Our Board Game Friday this week was another delicious adventure! Piece O’ Cake is a collection game heavy on analysis for 2-5 players, based on this simple premise: whoever slices the cake chooses last!
The game involves dividing a series of cakes each made of 11 triangular flavoured slices. Players take turns dividing the cake into pieces, where each piece consists of a combination of slices. The person dividing the cake is last to choose a piece (such manners!), which means that they don’t get a choice—so it’s really important that they divide the cake so tantalizingly even, to make sure there’s still something good left for them at the end!
When it’s your turn to choose a piece, there can be a variety of flavours in that piece. You can choose to “eat” each flavoured slice right away, scoring points based on the number of whipped cream spots on it; or you can keep it for later, competing against fellow players collecting the same flavour. Whoever has the most of each flavour by the end of the game gets the number of points printed on the slice of cake!
Dividing the cake takes a lot of analysis and evaluation to do it “right.” Based on what other players have collected, it’s important to think about what others want and what you need—you don’t want them to take your most precious chocolate cake! Skilled players will divide the cake in a way where the pieces other players take are anticipated in their plan. But even if you try to plan out the whole thing in your head, your friends might still not actually do what you think they would!
Another thing not to miss is the turn order’s significance! Since players always choose pieces in a clockwise order, it’s a good strategy to try to compete on majorities with the person on your left. They always have to choose from whatever you leave them, so it gives you an advantage if you’ve been keeping the same flavour.
Piece O’ Cake is a simple game with easy-to-understand rules, but each action requires deep thought and meaningful choice. How are you going to divide the cake? Which piece will you take, and which pieces will you leave for the next player? Should you eat or keep this cherry slice?
At the end of the day, the game is still about maximizing your points to win, which often requires more thought when the game is coming to an end. For example, maybe you think you can beat or tie with other players competing for the majority of the strawberry flavour, so do you still keep the slice to ensure you have the majority, or do you eat it to get extra points from the whipped cream? And what if the next player doesn’t do as you expected?
Playing Piece O’ Cake is not only really easy for players to see the consequences of their choices right away, but it was also a mouth-watering afternoon activity!