Betta

RRP: £24.99
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RRP £24.99
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Today’s your first day of work at Bette’s Pets, everyone’s favorite pet shop. You were expecting to learn how to stock shelves and operate the till, but Bette bought a boatload of bettas. In order to boost sales, Bette’s come up with a way to make a game out of it, and she’s going to award points based on how well you follow her instructions. You need to arrange the bettas…
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Category SKU ZBG-SYNBET01ENFR Availability 3+ in stock
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Awards

Rating

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

You Might Like

  • Fun fast playing filler
  • Bold colours that pop

Might Not Like

  • Partially filled tiles can catch on each other and slide around
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Description

Today’s your first day of work at Bette’s Pets, everyone’s favorite pet shop. You were expecting to learn how to stock shelves and operate the till, but Bette bought a boatload of bettas. In order to boost sales, Bette’s come up with a way to make a game out of it, and she’s going to award points based on how well you follow her instructions.

You need to arrange the bettas in 3x3 displays. Customers are most drawn to 6 particular patterns. Use your arrangement ideas (your tiles) to make these patterns pop!

Plus, customers love seeing a lot of one color in a display. The more you fill a display with your color, the better your bettas are going to sell.

Once the displays have been filled, or everyone runs short of arrangement ideas, the task is done and whoever has the most points wins!

“Things can only get BETTA, can only get BETTA, now I found…..Betty’s Pet Shop…….”

Alright, so D:Ream wasn’t singing about this song back in 1993. But whenever I play this game now, a pesky pop music ear worm nestles in my brain for the rest of the day! So what is Betta? Well, it’s a pattern matching, hand management, tile layering spatial game featuring bettas. And, as I quickly found out by playing this game, a betta is a species of fish.

Setting Up Shop

The game is set in Betty’s Pets, and we play shop assistants tasked with arranging pretty betta displays to attract fish fancying owners.

To get the game going, each player chooses a colour and gets the 12 partially filled grid tiles to match. You randomly discard two back into the box each game, and then draw the first 3 into your hand.

Depending on how many players, 5/6/8 (for 2/3/4 players) blank display tiles showing 3 x 3 grids are placed in the centre of the table. Then 2 pattern scoring objectives from each of the 3/5/7 cards are drafted and placed for all to see. Finally, the big score board is unfolded and players’ matching tokens are placed on zero (light pattern side facing up.

Playing with the fishies! The gameplay in Betta is super easy to learn. On your turn, you place one of your tiles onto a display in the hope that you can match the configuration of identical coloured bettas to one of the white-box scoring objectives. You can rotate your tile any way you like and can cover previously laid bettas. If you match that turn, you get the corresponding points and move your token along the scoring track. If you overlay a pattern which has previously scored with another matching colour betta, you can re-score the same objective. And if you match multiple objectives on a single turn, you gain points equivalent to the highest scoring one.

When a display is filled, no more tiles can be laid onto it. If you’re first to place a betta in an empty display, however, you’ll get 2 bonus points! When a player has only 2 betta tiles left in hand, or all the displays are filled (whichever happens first), the game ends.

Final bonus points get added to each player’s score depending on how many bettas of their own colour remain on each display at end-game.

For those fiendishly good at arranging fishies, there’s an advanced mode where one player plays Betty who has her eye on all the colours (but whose end game bonuses depend on empty squares). There’s also a solo mode that presents a BYOS challenge.

Final Thoughts

Betta is box of fast playing technicolour filler fun. This is a super light but fun spatial puzzle that takes not more than 15 mins to play. Decisions start easy but then get trickier as the displays fill up. And it’s so quick – you may have only 8 chances to make or meddle with patterns. Each grid is different but has the same number of coloured icons overall.

Discarding 2 grids at the start does mean each game is a little luck dependent, but it helps with replayability. And that is pretty good anyway as the scoring objectives are also randomised each game. In any event, this isn’t meant to be a main event – it’s a light, game snack that great for 15 mins of puzzly fun.

I do find the tiles a little tricky to hold without getting them caught on each other. Luckily, they are glossy and flexible, so it only takes a second to detangle and they feel light but robust. But that shine also makes them liable to slide around a little on the table as they are stacked. Again, however, a little nudge back and the display is neat once more.

The clever bit in Betta comes into the end game scoring. You can of course pick up 2 points for being early-doors when adding to a fresh display. 3/5/7 points for a pattern here and there also adds up. But VPs for your own visible icons on display at end game can be much bigger in comparison! So, you definitely want to think about whether it’s worth peppering grids with your own colour, certainly closer to the end of the game. It could also have the side effect of meddling with your opponents’ plans which is never a bad thing!

We have been enjoying Betta and the bold colours have definitely brightened up our gaming table. If you like fast playing, puzzly, spatial games, then Betta is definitely one to check out. And don’t forget when choosing where to lay your tile; only one of you can do it BETTA!

Zatu Score

Rating

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

You might like

  • Fun fast playing filler
  • Bold colours that pop

Might not like

  • Partially filled tiles can catch on each other and slide around