Chocolatiers Review

You love chocolate? I love chocolate. Who doesn’t love chocolate?

As a teacher, I’ve received quite a few of those big boxes of chocolates as gifts for birthdays, holidays, Valentine’s Day… basically, I get them all year long. And while I definitely enjoy many of the pieces, there are some of those chocolates that are just plain gross. They can say that it’s filled with strawberry creme, but I can tell you that no strawberry I’ve ever eaten tastes like that.

I really just wish that I could make my own box of chocolates, and Chocolatiers from Daily Magic Games allows me to do just that. Up to five players will work over the course of about twenty minutes to try to create the best box of chocolate. Of course, “best” is determined by who has the most victory points. Because we all know that the sweets industry works that way.

Life Is Like a Box of Chocolates

According to Chocolatiers, making a box of chocolates doesn’t seem to be all that hard. You really just have to play the right cards at the right time.

Each card shows one of the six different types of chocolate in the game. You’ve got your classic truffles and mint chocolate, but you’ve also got some fancy stuff like lavender and blueberry. Delicious?

You’ll need these cards in order to claim one of the five box tiles that are on display. Players discard the cards that match the chocolates shown on the tile, and then they add the tile to their box. Players add tiles until they have a complete box – six tiles in a three-by-two rectangle. The first player to do so triggers the final round and gets a bonus. At the end of the game, points are added up, and the player with the most wins.

Well-Coordinated Sweets

Now, obviously, there’s more to chocolatiering (that’s a word, right?) than just buying tiles and making a rectangle with them. It’s all about the presentation.

Bonus points are awarded at the end of the game to players with the largest connected area of each type of chocolate. So as you’re building your box, you’re hoping to get similar chocolates to be touching orthogonally. As a result, you’ll need to not only try to get the tiles that are worth the most points, but also those that will work together with the chocolates you’ve already added to your box.

All of this must be planned carefully because you cannot move a tile once it has been placed in your box. I guess these candies are cemented in there real good. Fortunately, each player gets three wild chocolates. These little tokens look like Ferrero Rocher, which makes a lot of sense, as they’re totally the kings of the chocolate world in my opinion.

As one of the actions on your turn, you can place a wild chocolate anywhere on your board – an empty space or on top of another chocolate. These tokens are the ultimate in wild, as they can represent every chocolate possible. Thus, they can serve as a connection between several separate sections of different kinds of chocolates.

Who Knew Candy Could Be So Strategic?

To me, the wild chocolates are what save this game from being a dust-collecting filler game that you play once and never see again. Don’t get me wrong – this is certainly on the lighter side and will never be your ‘main course’ at a game night. But the added “wilds” mechanic prevents the game from relying too heavily on just the right kind of tiles showing up at just the right time. Randomness in games can be good; randomness that has a greater impact on the outcome of the game than strategy is never good.

Chocolatiers meets many of the criteria I look for in casual games I want to add to my collection. The simple rules can be explained quickly. Turns are quick so that players are able to avoid much downtime. You’re able to strategize without having to think five or six moves ahead. The theme is approachable for people who don’t normally play games. Kids and adults alike can enjoy the game and be competitive.

So will Chocolatiers change your life? No. Is it a must-buy? Not really. Instead, Chocolatiers is the kind of game that you see on a shelf and wonder what it’s all about. You look up a review (hopefully this one), and you think that it might be worth a shot. You take it home, play it with your gaming group, and have a good time. You play it several times over the next couple of weeks, and then it stays up on your shelf, where you grab it every few months to throw together boxes of chocolate with your friends.

That sounds pretty sweet to me.

You can pick up a copy of Chocolatiers are your friendly local game store or on Amazon on July 24th.

Daily Magic Games provided us with a retail copy of Chocolatiers for this review. This in no way influenced our opinion of the game.

Highs

  • Easy-to-learn rules
  • Little downtime between turns
  • Addition of wild chocolates to the game adds to the opportunities for strategy

Lows

  • Nothing really groundbreaking