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Arcane Bakery Clash: Review

Arcane Bakery Clash: Review

Information:

Mechanics: Memory, Push Your Luck, Time Track, Hand Management
Player Age: 8+
Player Count: 2 Players 
Time to Play: 30 Minutes
Game Designer and Artist: Robin Gibson
Publisher:  Button Shy Games
Release Date: 2018

The Game:

Objective:

Arcane Bakery Clash is a head to head game where you are a chef and you’re tired of your coworker so you have challenged them to a duel. To win the duel and show who is truely head chef you must deplete your opponents health to zero before yours is.

Card Anatomy:

In this micro games there are two player cards and the rest of the cards consist of oven cards.

Player Cards:
This player card will represent each players health on the right hand side going from ten to zero.


Oven Cards:
The next three cards monster, duration and spell cards have several factors in common:
     - Each card has oven art on the backside of the card that represents the card ‘cooking’ (more on this in how to play)
     - the name and art of the card
     - two different values with similar abilities but one weaker ability and one stronger ability. This is all the normal cards have detailed on them



Monster and Duration Cards:
However, the monster and duration cards have a unique addition to their the cards; a health or time track. The duration cards have a time track on the left hand side and will loose one number at the end of every turn. Once this number reaches zero it is to be discarded. The monster cards has a health track that does not deplete unless attacked. The additional trait seen for these two card types will activate any time they are active and applicable.


Setup:

Each player takes a character card and sets their health to 10. Now the deck is shuffled and each player receives two cards. Unfortunately there are no tokens included to keep track of life, duration or heat of the oven. So the player will have to include their own (could be coins, chips, dice or tokens from other games).

How To Play:

Taking turns, each player will perform two actions of their choosing including; draw a recipe, put a recipe in the oven, peek in the oven, turn up the heat, and take a recipe out of the oven. A player may also choose to perform one action twice.


  • Draw a recipe: draw a card from the shared draw deck
  • Put a recipe in the oven: place a card from your hand face down and put a token on the zero spot on the back of the card. However, there can only be three recipes in the oven at one time.
  • Peek into the oven: once a recipe is placed in the oven you cannot look at what is on the card unless you use an action to do so. This action only allows you to look at one of your own recipes.
  • Turn up the heat: you can increase the heat of one of your ovens by one for a single oven.



  • Take a recipe out of the oven: flip over one of your ovens to reveal the card action. If the card is a monster or a duration card then a token will be placed to represent the duration or the monsters health. You can only use the card if the heat of the oven exactly matches the number on the card. If the heat goes under or above the value on the card, the active player will loose one life and discard the card.


At the end of every turn, that players ovens will all increase by one heat. If at any point the heat moves past seven, the card is discarded and the owner takes two damage.

Final Thoughts:

Pros:
- Memory mechanic implemented well
- Good mix of push your luck, memory and head to head
- Portable
- Interesting mix of cards
- Great art

Cons:
- Wish there were more cards (but then it wouldn't be as portable)
- Some of rules and scenarios could use further explaining in the rule book (like whether you attack the monsters before your opponent)

‘Arcane Bakery Clash’ is like a three tiered cake. It combines push your luck, competing to use card abilities, and memory aspects that aren't seen in more hobby weight games. Lastly, it is topped with the head to head nature of games such as Magic the gathering.
Arcane Bakery Clash would definitely excel at being a larger game with an increased card pool, but as a micro game it exceeds expectation and will have you frequently returning for more.

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