12 December 2016
Is Strawberry Studio’s new micro game a dream come true?
Often when you talk about tabletop games, there’s an expectation that a typical game that will take an hour, feature lots of setup time and then potentially take a while to tally up the scores at the end. 3 Wishes bucks that trend entirely, thanks to its tiny play time, tiny number of game components and tiny time needed to find out who wins. This is the very definition of a so-called ‘micro game’. But do micro games also minimise the fun? Let’s find out…
In 3 Wishes you are trying to collect three different types of wishes: superpower, gift and harmony. There are six of each type and the wishes range from mind-reading (superpower) to teleportation grid (harmony) and pet dragon (gift). It’s worth noting that the illustrations on these cards are exceptionally charming and it’s hard not to get caught up in the desire to get that lovely little pet dragon.
However, the wishes angle is really cover for a very quick memory game. You see, the only way you can gather up these wishes is by switching cards with your opponents or the spare cards in the centre. The problem is that all the players are doing exactly the same thing, so although you may think you’ve located that elusive flying lizard, when you finally take a peek, you realise it’s actually a boring old world peace card… yawn.
On your turn, you’ve got three options to help locate the different wishes: peek (look at any card in front of any player or in the centre), switch (swap the position of any two cards) or shuffle (mix up the three cards in front of you). The latter is obviously a great way to vex your rivals although, of course, you’ve also got to remember how you arranged the cards so that when it comes to your turn you’ll remember which one to switch. Oh, hopefully you’ll have been keeping an eye on all the other cards to remember their locations, too. You’ve done that, right? No? Ah… erm, perhaps switch some cards and hope for the best.
The result is a fast and furious little game that lasts a minimum of four rounds. It’s also surprisingly taxing on the old grey matter, as you’re attempting to remember several things at once. However, despite your best efforts, there’s going to be a sense of random actions that are beyond your control (the fact that a player can declare the end game at any point after the fourth round is exasperating), so this isn’t a game for control freaks.
3 Wishes is a lightning-quick filler game that can be played in a matter of minutes. Yes, the rules aren’t deep and the gameplay can be rather random, but if you don’t mind not being in control, then this is an enjoyable micro game that’s great for filling those downtimes in-between more complex titles.
Publisher: Strawberry Studio
Time: 3-5 minutes
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