23 April 2022
A breath of fresh air
One of the first Kickstarters I ever backed was Justin Blaske’s Mint Works – a simple but fully-fledged worker-placement game crammed inside a mint tin. Its success led to inevitable follow-ups, all retaining the game’s diminutive format and covering mechanics from pick up and deliver to area control. The latest addition to the ‘Mintopia’ saga is Mint Bid – an auction game for one to six players.
Mint Bid has players participating in auctions to help rebuild the shattered city of Mintopia in the wake of Mint Cooperative’s battle of good versus evil. It’s a tenuous link, but nonetheless provides a platform for players to literally build upon.
Each round will have one player acting as the auctioneer, who will choose between holding an open or closed auction for one of the face up locations. In a neat twist, adjacent players can choose (or are required to in a closed bid) to combine their bids, with the winning duo then placing the location between them. Winning an auction independently also requires choosing a spot between one adjacent player, resulting in a table state of interconnected properties. This is an interesting approach to the typical solitary greed of other auction games and greatly enhances the game’s level of interaction.
Points will be scored for all locations under a players ‘control’ which includes those to both the left and right of them, with additional points being rewarded for matching up mint symbols on the cards. Having a majority of particular symbols will also enable special abilities, allowing players to move and rotate locations or gain additional locations and points.
All of this equates to some fairly involved decision-making each turn, although some elements of luck do crop up regarding income alongside a strong potential for meanness. Overall though, Mint Bid succeeds at providing something new for auction type games whilst being extremely approachable – a feat which shouldn’t be overlooked.
PLAY IT? YES
Designer: Ben Chang
Time: 45 minutes
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