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Subject: Review (Mystery Rummy Contest Judge) rss

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Peter Johnston
United States
North Hollywood
California
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Veggie Rummy

Disclaimer:
I played this game as a first round judge for the Themed Rummy Contest judged by Mike Fitzgerald on boardgamegeek.com (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/438467/design-contest-themed...). As a result this review is potentially based on an outdated or prototype version of the game. Furthermore, to avoid interference with the contest I played the game much like a proper play-tester. I had the deck of cards provided and I downloaded the rules from the game's contest entry at the time the contest had closed. I did not contact the designer if I had questions, nor did I look for FAQs or other information on BGG. Some people may find this unfair, but I feel one of the tenets of the contest (and of game design in general) is that the structure and understanding of the rules is exceedingly important and can make or break a game. In any case, I hope the information I provide here helps the designer with development of their game, and inspires others to try it out and provide their own feedback.

Game Summary:
Veggie Rummy is a game for 2 to 4 players. It follows a standard draw/meld/discard rummy style with a more complicated scoring mechanism and certain melds having implications (either positive or negative) for suit scoring at the end of the game.

Review:
I'm going to start with card art. Simple. Pleasant. Nice cartoony feel that makes this look like an accessible and fun game. Clearly vegetables. And vegetable stands. And gold. Sounds like a kind of market theme with a little ripe and rotten thrown in for good measure.

Sadly I can't really describe how well this game plays. I read and re-read the rules a number of times, but despite their apparent simplicity they didn't seem to translate each time we tried to play them. I carefully picked my way through each sentence to try and make sure I knew what was going on. While the basic rummy structure of the game was there and seemed simple to explain, the scoring, market, and special card relationships were dismally written, and the cards even had some text on them which seemed to contradict the written rules. Were the veggie stands supposed to be attached to a player? If not how did coins on the stands impact the score of the melds you had? Do fly / fertilizer cards play like melds or just get attached to any meld? Etc. Etc.

I muscled through this as best we could, but sadly not knowing if we were even playing or scoring correctly left this feeling very broken. I'll keep an eye out for updated rules or make up my own in the future, but the only thing I can advise is that this needs a lot more play-testing. And by that I mean real play-testing where the rules and cards are given to people who have no idea how the game works, and if they can't get through a single round without needing an explanation of even the smallest part of the game, the rules as written are broken. Proof reading the rules would also help a lot.

Conclusion:
Great art. Seems like a good idea. Possibly broken, possibly not. Rules just need rewriting.

BGG Rating:
I would rank this as a 1 as currently written, with a 3 for style. Hopefully future rules clarifications will make this far more playable and enjoyable.
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Steven Faille
Canada
Deux-Montagnes
Quebec
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A small update of the rules has been modified, clarifying some stuff! Sorry about that bad first draft!
 
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Mike S.
Netherlands
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Is this game anywhere available as a download or is the Artscow link the only way to get it ?
 
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