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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Charming artwork
  • Mutli-use cards
  • Portable
  • Lightning fast

Might Not Like

  • For a small, simple game, a few rules can be a little ambiguous
  • There’s no expansion offering more puzzly gameplay
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Pier 18 Review

pier 18

I love pocket sized games, and this one is so slim that sometimes I actually I lose it in my pocket! But don’t let that scare you. For this is a super-fast, super portable game for 2-3 players that we always play more than once. Pier 18 from Alley Cat Games is a lovely themed 18 card “micro” game. Along the lines of Buttonshy’s epic card game range, this has more crunch and enjoyment than 18 cards really should provide.

In the game, we play period builders competing to construct the country’s greatest Victorian seaside pier. It’s a patching game, but in a strictly lineal way. On your turn, you draft one card from the centre. Each card has to be placed over the top of your previous card so that effectively the pier you are building stretches out into the sea. And you can cover as much or as little of the previous card as you like.

Each card also contains a random combination of 4 symbols; Poets, Flower Sellers, Fishers, and Lovers. These have unique scoring criteria. So, for example, Flower Sellers score if they are adjacent to other symbols. But Fishers only score on the side of your pier with the most Fishers. You will also have your own Pier Plan which contains an asymmetric objective that is worth points at the end of the game. The final card you play will be your Plan card so in a kinda cool meta way, your objective could help you achieve your objective!

As well as points for scoring objectives, there are Patron based points up for grabs each round. Every card has a symbol printed in the top corner. After plays are done drafting, the card remaining becomes the Patron. And whoever has the most of those matching symbols in their developing Pier gets to take that card as a bonus point.

The winner of the game is the person with the most points after totting up VPs from general symbol placement, Plan scoring objectives, and Patrons.

Final Thoughts

This game is a delightfully illustrated 5 minutes of fun. It’s not deep and it won’t have you mulling over your choices for hours, days or weeks on end. But it will amuse you and keep you entertained when you are out and about and fancy a light, lovely little puzzle to play. Player interaction is also limited to accidentally taking the card someone else wanted.

Placement optimisation and patching are two of my favourite things in board games. And for us, speed is always of the essence. So being able to bang out a few games in les time than it takes to boil an egg is right up our pier!

The rules are simple and take up zero space as they are printed on the inside of the cardboard tuckbox housing the cards themselves. And with multiuse cards in operation, space saving really is the focus. I love the artwork – bright, light, and simple. And when I see my pier on the table in front of me, it does feel like I have built something. I do struggle to know which side of the pier is which for some objectives, but I have recently found out that each end of the pier cards acts as an empty space for Lovers. On this basis, I am hoping to improve my scores now!

For its size and its playtime, I find this little game utterly charming. Being a big wallet, micro card game fan, it was always going to appeal. But the artwork and the smile it puts on my face whenever I see it cements itself as a building block of my portable game collection!

That concludes our thoughts on Pier 18. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts and tag us on social media @zatugames. To buy Pier 18 today click here!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Charming artwork
  • Mutli-use cards
  • Portable
  • Lightning fast

Might not like

  • For a small, simple game, a few rules can be a little ambiguous
  • Theres no expansion offering more puzzly gameplay

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