With summer arriving (at least for those of us in the Northern hemisphere), thoughts are beginning to turn to ice cream. Time then for us to take a lick - sorry, look - at Mercat Games' ice cream themed Combo Cone Paradise: a card drafting set collection game for 2-5 players designed by Steve Ng, with art by Chantel Tan.
In Combo Cone Paradise players get to draft cards either from an orders or flavours display. Draft an order card and you also get to take a wild card that can be used as any flavour from any company. You can't hold more than three wild cards in your hand. If you draft from the flavours display, you can take up to three cards provided they are either all the same flavour or all have the same colour background. There is no limit on the number of flavour cards you can have in your hand. Alternatively, you can serve a flavour card from your hand to one of your two cones to meet an order you've previously reserved. You can ordinarily only play one flavour card to the cone but if you have a card with a company symbol that matches the company of the card you played previously, you can chain the placements. You score points for completed orders but you also have the option of trading the points for an in-game advantage - for example, an additional cone.
This then is a simple easy-to-play card game that can be enjoyed by all the family, where children can compete with adults to play on equal terms. Tho' there's no random luck factor beyond what cards turn up in the displays, there's also not a huge amount of strategy. In our plays at Board's Eye View most players tended to spend a run of turns accumulating a good stock of flavour cards. We'd only begin to take cards from the orders display when we had a sufficient wad of flavour cards to pretty much guarantee that we'd be able to chain our card plays to complete orders on a single turn.
One to play over an ice cream on a warm summer day; just make sure no-one lets their ice cream drip on any of the cards!