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Subject: Gaming with my Girls - Part I: Piece O' Cake rss

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Brian Homan
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I've decided to start reviewing some of the games that I like to play with my girls (ages 12,10 and 7 as of this writing). They all have different talents and personalities, as well as different tastes in games. This is where I hope to help other parents who are looking to find good games to play with their kids of varying ages. So without further adieu...

I recently auctioned off several of my games that weren't getting played to get more that I thought my family would enjoy. Piece O' Cake was one of those games. My eldest daughter was introduced to this at a local gaming meeting that we both attended and she really enjoyed it so I thought it was worth trying with the family. The verdict? They all love it!

What's great about this game:
1It's very fast. This game plays out in about 20 minutes with 5 people, probably much faster than that with two. It's great for a quick bit of family time before bed, or to get some quick gaming in between scheduled events.
2 It's very easy to learn. You cut, someone else chooses. You eat your pieces for some points now or save them for some possibly bigger points later. Not much more to it than that.
3 It's very appealing to the eye and likely to generate interest from non-gamers, making it a great gateway game.
4 It's very easy to teach. You can teach someone the rules in five minutes or less (also making it a great gateway game).
5 It's very portable. The box is small enough to take with you just about anywhere, and the pieces are made of very sturdy cardboard that's not likely to get bent or blow away in the wind.
6 It doesn't overstay it's welcome. A game this simple needs to be fast, and it is. My kids played this three times in a row this last Saturday and even taught a friend who was staying overnight with us.
61 It scales well for younger and older kids. There aren't many games that all of my kids like, but this is one of them.
62 It's a good way to teach basic strategy. The mechanism is simple, give you enough of what you want so I will get what I want. This is easier said than done in this game, as you can never divide the cake totally evenly.

What's not so great:
1As with most games that are simplistic in nature, the replayability tends to suffer over time. This is new in our house, but I can tell that I wouldn't want to play this too often, lest I grow tired of it.
2 This is a bit more of a game for girls than it is for boys. Thematically, it might not draw boys in (The pink box doesn't help either).

Final opinion: I currently rate this game a seven. It's novel, it's fast and it's fun. There's not much more you can ask of a game that can be played in 20 minutes. This is a great game for families of five or fewer (maxes out at five players) and you'll definitely get your money's worth of fun! I highly recommend it, especially if you have girls.


So there you have it, the first review from my family to yours. I hope it's been helpful to you! Please feel free to leave comments, as I want to make sure these reviews are relevant to you and help you to make meaningful purchasing decisions for your family.

Thanks!
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Simon Woodward
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One thing I found about this game, is it looks like a kids game, but actually I think it is better as an adult game, as a filler. You're right, you don't want to play too often, but it is a great filler for game day. It looks light but there's actually quite a lot of maneuvering and strategy.
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Kim K
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Our family loves this one, too! It's a great one to break out for family get-togethers / holidays - very eye catching and looks simple, but there's more to think about than you initially expect. At times, we've had some surprising, come-from-behind victories once all those whipped cream dollops are counted! Works very well with three players. My mom calls this one "the pizza game" since the backs look more the color of pizza crust than pie crust laugh
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Jeffrey Allers
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Nice review.

Perhaps the game will someday get a makeover with a pizza theme and a box of another color.

(I do admit, though, that the box looks better than the brown one that was initially proposed, and I really don't have a "pink phobia").
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Kim K
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The pie theme fits this game perfectly - even down to the "I cut - you choose" mechanism. Starting as kids, there's that strong temptation to want the biggest piece - especially of something sweet and sugary. But oh how you want the portions "fair" if you get last pick!

A big challenge with a pizza theme - what would replace the whipped cream dollops?..."cheese dollops"? Hmmm...good, but somehow not as tantalizing

Thanks to Jeffrey Allers for designing such an enjoyable game. It looks great and plays great, but thankfully doesn't taste great or there would be no game left to play!
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Brian Homan
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jeffinberlin wrote:
Nice review.

Perhaps the game will someday get a makeover with a pizza theme and a box of another color.

(I do admit, though, that the box looks better than the brown one that was initially proposed, and I really don't have a "pink phobia").


I don't have a pink phobia either. I was more referring to boys, than men. A game that seems "girly" on the outside won't necessarily appeal to boys who may be more apt to judge a game by its cover than to see what's inside.

I have been fooled into this type of thinking before. Games that have awesome box art have led me to think that the game inside is just as awesome. The reverse is also true. I've learned to play the games regardless of their visual appeal to determine whether I only like a game superficially, or I like it because of how it plays. It's a must buy if I like both. laugh
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Brian Homan
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A geeklist has now been created for this series. You can find it here.
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