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Gosh Darn Bubbles! Kickstarter Pre-Review


Quick Look: Gosh Darn Bubbles!

Designer: Sanchez Michaels
Artists: Apolline Etienne, Kiernan Sjursen-Lien, Jonatan Iversen-Ejve, Morghan Gill, faithandfreedom, Susie 'Bogus Red' Sahim, Sabrina Alberghetti, Oana R. Birtea (Yuuza), and 4 more in the stretch goals!
Publisher: Sandwich Bag Games
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 2-4
Ages: 14+ on the box, 8+ in our experience
Playing Time: 5-20 min.

From the publisher:

Gosh Darn Bubbles! is a casual, light-hearted, simple-yet-competitive underwater-themed tabletop card game.

The goal of the game is to be the first player with three Treasures. Players earn Treasure by finding and playing Sunken Chests. But watch out for Bubbles! They prevent Sunken Chests from providing Treasure, and do nothing when they are played.

The rest of the cards in the game do many awesome things, like help players find Sunken Chests faster, mess with other players’ cards, and provide bonuses/penalties.

The waves can get a little wild, but we are sure you will conquer them and discover the riches you seek!

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

WARNING: This is a preview of Gosh Darn Bubbles!. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change.

I was provided with a prototype copy of the game for the purposes of this review; the following article is a pre-review of Gosh Darn Bubbles! ahead of the Kickstarter campaign and is a review sharing my own opinions of the game, not a paid "Kickstarter preview" advertisement of the game.

Review:

Overview and Theme:

How many tickles does it take to make an octopus laugh?

TEN TICKLES!

I am a complete sucker for all things oceanic, especially anything with tentacles, so when I got the opportunity to review the upcoming Gosh Darn Bubbles! (which includes a card called Extra Tentacles), I jumped at the chance.


Gosh Darn Bubbles! is a light family card game of exploring the ocean, where your goal is to be the first to collect three pieces of Treasure by playing a variety of action cards from your hand. It's easy to teach and quick to play.

Components and Setup:

One of our favorite things about Gosh Darn Bubbles! is that the art is actually done by a group of artists--8 artists worked on cards for the base game, and 4 more have created art for the stretch goal cards. The art styles are a little different from one artist to the next, but overall they share a cartoony, humorous, under-the-sea aesthetic.


I loved that the artists' names are printed at the bottom of the cards, and we found that we were each drawn to particular artists. I most enjoyed the work of Susie 'Bogus Red' Sahim, who created the art for Grab Crab, Enlightened Jellyfish, and Significant Otters!

Gosh Darn Bubbles! is made up entirely of cards: my prototype copy has 60 action cards, 11 treasure cards, and 1 instruction card. Setup is easy: shuffle the action cards and deal 3 to each player, and set the Treasure cards in the middle as a face-up pile. Gosh Darn Bubbles! is created specifically to be a lighter game, so the ease of setup is definitely on porpoise.


Game Play and Mechanics:

In Gosh Darn Bubbles!, you're playing one card each turn in the hopes of attaining pieces of Treasure (or slowing down other players in their quests). Many cards, including the Sunken Chests, call for you to discard cards, draw from the deck and discard, discard cards in front of players, and so on. This ebb and flow of cards through the game is deliberately designed to mimic the ebb and flow of the ocean waters, and it's common to completely deplete the deck during the game, sometimes more than once, and need to reshuffle to continue your search for Treasure.


The best card to draw is a Sunken Chest, which you can pry open to see if there's Treasure inside. To peek inside a chest, you'll need to flip over and discard the top 3 cards from the draw pile. If any of these cards are Bubbles, your search was a bust and just full of hot air. If you flip 3 cards without finding any Bubbles, you're successful and get to take a Treasure card from the pile!

We learned very quickly that this mechanic inspired the name of the game! There's nothing quite so frustrating as finally coming across a Sunken Chest, only to open it and come face to face with those Gosh Darn Bubbles!


The other action cards give you different ways to dive through the deck in your search for Treasure, taking cards from other people, discarding your hand and drawing a new one, trading hands, and so on. Each card is easy to understand and fully explained in the card text, which is part of what makes Gosh Darn Bubbles! so quick to teach and get started.

Take turns playing cards and working with the ebb and flow of the deck to try to bring those Sunken Chests to the surface, and cross your fingers that you'll avoid Bubbles and be able to take a Treasure, because the first player to collect 3 Treasure cards wins the game! Watch the player next to you.. he might just be a card shark.


The Good:

The variety of art in Gosh Darn Bubbles! is fintastic. We loved the collective art experience and having the artists named so you can learn more about their work. We each had favorite cards based on the illustrations, and favorite cards based on the game mechanic, and it made it fun for us to look through the deck and discuss the cards, from the Gold-Digging Killer Whale to the Pirate Manta Ray. We're looking forward to adding even more artists and mechanics with the proposed stretch goal cards.


As a gameschooling mom, I enjoyed Gosh Darn Bubbles! as a great game to pair with an ocean study, as we can explore the images on the cards and discuss the real-life animals and objects they relate to. There's also great reading practice (needing to read the action text on each card) and some good strategic decisions. When my daughter was able to use the Fair Winds card to pass her father a hand full of Bubbles cards, she laughed out loud in delight!


The Bad:

Gosh Darn Bubbles! is light and quick, which may not be what you're looking for in a game. There's not a ton of opportunity for a long term strategy, just do-the-best-with-what-you-have and roll with the tide. If you're looking for something a little less fishy, check out the other reviews here at Everything Board Games to find something more your speed.


Players Who Like:

Families and game groups who enjoy quick card games with a splash of humor like Scavenge, Cabo, or Carrot and Stick may enjoy Gosh Darn Bubbles!

Final Thoughts:

I've made a lot of fishy puns today just for the halibut, but playing Gosh Darn Bubbles! always puts us in such a good mood that I don't want to carp about it anymore. Gosh Darn Bubbles! is an engaging light card game that we enjoyed and look forward to playing again. I wish the team at Sandwich Bag Games the best of luck with their upcoming Kickstarter.




Check out Gosh Darn Bubbles! on:

            

On KICKSTARTER now. Campaign ends June 20, 2019.



Alexa Chaplin- Reviewer

My name is Alexa: I'm a life-long game player and homeschooling mom to two awesome kids. I've loved board games since my early days playing Scrabble and Gin Rummy with my grandmother, and life only got more interesting when I married a Battletech enthusiast and fellow game lover. We've played games with our kids since they were small, and I helped start a thriving homeschool co-op where we have weekly sessions of board games with kids.  In a family with kids raised on Catan and Pandemic, life is sure to be fun! You may run into me on Twitter, BoardGameGeek, and other social media as MamaGames. Be sure to say hi!

See Alexa's reviews HERE.
Gosh Darn Bubbles! Kickstarter Pre-Review Gosh Darn Bubbles! Kickstarter Pre-Review Reviewed by MamaGames - Alexa C. on May 21, 2019 Rating: 5

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