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Frenemy Pastry Party

Here's a cute-looking small-box card game from Mizo Games and Solis Game Studio that's easy to play but which offers a teasing variant on its core Go Fish (US)/Happy Families (UK) mechanic.

In Frenemy Pastry Party, players each draw an animal card which they keep face down. This determines the animal they are playing as and the unique requirements for their animal's end-game scoring bonus.

The 3–6 players are taking ingredient cards into their hand from a market display in order to satisfy the requirements of the displayed cake recipes. On your turn, you can, however, as an alternative, attempt to complete one of the cake recipes. As part of this process, you can ask another player if they have specific ingredients to contribute. They can refuse but if they do contribute, you can continue to ask them for other ingredients. Whether or not you ask for help, when you complete a recipe (lay down all the ingredients), you win that cake and will score 5 points for it, but any ingredient cards you contributed yourself are lost. Any cards that other players contributed are placed under their animal card and will give them 1 point each at the end of the game, but they may potentially deliver a 3 points bonus if they enable them to meet the secret objective on their animal card (eg: have the most strawberries).

With a design by Jesse Li and attractive art by Sherry Huang and Lazy Cat Amix, Frenemy Pastry Party is a filler-length family game that's super easy to teach and play. There's a memory element in trying to keep track of what cards other players have collected from the market display, so card counters will get an extra boost from the game. It's almost always in your interests to contribute to another player's cake if asked - indeed, it can be a frustration in the game if a player fails to ask you to contribute. It isn't necessarily a guaranteed winning strategy to always go it alone in making cakes but when you ask other players to contribute, you can end up with them scoring more out of it than you do, especially if you are inadvertently helping them towards their hidden scoring objective...

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