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Subject: "Pinata" Review rss

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David Lowry
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Antioch
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One of my favorite 2 player games of all time is "Balloon Cup" from Rio Grande Games. Now comes Pinata, a re-implement of "Balloon Cup" in a new package with a few new rules from designer Stephen W. Glenn. I was excited when this came in the mail because it's something I new my daughter would also love. It is rated at about 45 minutes or less to play and for ages 13 and up although like I said my 10 year old daughter has no issue playing this game.In order to win you need to be first player collect three of the five "medal" cards. The rules are a bit simpler than "Balloon Cup" and provide an easier time learning the game and a slightly easier dynamic.


In "Pinata" you must play on your side if can before playing being able to play on your opponents side. This takes away much of the "screw your opponent" mechanic although it does say to use the old rule as a "variant." Also new are the "wild cards" which can be used at any time on any side. The cards aren't numbered as high in this version and you can start with the mats in any arrangement as far as high or low sides.The mats are at least twice the size as before and very thick in stock. The come with two sides, one being the "high" side and the other the "low" side. The card quality is nice and the art work is great and I am sure will be loved by the kids. After testing it out with my daughter, she loved the version just as much as the original.


Candies are used in place of cubes in this version and the colors red, green, yellow, purple and pink. The number of colored candies on each tile is the amount of cards you need to play on each side. For example, if you had a green, pink and purple candy on the mat 3 with the high side up, then each player plays on card of each color (or a wild/s) as high in value as their hand allows. When a player plays a card, they draw a card from the draw pile to keep their hand size at 8 cards. When all six cards have been played, then whomever has the highest total on their side gets the candies. The cards are discarded, the mat flips over and three more random candies get put on the low side. Once you get low on candies and can no longer fill a mat, the mat is discarded and the game continues until with fewer mats until some one wins.


The wild cards add a different feel to the game but a positive one. When the wild card is used on a mat, the player doesn't announce the color of the wild card. This way it doesn't restrict the placement of cards on the mat later in the game.

All in all, Pinata is still a fun, quick game to be enjoyed by people of all ages. The suggested retail price is $29.95 and I feel it is worth it and justified based on the quality of the components. A great game for couples and kids!

I give it 7 out of 10 stars.

You can also find the review on www.geekeccentric.com

Piñata
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Tanks Alot
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Fort Mill
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Balloon cup 9, Pinata 7?
Hmm I may just stick with my good ole balloon cup. No sense messing with a good thing!
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David Lowry
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I like the stick it to 'em factor of Balloon Cup. Although the variant is in Pinata, it's still a different game due to the wild cards.
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Paul Roberts
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Frankly, the variant rule for Balloon Cup was to only place on your opponent's side after you fill your side. They have just reversed it. It was my understanding that was how the designer intended originally anyhow. I have always liked playing Balloon Cup that way when we play it.
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The wild cards help you fill up your side quicker if you feel like racing to stick it to the man on their side before they do. Now it's a little more intense that way instead of outright playing high/low on your opponent before you've built up your own side.
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Gillum the Stoor
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Kotzen wrote:
Also new are the "wild cards" which can be used at any time on any side.

I don't think that this is quite right.

The rules say, "If a player‘s side of a mat does not have the required number of cards, he must play on his side of the mat."

I don't think that the wild-card rules change that. They just say, "When a wild card is played to a mat, it can act as any color in the required configuration."
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I'll agree with Gillum. Players have to fill up cards on their side of each mat before they can play a card on the opposite side of the mat. IE: you have to fill up your side of mat "3" before you can play a card on your opponents side of mat "3". I never read where Wild cards could change that rule. You do not have to fill up mats 1 thru 4 before playing on your opponents side.
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David Lowry
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Thank you for clarification gentlemen. I may have been thinking of the Balloon Cup rules, when I wrote it.
 
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Kotzen wrote:
Thank you for clarification gentlemen. I may have been thinking of the Balloon Cup rules, when I wrote it.

Yes, in Balloon Cup, you may play on either side of the mat/hop at any time. I think Piñata is more balanced aside from that seemingly odd rule change.
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