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The Perfect Wave

The Perfect Wave is a card game themed around surfing where the 2-4 players are drafting wave and manoeuvre cards from a central display and placing them on and above their individual board to maximise their end-game score. The game is designed by Jason Mowery and Chase Williams, and it's published by The Op. Art is by Patrick Spaziante.



Players' boards have spaces for 10 wave card. On your turn you have two action points to spend, with the option that you can choose to take the same action twice. As an action you can take any wave card or manoeuvre card from the display or from the face-down draw pile and either take it into your hand or play it directly onto your board. Likewise you can spend an action point to play a card from your hand. All wave cards and manoeuvre cards that are 'trick' cards are played face down. The wave cards will score at the end for consecutive multiples and for runs. Trick cards score at the end of the game if the card they are above meets their specific requirement.


Players have a swimmer token below their board. At the end of the game you'll only score for cards above and to the left of your swimmer, so you'll need to use manoeuvre cards that are paddle cards to advance your swimmer. Timing is important tho' as you can't place cards at locations that the swimmer has already passed.


Players also have a limited supply of wax tokens that can be traded in to support alternative actions, including, for example, the option of drawing a card from your discard pile.



We've shown the cards face up in our Board's Eye View 360 but that's not how you play them in the game. Because cards are played face down, there's a memory element to The Perfect Wave: you're not allowed to peek at even your own face-down cards. The memory requirement is particularly heavy if you're also trying to keep track of what cards all your opponents have drafted.


The game incorporates the option to play with both open and secret objectives for scoring bonuses. We'd always want to include these as they spice up the game but you have to spend two action points to activate one of the open scoring objectives so it costs you a complete turn and there's a risk that you could be helping an opponent at least as much you're helping yourself...


The Perfect Wave may not feel that much like surfing but it makes for a fun game with a strong push-your-luck element and an often exciting end-game reveal and points reckoning. At around 30 minutes, the game plays quickly and you need to keep a weather eye on when the game is likely to end so you time your paddle out appropriately...


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