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The Whatnot Cabinet (2021)

Game design: E. Baraf, S. Finn, K. Matejka Illustrations: K. Robinson, B. Sobel

  • 8.5/10
  • 8+
  • 1-4 players
  • 20-30 minutes

Gameplay

In the Whatnot Cabinet players collect beautiful rare objects on their walks outside in the form of object tiles and place it in their special curio collection, a 3 by 4 grid in this case. Depending on how the objects are organised will reward the players with victory points. 

At the start of the game 4 of the object tiles are placed beside the actionboard. Each player places their pawn on one of the available spaces on the actionboard, deciding the order in which the players will take their turns. On a players turn, the player places his/her pawn on one of 5 available action spaces. This will determine in what way the player will select two tiles to place on the playerboard.

There are three ways to score points. Firstly, you can score points during the game if you find a tile with a crown on it or if you gain an action tile with an extra point on it. Secondly, there are some cards with scoring conditions on them. If a player meets the requirements of one of those cards, he/she can immediately take the card for extra points at the end of the game. Then there is the scoring of the positioning of the tiles. Rows focus on object type and columns on the colour of the object. 

When all playerboards have been filled, players will count scores and the player with the highest points wins the game.

Thoughts

When I first saw this game I was immediately sold on the artwork by Beth Sobel and Kim Robinson, as the game looks gorgeous! Also the fact that it is designed by the designers of cardgames Sunset Over Water and Herbaceous made me very happy. 

After having played the Whatnot Cabinet a couple of times, I have got to say that I liked it a lot! With quick turns it feels very engaging and fun. Because all players are selecting from the same pool of tiles and actions, there is enough interaction, without too much take-that action. 

I'm so amazed at how beautiful this game is! From the tactile feel of the tiles and the playerboards, to the bag that holds the tiles, not even mentioning the awesome pawns yet... I really have a soft spot for these kind of things. 

If you like short puzzly games with a chill theme, you'd really like this one!

8.5/10

A copy of this game was provided to me by Pencil First Games for the purpose of writing this review. My opinion however remains my own.

Boardgamegeek BGG

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