We reviewed Macaron (Sunrise Tornado) last year on Board's Eye View. When this game arrived from Korea Boardgames, we thought we were receiving a second helping! However, tho' Sweet Holic and Macaron are both essentially card games sharing a common theme, they are quite different games.
Designed and illustrated by Olin Jeong, Sweet Holic is a light set collection game. The game is played using card tiles which show one of six flavours of cookies or one of five different fillings. The 2–4 players are trying to collect sets comprising two matching cookies (to form a top and a bottom) with at least one and up to three matching fillings. Players each have a secret objective that gives them bonus scoring for macarons that use a particular flavour.
After three rounds the game is scored and players get a point for every ingredient in a completed macaron. A burnt cookie acts as a wild and you can use a burnt cookie to complete any macaron but you don't get any points for that particular ingredient, unless of course that happens to be your secret objective.
In a departure from the norm in most games, players in Sweet Holic are required to discard a tile from their hand before they draw, so there's a push your luck element to gameplay as you could find that the tile you draw would've fitted annoyingly well with the one you just discarded. You can't pick up your own discards but opponents can, and in a three- or four-player game you'll find players will more often draw from opponents' (face-up) discard piles than from the face-down draw pile.
In a game themed around macaron fillings, it seems appropriate that Sweet Holic is a filler-length game. Our plays took around 20 minutes; so a game to play while you enjoy your afternoon tea.