Short story shorter, I was invited to do a play-through and to give my thoughts to Potato Pirates, a local board game by Codomo.
They are a team that specializes in teaching coding to kids and Potato Pirates is a card game developed by them to teach and help these kids understand coding better.
So yup, talking about a card game made by a group of geniuses here.
Overview and possibly the whole explanation of the rules
Potato Pirates is a 2-6 players set collection and player elimination style game. Every player starts with a starting hard of 5 cards and 2 ships.
At the beginning of the turn, each player draws 2 cards, reveals any Potato Kings that they have in hand, and attaches up to 3 cards from their hand on each ship that they have to prepare an attack.
If the player’s ship has been prepared on the previous turn, he / she may flip the ship card to “Battle mode” to launch an attack on another ship.
By doing so, the player who is taking damage removes potatoes from the attacked ship. Once a ship has no potatoes left, that ship is discarded and once a player has no ships left, that player is eliminated.
A player wins by collecting all 7 Potato Kings or by being the last man standing.
2 minutes. I think that’s how long you took to read the above section. But, now you know how to play the game and that’s the beauty of it, it is simple to learn and more importantly, to teach.
Expect lots of shenanigans
When I learnt about the rules, I was expecting more of a serious game. After all, it’s a player elimination game. Boy, was I so wrong.
Yes, there were still lots of cutthroat action. Yes, there were lots of out-of-nowhere backstabbing. And you know what else that are lots of: Shenanigans. And this, I feel, is the best part of the game.
Things turn shi**y, fast. No matter how much you prepare, most likely you won’t be able to execute your plan. If you think you are at an advantage, you would probably be the target of everyone else.
And this is all because of the Surprise Card aka pink card. Some of these cards allow you to loot cards from other player’s hands, hijack ships and even deny attacks (which I think is the most powerful card, it’s a free counter-spell!!).
I hardly drew any cards in my play-through as expected with my usual cursed luck, but to see them being used to full effect by all players is indeed hilarious.
Be prepared to shout “POTATO KING”
When someone plays a Potato King card, all players must shout “POTATO KING”. The last player to do so gets penalized 2 potatoes.
This might be a gimmick to engage kids into the game, but it does achieve another purpose that many board games fail to do so, and that is to force everyone to pay attention to the table at all times. Brilliant, isn’t it?
I had a blast playing this.
Yeah, I know this is a game that is meant to teach children concepts about coding. But I need to enjoy it first, before I can teach kids, isn’t it? And this is where I think Potato Pirates succeed, making it not only an educational game for kids, but an entertaining game that adults can pull out for board gaming nights.
If you like relentless game play that throws you into the middle of action as soon as your second turn, get it. Like vibrant and good looking potatoes? Get it. Got kids? Get it.
As of this writing, they have way surpassed their Kickstarter goal of $15,000 and has just unlocked one of its most attractive stretch goal, the black and gold deck.
Interested much? Here you go: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/codomo/potato-pirates-the-tastiest-coding-card-game/description
I wish there was a Deny All card that can deny anything, yet not get denied. Essentially a counter-spell card that cannot be countered.