Published by Jolly Dutch, Hot Potato! is a crowdfunded light filler-length game from Adrie Drent and Thijs Roem where 2-4 players use starchy rock-paper-scissors-type skills to survive the surprisingly dangerous lives of the world’s favourite tuber.
Each player starts with identical hands of six humorously-titled cards depicting uniquely powered potatoes – each with a corresponding icon. Art is by Henkjan Hoogendoorn. On the table, 12 unique 'Encounter' cards representing every ‘tato threat imaginable from Mould to Mashers. Each Encounter ranks potato icons from highest to lowest, thus revealing which potato is most effective against it.
At the opening round, the first three Encounters are revealed before being shuffled and placed face down back on the stack. Players then simultaneously pick and reveal a potato to play from their hand to the table. When the top Encounter is revealed, its icon ranking will inform the players which of their played potatoes is highest, thus scoring the player a point. Losing players are consoled with the opportunity to use their potato’s special power (eg: double points next round or look at the next three Encounters); so everyone gets something every round, unless of course you have been targeted titular 'Hot Potato' power blocker (in which case, I recommend playing the Rambotato card to move that potato on!).
Any time the Encounter cards, or a player’s hand is exhausted, simply draw up and shuffle again, continuing play until a player clears 10 points.
Hot Potato! is a pocket-sized card game that plays quickly. It's fun, with quirky illustrations throughout. The iconography isn’t the best (mainly being small and monochrome) but the pace of the game is so snappy that it doesn’t really matter. Ultimately this is a simple delight – much like a real potato. If you don't like this game, you must have a chip on your shoulder!
(Review by Michael Harrowing)