Open Seat Gaming: Big Game Night Preview: Point Salad
Disclaimer: This review is from a reviewer’s copy of the game that was provided by Alderac Entertainment Group to Open Seat Gaming, but opinions are our own based on several plays of the game.
Game: Point Salad
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG)
Design: Molly Johnson, Robert Melvin, Shawn Stankewich
Art: Dylan Mangini
Mechanisms: Drafting, Set Collection
Number of Players: 2 to 6
Game Time: 15 to 30 minutes
Description: Nothing like a cool, delicious salad on a hot day, right? But what about an awesome Point Salad? Point Salad is a quick, easy to swallow drafting game that has everyone collecting different sets of vegetables.
The game starts by splitting the cards into three even piles, with the scoring side up. Then, you flip two cards from each pile, veggie side up, into the playing area. This gives the active player a choice between 3 different scoring cards or 6 different vegetables, On their turn, each player drafts either the two vegetable cards they want from the market or one of the available point cards, which give each player unique ways to score their salad.
With over 100 different ways to score points, you will always have a new and different way to score your salad tableau. There is also one optional action: flipping a point card over so it becomes a veggie card (never the other way around - once a vegetable card, always a vegetable card). You can tell which point cards are which vegetables by the symbols on the corners. After all the cards have been drafted players total up the scores.
Review: Point Salad is a clever drafting game that is a balancing act. There are many different strategies that can be utilized from game to game, which helps to keep it fresh.
The art is cute and makes each vegetable shine. You may not like onions or cabbage, but the art makes them seem appealing. The graphic design makes it easy to know all the information about each card at a glance. The cards are standard playing card stock that shuffle well. The rulebook is clear cut and gives precise examples so that learning the game goes quickly.
Point Salad is definitely a very portable game that would be great to take just about anywhere. It is a light game that is great for starting or ending a game night, or for playing in between other games as a "filler." But don't make the mistake of thinking that "light" means "without substance." You're constantly re-evaluating your strategy with every turn that you take. The always shifting market provides an ever changing menu of vegetables and point cards to choose from. Should you keep drafting carrots or add some peppers to the mix? The choice is yours.
Try, Buy, Deny: Do you like salad? Do you like light games that anyone can enjoy? And do you like the idea of collecting every single piece of lettuce that you can find? Then Point Salad is definitely a buy. With its affordable price tag and its endless array of scoring combinations, this game is an excellent choice for anyone who loves games, period. And, if you're at Gen Con or your FLGS for Big Game Night, be sure that you get your hands on it!
Marti and Sarah