of cookies. While the cookies are not actual pictures, they are certainly drawn well enough to evoke salivation from players and cries of hunger for cookies. The cookies are so realistic looking that I sadly have bite marks in one which one of my children thought was an enjoyable snack. The pleasant theme is one that will attract kids to the game, and anyone who still has the urging for the joy that is known as “cookie”. The dice are of the highest quality, chunky white six-sided dice, with the symbols clearly engrained with different colors to help differentiate amongst them. Everything fits into a nice plastic insert that fits in the smallish, bright-colored box.
2.) Rules: The rules are only four pages and mostly are composed with the instructions on how to form the initial composition of the deck (determined by the number of players), and what each combination of the dice means. Frankly, the combinations are simple, and players catch on fairly quickly after only one explanation. The game says that the age range is “eight” or older, but I can easily see a six year old playing this game – it’s easy enough to play.
3.) Craziness and Fun Factor: Really, the game is one of sheer silliness. It seems like at least once a game, players roll the combo “toss” and “all”, which result in an instant madhouse. It’s really quite funny to see players scramble madly to get all the correct cookies they need. Almost as funny, and certainly vicious, is when the milk itself is tossed. Fingernails should be clipped before hand, and I can guarantee you that the milk card will look the most worn after a while, although it’s fairly obvious most of the time who has it anyway. It’s the silliness of the tossing, which happens on 1/3 of all rolls, that makes the game entertaining and keeps it from being simply another Spoons clone.
4.) Strategy: I’m sure that you can surmise from the rules that any strategy in the game is fairly basic. Players simply attempt to get a large group of cookies (wild cards if possible), and then try to get their hands on the milk card. This is excellent for small minds, though, as it gives them some simple strategy ideas that they can nurture and use as they get older.
5.) Ages and Players: The game is an excellent one for young children, especially for early elementary. But even older kids will find laughs yanked from them as they laugh at the craziness that occurs when a toss occurs. For these same reasons, the game is certainly preferable with large groups, although it seems to work okay with four (three? – nah.) With a large group, the tossing can get insane and will likely appeal to teens and kids more than adults. But it’s not that more frenzied than Pit, the card game.
If you have kids and/or like cookies, this game is a no brainer. And who doesn’t like cookies? But with fabulous components, and simple, manic game play, Toss Your Cookies is a game that children will request again and again. Even my very young children, who couldn’t grasp the mechanics, wanted to play with the cookies; and it made for an enjoyable family game. While the name may be disgusting, the game is anything but!
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