Gather candy more quickly than your opponent by playing colorful cards and combining some basic math skill with good timing and strategy.
|Piñata||Rio Grande Games||Card Game|
In The Box
Most of the action in Piñata takes place with cards, but there are some great components in the box that might give the impression of this being a board game. You’ll find game boards packed in and numbered one through four, with images of smiling piñatas waiting to be smacked. The purpose of these double-sided boards becomes clear as soon as you start playing, but they’re immediately a fun draw for kids. We also appreciate the fact that the boards are so sturdy and oversized; it’s always great to see a company putting time and production value into components rather than aiming for minimum quality standards.
Another significant element of the game are the wooden candy tokens, crafted to look a bit like wrapped taffy in five distinct colors. These colors correspond to cards that you’ll hold and play on each round, showing pictures of happy kids looking every bit like they’re waiting expectantly for some candy to drop. Also in the box is a cloth bag that stores candy between games and that you’ll draw from during the game to replenish the stock in each piñata. Players randomly place candy on boards according to each board’s number, during setup and each time a board is cleared.
How It Plays
Grabbing candy in Piñata involves some math, making it a great game to play with youngsters who have put together basic addition skills. It’s even possible to explain the game in a way that doesn’t require players to do more than make bigger/smaller comparisons between two numbers. The limiting factor with our little testers is usually how many cards they need to hold, which in this case is on the high side. Players are dealt eight cards and must play a card each turn, or reveal their hand to other players before discarding and drawing to the point where it’s possible to play. Cards are numbered and match the candy colors, plus you’ll occasionally be holding wild cards that match any color.
The ultimate goal in Piñata is to gather enough candy to win three of five medals. Players take turns putting down cards, and when both sides of a board have cards matching the color of the candy on that board, it’s time to add up the numbers. In some cases the player with the highest sum wins and gets all the candy, but in other cases low numbers are better. The high/low rule changes each time you clear a board, at which point it flips over. You’re allowed to play on your opponent’s side once you’ve got all your cards placed. Piñata is a relatively quick game with plenty of strategy, and there some elements of chance in terms of cards you draw that make it possible for a lucky younger player to whoop his older sibling, parent, or grandparent.
About the worst thing we can say about Piñata is that it’s only for two players. Expect to hear some, “I’m next” and, “Me too” once your kids get a look at the colorful little candies and the other cool-looking components.
It’s always a race to prevent your opponent from playing cards on your side and winning a board. The little candy-shaped pieces may look tasty to little kids or babies, so keep those out of their reach.