Game Buzz: Futterneid (Candy Crave)

At Spiel 2008, designer Friedemann Friese made a commitment to work on a game for the next five years, but only on Fridays. The initial plan was to release this game at Spiel 2013, but the project has actually produced three games so far – Black Friday, Friday, and Copycat (aka Fremde Federn). So instead of getting the only game from this Friday project at Spiel 2013, we’re getting the fourth and final game in the series:

image by BGG user Henning
image by BGG user Henning

Futterneid (titled Candy Crave in English) is a new game from designer Friedemann Friese, and is being published by his company 2F-Spiele. It’s a 3-5 player game (with a two-player variant) that lasts XX minutes. The theme has a typical FF wackiness to it – you’re determining how to split up candies at a game night.

The game comes with 5 sets of five favorites tiles; 10 base value tiles; 50 sweets tiles of five different types; 5 dividers; and 5 bowls. At the start of the game, each player gets a divider and a set of favorites tiles. The sweets are distributed to the bowls depending on the number of players (all are used in a five-player game, while two of each type are taken out for 2-4 players). The rules encourage you to use actual candy for this game, or fruits and vegetables for a more healthy option.

There are two rounds in the game, and each round has three phases – determine favorites, distribute sweets, and score points.

DETERMINE FAVORITES: The ten base value tiles are shuffled, and five are drawn with one placed face up by each bowl. These are valued 1-8 (with two 4s and two 5s). Each player will then put one of their favorites tiles (with values +3, +2, ?, -1, and -2) face down next to each bowl. A fourth set of favorites is randomly added in a three-player game. Once all favorites have been placed, shuffle the stack and reveal the top tile. These tiles modify the point value of the candies, and the revealed tile gives you a little bit of information about the final value.

DISTRIBUTE SWEETS: The first player takes one candy and places it in their play area. After this, each player may take one more or one less candy than the player to their right has in their play area. These candies may be taken in any combination from any bowl. You may instead steal all the candies from another player, who puts one in his locked area before giving you the rest for your play area. You can also choose to withdraw from the round.

When it’s your turn again, you may take all sweets in your play area and put them in your locked area (pocket them). When the bowls are empty, you can pocket one sweet from your play area if there are any left. If there are no candies left in your play area, you can pocket a candy from another player’s area or withdraw.

SCORE: Lay out the stack of favorites tiles (in order) and add them to the base value to get the score for each candy of that type. The ? tile has the same value as the next tile in line, or the tile right before it if it is last. So if the tiles are 6 +2 -1 ? -2, the ? is worth -2, and the total for this candy is 3.

After the first round, note the score somewhere and play another round with the remaining base value tiles. After the second round, the player with the most points wins.

This game seems very easy to learn. The most complicated thing will be trying to figure out what is worth more from the base value and the one revealed favorites tile. There’s probably going to be some bluffing going on as players go after a tile they think is not worth much to fool others into thinking it has a good value. Still, there’s bound to be a lot of luck in the game, and there’s no way to know what is going to be worth the most. The ability to steal from other players will probably make things very interesting.

I don’t know of this is a game I would be dying to have in my collection, but it’s certainly one I’d be willing to try. I have a feeling the scoring would turn my wife off from the game, though she might like the theme. I think you’d have to play with real candy to really get into the theme, which may elevate the game to more than what it is with just cardboard. Time will tell…thanks for reading!

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