Never let it be said that Little Metal Dog isn’t shameless when it comes to our friends and their projects! Ladies and Gentlemen… The Judge.
Hi everybody! My reviews can be rambling. My reviews can be ill-focussed. My reviews are sometimes bombastic and filled with superlatives. Like them or not, they are, at the very least, impartial. If a game is great, I sing its praises. If a game stinks, I’m hardly shy of telling you so. This is because I strongly believe in a sense of integrity in this sort of journalism. Within our little cottage industry, some reviewers – particularly those who receive review copies – may feel they have a responsibility to at least sugar coat their opinions to maintain relationships with game publishers. As I buy almost all of my games, I can speak as a consumer first and foremost and always will do.
This preamble leads into a review of Flippin’ Fruit. Designed by my brother. With game design support by me. I don’t think it’s possible to be completely impartial on this one as any problems I have had with the design have been ‘fixed’ best as I can see it. So is this the perfect game? Maybe it is? Let’s find out…
In the tradition of games like Yahtzee and more modern variants like King of Tokyo, Flippin’ Fruit is a dice game where players, on their turn, roll dice, choose dice to keep and then reroll (up to 3 times) to then score certain results. There are a few wrinkles, just to make it interesting:
The Dice: The game comes with five 12 sided dice with unique cartoon fruit on each side: The standard fruit (Oranges, Apples, Bananas and Lemons on two sides each) the rarer berries (Blueberry, Raspberry and Strawberry on one side each) and a single Rotten Tomato. This increases the amount of different results you can achieve with the dice over traditional dice rollers. Rotten tomatoes are ‘locked dice’ and cannot be rerolled unless ONLY the tomatoes are rolled.
The Fruit Smoothies: These are three communal cards available to all players (and replaced from a deck when claimed) that ask for specific recipes. For instance, two bananas and a lemon would score you two points. Once scored, these cards are yours until the end of the game.
The Fruit Salads: These cards offer points for ‘poker hands’ such as a pair, three of a kind etc. to claim. Unlike the smoothies, however, these can be taken from other players if you achieve the requirement on a later turn. This can be a great way to cause a points swing and ‘get the leader’ at the end of the game without making every turn a futile game of ‘take that.’
Game Length: The game lasts just eight rounds and lasts for 10-20 mins. Downtime is minimal – even with four players.
So, quite UNLIKE Yahtzee then? Well yes, but it does feature a familiar dice rolling mechanism that everyone will pick up quickly – making it suitable for families and gamers alike.
Components are excellent! The full colour cardboard tube that boxes the dice, cards and rules also acts as a dice cup – very handy as those D12’s love to roll. The rules are clear and easy to understand and teach, and the original ‘Fruit with a Face’ art, all designed by my graphic designer brother, makes it very clear as to what you are trying to match to what – very important in this type of quick dice filler.
So overall, I really enjoy Flippin’ Fruit and unless you particularly hate fruit related puns (Sour Grapes, A Nice Pair, that kind of thing) you should too. It’s not going to change the world, and won’t compete with the latest Feld or epic 4x game for Game of the Year honours, but I think this is one hell of fun, fast filler. Certainly more successful that Dungeon Roll, for instance, which attempts to do a similar thing but where that is slow, dull and obvious, Fruit is bright, vibrant and offers several interesting tactical decisions (albeit based on luck and probability) every game.
So keep in mind the first paragraph. I wouldn’t write a review I didn’t believe in and right now, I would recommend that you go forth and back Flippin’ Fruit on Kickstarter – and please note: I will earn NOT A PENNY from this campaign. All my design input came as his brother, rather than a business partner. I hope you enjoy the game as much as I do.
And there you go! I’ve checked out the game and have put my money where my mouth is and certainly suggest you guys do too. It looks like a quick playing blast, a perfect little filler – and as I love me some random custom dice, why wouldn’t I want it in my collection? Cheers to Stuart for his write up – don’t forget to follow him on Twitter where he’s @Judge1979!