This game will make you think, double think, triple think… inconceivable think!
MeepleGamers 6/10 Publisher: Gotta2 Designer: Kazutaka Yanagawa Artist: Okabenius Artist: Yugo Katsumata Game Type: Bluffing Game Type: Deduction Initial Year of Release: 2019 Age Range: 8+ Expected Playtime: 20-30 Number of Players: 2-4
Theme and What is it?Facebook Twitter Instagram 8/10
Where am I? Alice in a Mad Tea Party is an imperfect information bluffing and deduction game where the players are setting the table, seating the guests, and trying to figure out each player is in the game. The amazing miniature tea set gets set on the table in front of guests or chairs for them to sit and the players can seat anyone they want at an open seat. But they want the best stuff when everyone is seated.
Gameplay MechanicsFacebook Twitter Instagram 7/10
A really unique part of this game is the debate between advancing the seating, putting items out in advantageous places, and making secret guesses who each player secretly represents. Getting the best seating is worth 3 points. But getting tied for the best seating gets you NOTHING! Also if anyone figures out who you are because of your attempts to get good seating, they can STEAL 2 of your current point supply.
Initial ImpressionsFacebook Twitter Instagram 8/10
This game got a lot of attention at Essen purely on the quality of the components. Who can pass on a wonderful miniature tea set as game components? The actual gameplay seems to have a fair bit of controlled chaos. Perfect for an Alice in Wonderland theme. It seems ideal with 4 players so the bluffing and deduction elements will be on full display.
Game Build QualityFacebook Twitter Instagram 10/10
Where am I features a miniature teaset, an assemble your own table and chairs cardboard punchout, and crazy thick wooden characters to get seated in the chairs. Much of the game rests below the insert and seems to fit back in the box under the insert again. This is a little odd but works reasonably well.
Artistic DirectionFacebook Twitter Instagram 9/10
The Mad Hatter isn’t quite Johnny Depp enough for me. But the rest of the characters are well portrayed and I like the way the art has fuzzy dreamlike edges. It gives the feeling of being surrounded by smoking caterpillars.
Fun FactorFacebook Twitter Instagram 6/10
The most fun part of where am I is when you get away with an evil bluff or in making the final balance be equal. At least once I and another player just kept adding things to the table to make all 4 seats be two different sets of balance. We were just trying to capitalize on solving who everyone was and not trying to win the table. Suddenly deviating from the pattern to balance my identity forward an amount that couldn’t be matched with the remaining components was very satisfying.
Age Range & WeightFacebook Twitter Instagram 8/10
8+ seems fair. It has simple rules and is easy to teach. There is nothing that is going to upset or confuse a younger audience. If you get too young they might just play with the tea set and characters. Honestly just using the game as a little doll house accessory pack might even be a valid good use of it. I can totally see a family playing the game and letting the youngest children (that wont choke on the parts) use it for other purposes when not playing.
Conclusions Instagram Twitter Facebook 6/10
Alice in a Mad Tea Party is a strange beast of a game. You need to be careful not to let someone run away with the seating points but you also get so much more swing in value by guessing who someone is that you often find yourself intentionally trying to help others in the hope of confusing people. This can make the outcome feel a bit random or biased in the final round. But it serves its purpose well and provides a short playing game where guessing at player motivations is the most rewarding thing. Think, double think, triple think, inconceivable think!
A few final notes for those who get the game:
1) The rulebook says that teacups are worth 2 points and the player aid says they are worth 1 point. The rules taught during demos at Essen said it was 1 point. There was just a small detail they overlooked in updating the rulebook after they settled on their final scoring scheme.
2) The rulebook is a little unclear about if the tea and sugar or the teapot are scoring for the cups in the same place setting or for the table as a whole. 3 different players read the rules and ended up with two polar opposite interpretations. I can confirm that the teapot scores 2 points per teacup that is placed anywhere on the table. Same for the milk and sugar scoring 1 point per teacup placed.
I hope that helps others avoid that small confusion we had at the start!
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