Friday, June 21, 2024

‘Fika’ Begs To Be Played On A Coffee Table

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Fika is a Swedish themed card game that centers around the time you need to take a break and talk with your friends over a hot drink while nibbling on some pastries. Players face off as café owners who are trying to out-earn each other. This is done by choosing which cards to play and where to place them while manipulating all the cards placed out thus far. This is a 2 player only card game that takes 15 minutes to play. The game is designed by Kwibus Gamedesign and the art is done by Beth Sobel. The game was published by Board Game Circus and brought to the USA by 25th Century Games. 

Fika box art

What’s in the Box?

  • 18 Cafe Cards
  • 5 Street Cards
  • 3 Tip Cards
  • 4 Player Aids
  • 3 Suit Tokens
  • 1 Rulebook

How’s it Play?

This is a 2 player only card game where cards are played out, moved around due to their effects, and then scored if their objective is achieved. Players start with a hand of six cards, and play 5 of them for each round. 

To begin, players choose a card from their hands and reveal them at the same time. The player with the highest numbered card goes first, followed by the other player. If both players have the same number card played, then whoever has the trump color according to the stack of suit tokens goes first. When playing your card, you choose a slot next to a street card on your side. You then, optionally, choose to perform the listed action.

Each number card has the same action according to the number shown. There are cards numbered 1-6, so a total of 6 different actions. Most actions let players swap their own cards, swap cards from the other player, or may swap cards with cards placed out in the general supply. Other actions bring out a group to be placed on a certain spot on the road to multiple points of the card placed next to it. 

Players continue doing this for 5 turns until all 5 spaces have cards placed on them. Players are trying to place specific numbers or suits that can reward you money or points. Each card has a listed objective that you try to achieve by placing out other cards in certain spots. After the round, you see which player gained the most money, and they take one of the money cards. You then shuffle the cards again and play another round doing the same thing, and the first player to win 2 rounds wins the game.

Fika setup on the table

The Verdict

This is a game for those who like fast deep games that don’t take up a lot of space. The game was too complex for my kids, and because of that they were randomly choosing cards to place out. They did not know how to take advantage of the actions to give them a desired better outcome. For myself, I even had to play the game a good couple of times before I figured out what I was trying to do.

Fika hand of starting cards

This is a game that shines when you play it with someone over and over again. With time you figure out combos and ways to benefit from actions, or from moves or cards that the other player may have left open.

Really, there are 6 different actions, and each CAN do something to improve your current position, but if you already have things where you want them, it’s hard to take advantage of those actions. So really, you’re playing cards from your hand that you probably eventually will change with the other cards. This actually makes it a little less pressure on the first card, because it’s almost a guarantee it won’t stay in the same place. But, since the game is placing 5 cards total, your last card or two can be really important as they can either mess up the other player, (maybe they anticipated it), or it can set you up to exactly where you want your cards to be. 

Again, I know couples that play the same game over and over again with a running tally on who has won so many games over the other, and this would be a great game for those individuals. What the game offers is a quick in-depth strategy card game of moving your cards around to score the most points. 

Fika end game with 5 cards played

Images via 25th Century Games

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