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Quick Look: Sammich Time
Designers: Delaney and JJ
Publisher: Flip a Coin Games
Year Published: 2023
Navigate your way around a park, gathering ingredients for your sammich along the way. With your sammich in hand, grab a drink and make your way to the picnic table to be declared the winner!
Sammich Time gameplay was developed to move beyond basic roll-and-move mechanics, introduce basic strategy development and move planning, and still maintain a ruleset that is easy to learn and play.
Flip a Coin Games provided a review copy of Sammich Time.
To learn more about Sammich Time please follow the link to the publisher’s website Flip-a-Coin Games (flipacoingames.com)
5 player pawns
30 plastic tokens
The theme of Sammich Times is one that I would say is relatable to almost any person above the age of 5 years old. Making a sandwich and grabbing a drink. In Sammich Time you play as a person who is at the local park trying to have a picnic. For some untold reason the items needed to make your sandwich have been spread all over the park. It is now your mission to choose the best path to gather all the items needed to build your sandwich, grab a drink, and make it to the table before everyone else.
Sammich Time utilizes the tried-and-true mechanic of roll and move, typically this mechanic is frowned upon in modern game design. However, with Sammich Time it doesn’t feel as random and the ability to move forwards and backwards except for a few paths, keep the player from having those frustrating moments when you feel your roll gained you nothing.
Along with the roll and move Sammich Time does have some elements of take that. Sammich Time uses some of the mechanics of classics like Sorry or Aggravation where when you land on another player you send them back to start. Or the ability to swap locations with other players and even spots on the board that will send a player back to start. When I was first learning the game, which is not difficult at all, I was worried that these aspects of the game would become frustrating for players. I quickly learned though that sometimes getting sent back to start can benefit you by putting you closer to an item you need for your sandwich or even closer to the picnic table. In fact in one of my play throughs with my kids my son had completed his sandwich and had his drink and purposely went for a back to start location because it cut his travel distance to the picnic table in half. It is not always beneficial, but it was really refreshing to see take that implemented this way where sometimes it hurt you and other times it inadvertently helped you.
The artwork of Sammich Time fits the theme perfectly. It is not overly produced; it keeps it simple and easily readable for children. The main Character of Stanley was a draw for my kids and when they play, they say they have to visit Stanley to get a drink. For me that is an important sign for a game when players play along with the theme call items what they are supposed to represent.
I really enjoyed the components, The game-board is of great quality and is easily readable around the table which is important when playing with children. I also love that the entire set of rules is printed on the board. If you have kids, you know that sometimes things go missing from board game boxes when kids are involved, I mean I sometimes lose things from the game box. Cutting one item out helps in maintaining the components. Also, it helps when kids are verifying rules, they don’t have to flip through a rulebook but just read it straight on the board.
The final component that is just genius is the player pawns. It’s not the first time I have seen this mechanism, but it works so well with this theme. The pawns allow the player to stack the plastic tokens on a center pole essentially building a sandwich. You start with the bread token then in any order get the toppings then finish with another piece of bread, excellent. They are great quality and will stand up to young children playing with them. They are small so children should be supervised when playing to avoid choking or putting pieces in their mouths.
Setup for Sammich Time takes at most 5 minutes and you are playing. It is so simple that my children can get the game off the shelf themselves, set it up and be playing in a few minutes. Simply put the board in middle of the players and place each player’s pawn on the starting spot. Set up supplies of the sandwich tokens and give the first player the dice.
Gameplay is just as simple, which can be a little deceiving. At the start it looks like just roll the dice and move. However what path do you take. At the start you can go in one of 4 directions. Everyone must start by collecting the first piece of bread, but what path sets you up the best to gather all the items in the shortest amount of time. Then puts you in place to grab the drink. With my kids they first started out playing by just going in random directions but after a few plays you can see that they are trying to set up the best way to quickly get the required items. You are still at the mercy of the dice roll, but even a roll of one can beneficial be early since a one can gain you a piece of your sandwich. While the gameplay may not be the brain burning strategy game adult players are looking for. As an introduction to strategy for children Sammich Time does a great job of developing strategy without punishing a player that may not fully grasp strategy yet.
The gameplay can be scaled to an extent as well for children. One way is making the 1 space on the dice does not give a piece of the sandwich and the other is requiring that the pieces of the sandwich are gathered in a specific order.
Once your sandwich is completed stroll on by Stanley grab your drink and make your way to the picnic table and gather that victory.
Sammich Time is one of the better kids’ games I have played, I find myself wanting to play with my kids and not dreading them pulling it out. It is a game that I win some and my kids win and not because I let them but because they play the game and have learned how to achieve victory. There is some randomness to the game but not to the level of frustration and even the take that elements are a fun part of the game. Even the win condition is fun, anyone who grew up with siblings knows that anxiety induced panic of racing to the table or being first to get in line. To me this is what Sammich Time represents, a group of kids who want to get to the lunch table first which reminds me of my childhood growing up with my brothers. IF you are a gaming parent, grandparent or the cool aunt and uncle, I highly recommend this game for anyone looking to have a great gaming experience with the little ones in their life.
One of the greatest things about Sammich Time is it was created by a brother and sister, Delaney age 11 and JJ age 13 when they first started the design. They were 13 and 15 when the game was funded on Kickstarter and published. This is an amazing feat for even adults, so please visit the website and pick up a copy for your family you will not regret it.
After reading Steven Foster’s review, if this sounds like a game for you at the time of this posting Sammich Time
is available for purchase. Check it out and get yours HERE.
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