One of my favorite 2 player games of all time is “Balloon Cup” from Rio Grande Games. Now comes Pinata, a re-implement of “Balloon Cup” in a new package with a few new rules from designer Stephen W. Glenn. I was excited when this came in the mail because it’s something I new my daughter would also love. It is rated at about 45 minutes or less to play and for ages 13 and up although like I said my 10 year old daughter has no issue playing this game.In order to win you need to be first player collect three of the five “medal” cards. The rules are a bit simpler than “Balloon Cup” and provide an easier time learning the game and a slightly easier dynamic.
In Pinata you must play on your side if can before playing being able to play on your opponents side. This takes away much of the “screw your opponent” mechanic although it does say to use the old rule as a “variant.” Also new are the “wild cards” which can be used at any time on any side. The cards aren’t numbered as high in this version and you can start with the mats in any arrangement as far as high or low sides.The mats are at least twice the size as before and very thick in stock. The come with two sides, one being the “high” side and the other the “low” side. The card quality is nice and the art work is great and I am sure will be loved by the kids. After testing it out with my daughter, she loved the version just as much as the original.
Candies are used in place of cubes in this version and the colors red, green, yellow, purple and pink. The number of colored candies on each tile is the amount of cards you need to play on each side. For example, if you had a green, pink and purple candy on the mat 3 with the high side up, then each player plays on card of each color (or a wild/s) as high in value as their hand allows. When a player plays a card, they draw a card from the draw pile to keep their hand size at 8 cards. When all six cards have been played, then whomever has the highest total on their side gets the candies. The cards are discarded, the mat flips over and three more random candies get put on the low side. Once you get low on candies and can no longer fill a mat, the mat is discarded and the game continues until with fewer mats until some one wins.
The wild cards add a different feel to the game but a positive one. When the wild card is used on a mat, the player doesn’t announce the color of the wild card. This way it doesn’t restrict the placement of cards on the mat later in the game.All in all, Pinata is still a fun, quick game to be enjoyed by people of all ages. The suggested retail price is $29.95 and I feel it is worth it and justified based on the quality of the components. A great game for couples and kids!
I give it 7 out of 10 stars. [rating=7]
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