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The Bark Side Kickstarter Peview

Quick Look:

Designer: Kotaro Kanda
Artists: Serene Wyatt
Publisher: Korea Boardgames co., Ltd.
Year Published: 2018
No. of Players: 3-5 players
Ages: 7+
Playing Time: 30 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

WARNING: This is a preview of The Bark Side. All components, artwork and rules are prototype and subject to change.


Rules and Setup:
The game is easy to play and learn.  You will take the deck of cards and deal out 10 cards to each player.  As with many trick taking games, you will pass 2 cards to the right. The starting player will play a card. The follow player will play a card equal to or bigger than the card played. If you cannot or do not want to play a card that way, you will then do the tail tucking move and play your lowest card in your hand. After a player does a tail tucking move, players can start the round by playing sets of the same number cards. You can only play a set if you still have 1 remaining card in your hand.  If players cannot play a set of the same cards that are equal or higher than the ones played, you will play their lowest number of cards equal to the number of cards in that set. Soon each player will have 1 card left.  Everyone will play their last card, whoever has the highest will gain that card plus the 2 lowest cards played by other players in that last round and place them in front of them.  The player with the least number of cards in front of them wins. The game ends if a player gets 7 cards of different types of dogs, or if there are only 4 or less cards left to deal out to the players at the beginning of the round.

Theme and Mechanics:
The theme is to be the top dog without getting caught by your owner as there are many furry mischief makers raiding the neighborhood. Really I don't understand how the theme goes with this trick taking game besides the art on the cards, but then I think about many trick taking games, the many of those don't really match a theme either. The mechanics are very similar to other type of trick taking games. The game can be strategic in knowing when to play certain cards and when to hold back and play them later.

Artwork and Components:
The cards are made out of plastic. They have a nice feel to them, and I think they would be able to last longer from wear and tear. The artworks displays some goofy dogs. I don't understand why some of the cards don't have dogs on them and are just a solid color.  I think they could have used that space to show some very naughty dogs on them.

The Good:
This is a small card game that can be enjoyed by everyone.  The game can become strategic if you learn how the game is actually played and how to plan out what cards you need to play at certain times. The doggy theme can be fun for kids and families. The plastic cards can help from wear and tear of children. This is the perfect trick taking game to teach my little girl due to the perfect theme and art and the simplicity of rules.

The Bad:
I don't understand why the 10 and 9 cards are solid with no art (maybe it is that the artwork is not final). The game is very similar to other games out there, and some of those other games might take the trick taking mechanic and use it in a better way.

Final Thoughts:
If you are looking for a new take on trick taking, you should check this game out. This game is also great for kids and families.

Check out The Bark Side on:


About the Author:
Brody Sheard played board games with his large family growing up. He continues his love of games by teaching his family, local gaming guild, and friends about new and exciting games. Brody believes that board gaming keeps your mind healthy while also having fun interacting with others.
The Bark Side Kickstarter Peview The Bark Side Kickstarter Peview Reviewed by Brody on April 16, 2018 Rating: 5

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