“It’s time to make the donuts!” (readers born after around 1985, just look it up)
The Donut Shop has hired a new crew and your job is to arrange and pack delicious donuts for customers. Donut Shop is a tile-laying game from designer Jeffrey D. Allers (New York Slice, Loot Dispute), published by 25th Century Game. Let’s open up the box and take a whiff of those delicious pastries.
Donuts as Far as the Eye Can See
In the center of the table is the display case containing a variety of donuts. On your turn, you’ll add a donut tile to the display, making sure that it sits adjacent to another donut tile. Since each tile contains a variety of donuts, you’ll claim one of the donut types on your tile for scoring. You’ll score 5 cent for each donut type that is touching in a continuous line.
It’s pretty common to pull in 20 to 35 cent in the first couple rounds of the game. In later rounds you’ll look for opportunities to score 50 to 80 cent on your turn. As the display case grows, more scoring opportunities are presented. That is, until the donuts get boxed up.
After placing your donut tile and collecting your coins, players can optionally box up donuts to fulfill order cards. In order to box up donuts, you have to have an order card for each donut type that is being covered by the box. In order to box up 3 vanilla frosted and 3 blue raspberry donuts, you would turn in 1 vanilla frosted and 1 blue raspberry order card.
Boxing up donuts will give you additional money based on the size of the box you fill with donuts. Players are always looking for opportunities to fill a box with 8, 9 or 12 donuts to make the most money. Scoring for a single donut variety will eventually get cutoff by another player when they box up donuts to fulfill an order. It’s in players best interests to make sure a single donut variety doesn’t become a monster money maker for other players.
How Do You Like Your Coffee?
Customers want more than just donuts. Some order cards will contain coffee orders or a request for donuts with sprinkles. Turning in these order cards can earn additional money on top of the money you earn on the box of donuts you fill. Donut Shop gives plenty of opportunities to earn money throughout the game as the donut display case grows.
At the end of your turn, you’ll receive a new donut tile to replace the one you added to the display and 1 new order card. Players will always spend the single donut tile they have every turn. The order cards can accumulate and this is how you afford to box up larger quantities of donuts later in the game.
When picking a new donut tile and order card, players have to choose one of these face up from the display and one face down. There will always be a little hidden information which means players have to adjust strategies when you don’t get exactly what you need.
A Delicious Treat
Even though we’ve been playing a prototype of Donut Shop, I’ve got to say that this is one of the nicest quality prototypes we’ve had on the table. When friends and family find out that it’s not the final game, they usually hit up Board Game Geek to make sure we’re not lying to them.
The gameplay is simple, smooth and keeps players engaged during the 30 to 40 minute playtime. We’ve been so impressed with the level of detail on the graphic design for this game. It’s been tough not to make a donut run each and every time we bring Donut Shop to the table.
Our whole family has enjoyed Donut Shop and it’s a game that we’re excited to back when it hits Kickstarter in February.
Visit the Kickstarter for Donut Shop along with 2 other excellent tile laying games when the campaign launches in February 2023.
A prototype of the game was provided for this coverage. Components and rules covered in this preview are not finalized. Read more about our preview policies at One Board Family.