Dale Yu – Review of Bag of Chips – The Salty & Tasty Game!

Bag of Chips – The Salty & Tasty Game!

  • Designers: Mathieu Aubert and Theo Riviere
  • Publisher: Blue Orange USA
  • Players: 2-5
  • Age: 8+
  • Time: 15-20 min
  • Played with review copy provided by the publisher

bag of chips

Mixlore is a design house that has designs that you might be familiar with if you frequent the game aisle at Target or your other friendly local big-box store.  Titles such as The Shining, Top Gun, Queen’s Gambit, Ticket to Ride Track Switcher, Catan Logic Puzzle are all from this creative center.  I also know them for their quirky and sometimes trendy packaging – such as Ramen Fury, a game which came packaged like a package of instant noodles and Burger ASAP which comes in a cardboard box that looks like it could hold a sandwich that comes with two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun….

Bag of Chips falls into the latter category – this game comes in a red bag very reminiscent of a snack size bag of chips!   In this game, the goal is to get to 4 victory points first.   There are 4 board cards which are placed in the center of the table.  Each of the cards nicely summarizes what needs to be done in the phase which corresponds to that card.

There are 25 chips that are placed in the bag, there is a reference card which tells you the breakdown of the colors (yellow is most with 7 and orange is least with 3).  The deck of 36 objective cards is shuffled, and each player is dealt a hand of 6 cards.  All players should take a chance to look at all of them before the round start.

Each of the objective cards has a graphic representation of a scoring criteria on it, with the point value seen at the top – ranging anywhere from 1 point to 202 points.  There is also one card which offers an instant victory as the reward.  

There are now four phases in the round, each using one of the boards, which are nicely numbered 1 to 4 to tell you the order.  In phase 1, 5 chips are placed on the first board (seen at the top of the board) and then players must discard two of their six objective cards from their hand (seen at the bottom of the board).   In other words, based on the first five chips seen, players try to eliminate cards from their hand that they don’t want.  As you will find out later, this does not necessarily mean that you will eliminate a card you think has no chance of being fulfliled!  Cards that are discarded are put face down in front of each player in a discard pile.

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Round 2 has 4 chips dealt to the board, and then players eliminate one card for the four remaining in their hand.  Round 3 is a bit more complicated.  First, 3 chips are dealt to board 3, and then players have to decide how to allocate their remaining three cards.  If you look at the back of the card (i.e. your discard pile) – you’ll see that there is a bar at the top with a yellow negative arrow pointing left and a green positive arrow pointing right.  

Players must now place two cards to the right of the discard pile.  As this is the positive side, these cards will score positive points.  The remaining card is placed to the left of the discard pile.  As this is the negative side, it will unsurprisingly score negative points.

In the fourth and final phase, two chips will be drawn, but they will happen one at a time – this is important because some scoring cards need to know which was the FINAL chip drawn out of the bag for the round.

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Now it is time to score the round.  Each card which is complete – that is, the chips on the table (on all 4 boards) fulfill whatever criteria is printed on the card – scores points.  The points of that completed card will be positive or negative depending on which side of your discard pile you placed them on.  Any card which is incomplete simply scores 0 points.   So, as you can see, oftentimes you want to hold onto a card that has no chance of successfully being fulfilled, and you’d generally prefer to have a card that scores 0 points on your negative side.

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There are some varied types of scoring criteria. Some cards give you x points for each chip of a particular color.  Some score for a particular assortment of chips, some for one being more prevalent than another.  Some cards score points if the final chip in a round is a certain color.

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Sum up the points earned this turn and announce it out loud.  The player with the highest total for the round scores 2 victory points, the second highest player(s) get 1 victory point.  If there is a tie for first, all tied players get 2 VPs and everyone else gets nothing.  If a player has 4 or more VPs (and more than anyone else), the game ends and the player with the most points wins.  Otherwise, play another round.

So, that’s it.  The “nutritional info” on the back of the packaging claims that this is 100% Salty and Tasty, 100% Addictive, and 100% Fun.  I’d say that they are pretty close on the criteria.  The game is definitely fun, and it’s simple to learn/teach/play.  As the target seems to be the mass market, this is a great fit for that audience.  The decisions are generally easy, but they are meaningful – you won’t be able to win if you just randomly choose cards.

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Our 4p games tend to last 3 to 5 rounds, which easily fits this into the 15 minute time slot.  There is definitely some luck involved in the game, but the phases tend to build up the anticipation for the final draw.  Invariably, one player is always rooting for a specific color to be the last chip, and that’s exciting, and leads to groans/cheers at the end of each round.

While it is not certain whether this game will be sold in the mass market big box stores, but it seems destined for this. The MSRP is $15, and for this small price, you’ll get a lot of fun and laughs from this package.  Like Ramen Fury or Burger ASAP, the packaging will likely be a big selling point, as this is also the kind of game that the theme/packaging will be half of the reason for buying the game or getting it as a gift.  I’m glad to say that the packaging is not the only thing going for the game, and you’ll likely enjoy the contents as well.

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Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers

  • I love it!
  • I like it. Dale, John P
  • Neutral. Mark Jackson
  • Not for me…

About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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