Clip Cut Parks
- Designers: Shaun Graham and Scott Huntington
- Publisher: Renegade Game Studios
- Players: 1-4
- Ages: 8+
- Time: 20-30 minutes
- Review copy provided by Renegade Game Studios
As many of you likely know (if you read this blog regularly), I am a fairly big fan of the roll and write genre. Sure, most of the games in this class are light; but I like the way that they challenge players to maximize their results with a common set of die rolls. Clip Cut Parks caught my eye as it is advertised as the first Roll-and-Cut. What? Yeah, that’s right, this game comes with 4 pains of scissors and a bunch of sheets that instead of writing on, you cut up into little bits.
The goal of the game is to be the first to fill up five target cards (dealt at random at the start of the game). You have two face up at the start, and as you finish a card, you draw a new one to replace it. In each round, a player will roll the red die, a some numbers will be seen (1-1-1-1) or (1-2-3) or (4). Each player has their own sheet – which is a mosaic of the four colors of squares – and they must use their scissors to cut up their sheet. Each cut must be a distinct cut between two squares on the sheet, and a cut cannot be extended on a single turn. If any pieces of your sheet are fully cut out, those pieces which are removed are then placed on one of your two face up cards.
Those cards have a number of spaces on them. Some have a specific color square on them; if so, you must place a paper square of matching color. Some squares may be connected with a line, these squares must be covered all at once by a single piece of paper cut out of your sheet. Others may have recycle or paw icons on them; and guess what, they must be covered with a paper square that has the appropriate icon on it. If you cut out a piece and it cannot be legally played onto a card, it is crumpled up – it cannot be used later in the game, and it can count as a penalty against you in the tiebreaker calculations.
At the end of a round, if a card is fully covered, it is moved to the side, and the player instantly gets the bonus found at the bottom of the card: this might be an extra cut or two, or it might be a paw token, recycle token or gardener token. These can be spent to avoid the matching icon on a square or to avoid the color rule for a particular square.
The game is over when the the first player finishes his fifth card. If multiple people finish at the same time, the player with the fewest crumpled bits of paper is the winner.
I didn’t know what to think when I first read about the game – I’d actually been on the downswing lately with roll-and-writes because they were all starting to feel the same. Well, Clip Cut Parks takes an unexpected angle at the genre, and it provides a really entertaining game that has a lot more strategy than meets the eye.
After reading the rules, I thought that it would be simple to just snip here and there and things would just work out. But, after becoming familiar with the game, there is definitely an art to maximizing the effect of your cuts. You’d ideally like all of your cuts to lead towards something coming off your sheet. However, the timing has to be right because you have to be able to use the removed piece or else it gets crumpled up and lost. This means that you’ve essentially wasted a bunch of cuts because you’re never going to get to use that piece. Trying to figure out what sorts of cuts will give you flexibility is the key. You can only see the two cards that you’re working on, so it’s not like you can really plan ahead that much – so you need to ready yourself to be able to get at certain colors or icons at a moments notice.
Thus far, this one has been a hit, and I don’t know if it’s just the novelty of the cut instead of the write, but it’s been requested many times since its arrival here in the basement, and looks to be one of the early hits of the Essen crop. I had to use stock photos here as I’m writing this in the airport, just about ready to board the plane to Europe… I thought I’d be able to access my own pictures, but let’s just say that the newest incarnation of Dropbox is not my favorite.
I’ll try to get back and report more on this once I’ve played some of the other games, but so far, this one is a cut above.
Until your next appointment,
The Gaming Doctor