Overall Rating: 4/5
Replay Value: 3/5
Price: £13.73 on Amazon
2-6 Players, Ages 8+
If You Like: Sushi Go, Exploding Kittens, Unstable Unicorns
I’m not gonna lie, I bought this game because it’s cute as hell. My board-game collection so far is small, and Gonuts for Donuts was far too adorable to not be a part of it.
Last Sunday evening, after a weekend of us both feeling rubbish, M and I found ourselves with a new lease of energy once the small boy was in bed circa 8pm, but without the brain capacity for anything that required too much concentration, so we decided to give ‘The Donut Game’ a whirl.
It was so much fun!
The mechanics are simple: the cards are shuffled and placed face down in a pile, with a row of cards dealt that equal the number of players +1, so we had 3. Each player has ‘bidding cards’ held in their hand, which they use to simultaneously bid for which donut card they want from the row. If 2 players or more bid for the same donut, no one gets it and it goes in the discard pile. If you’re the only one who bids for a donut, you add it to your selection and gain however many points it is worth.
Most donuts are worth a simple points value, but a few stack so that if you have 3 of a kind, you get 5 extra points, 5 of a kind gets you 10 extra points, and so on. Other special cards give you the power to do things like pick up the top card in the discard pile, or pick up an extra card from the top of the deck.
The cards are colour coded, so the deck reduces for 2 players, with more cards to add in for 3 players, then more for 4, and up to 6 players. With 2 players, the game was simple and small, but still had an element of strategy to it. For example, I found myself collecting the Jelly Donut cards, while M was collecting Donut Hole cards (both stackable types). As you can see the other players’ collected cards, you can try to block them from getting what they want, but you have to balance this with not missing out on a card that you yourself are after. When you both bid for a card you may have blocked your opponent from gaining their card, but it means that you don’t get one that round either.
The simple strategies and awesome design element made this extremely fun to play. We ran through 3 rounds in about 40 minutes (and I managed to win 2 out of 3 games!), and it was addictive. We could easily have carried on playing, if it wasn’t for the allure of moving to the sofa and continuing to watch Umbrella Academy.
I’d say that Gonuts for Donuts has a good replay value even with 2 players, but much more so with additional players. By the time you get to 6 players, you’ve unlocked the whole deck of cards with some really complicated stacking and strategic ones and some very cool Super Power Move cards. The extra cards and extra players mean that the strategy element will be more complex the more players you have. Though it was really fun with just 2 of us, with the maximum of 6 players this simple-seeming, cute-little-donut-game would be hella fun and an epic party game. I can’t wait to get a bigger group together to give it a go!