This is one of my reviews where I start by recommending you buy it at the beginning. Go on, order My Shelfie. Ok, now that is out of the way let me tell you why you are going to be very happy when it arrives.
Growing up is rubbish. Work, bills and dinner parties. Boring. What if there was a hobby where you get to play with toys like you did when life was simpler? Thankfully board games are to the rescue. Now work is good because you can play games on your break, bills aren’t too bad because when you have paid them any extra money left over can be used to buy more games. Finally, dinner parties are okay as now it is an excuse to show your friends and families some very cool toys.
With My Shelfie the toy factor (combined with the artwork and components) is through the roof and no one can walk past the table whilst this is out without asking ‘oooh, what game is that?’. Everything about it shouts look at me, from the 3D shelving to the tiles with cats on them.
But there is a lot more to this game than just the toy factor.
Is That A ‘Kallax’ I See Before Me?
My Shelfie is a game all about sorting your new storage solution (looks like something from Sweden to me) to score the most points. Although each player is working on their own shelving unit the player interaction is very high due to the drafting nature of the game together with the race to achieve the scoring objectives first.
On your turn you may take 1, 2 or 3 tiles (next to each other in a straight line) from the floor. To take the tiles they must have at least 1 open side before you start to remove them. But wait, your opponent really wants more cats (green tiles) and if you take those two trophy tiles (light blue) then you will reveal it for them. These are the decisions you have to make on each turn of this 15 to 25 minute game. Once you have decided which tiles you want you add them to a single column of your choice.
Points are awarded during the game for reaching the scoring objectives such as 6 sets of pairs of tile types in your shelving or 8 of the same type of tile anywhere on your shelves. Achieving these goals first scores big and it makes a significant difference to your score should you score first on both of the objectives.
You also have a secret objective which requires all 6 types of tile to be placed in a certain location. Then there are standard scoring goals which awards points for having large groups of the same tile type together. Finally there is a bonus point for the first player to complete their shelf.
Whenever the flooring gets to 4 tiles or lower you refill the floor with new tiles. This is probably my least favourite part of the game as it slows the play down a little bit. However, there is something quite relaxing about doing it neatly and the more I play My Shelfie the more I weirdly enjoy it.
My Shelfie is the game I will now use to introduce people to the hobby. It is a perfect marriage of simple rules and stunning artwork / components. But hidden beneath the surface is a cut throat race to the reach the objectives first whilst placing your items in the correct order to maximise your scoring.
Phil Walker-Harding and Matthew Dunstan are 2 of my favourite designers and this game shows what their combined design skills can achieve, I am hoping this will be the start of a long list of collaborations between them, if so, every new game will be an automatic pre- order for me.
If you like simple, quick board games that are a joy to play and look amazing this should be in your collection. The only question is which shelf do you place it on? Better get organising.