- Designer: Romain Caterdjian
- Publisher: Matagot
- Players: 2-4
- Age: 8+
- Time: 20 minutes
- Played with review copy provided by Matagot
Romain Caterdijan should already be in the lead for Larry Levy’s Designer of the Year award; I think I have already run across 4 games from SPIEL 2022 designed by him. In this game, you’ll have to take pictures of animals to win the most victory points. On your turn, you either take an Album card or you can place a Landscape punched card from your hand onto the previous Landscape card in the game shoe. If any animal appears partially or entirely in the camera lenses of your Landscape card, you can take the corresponding Animal Photo tile(s) and put them in one of your photo Albums while respecting the constraints of the Albums – only snow animals, for example. A complete Album allows you to earn even more victory points so you have to organize your photos well. And if an animal fits completely in your lens, it’s a Perfect Shot and one more step to victory! As for the Yeti, it is so fierce, wild and mysterious that you can only see half of it in the photos you take. It will take two different halves to prove to the world its existence … and gain more and more victory points.
To set up the game, place the game rack between the tables; you can choose whether you want it inside the box or not. Each player gets 3 landscape cards for their initial hand – These cards have holes in them in various locations; the rest of the card shows a landscape and has animals placed all over the area of the card. The Album cards are shuffled and 2 cards are put face up in the display. The photo tiles are sorted by type and piled near the board.
On a turn, a player must either Take a photo or Take an album.
To take a photo – the player places a Landscape card from his hand and places it on the rack, putting it down in whatever orientation he likes. Once a card is chosen, you are obligated to use it this turn! For each animal visible through a hole in the Landscape card, take a matching photo tile from the supply. If you capture a Yeti, take a facedown Yeti tile. You will end up with as many tiles as different animals (or parts of animals) that you see. Before you place the Landscape card on the rack, you can declare that you are going to take a Perfect Shot! If there is an animal which is fully visible in one of your holes, you will also get a Perfect Shot token worth 2 points. Be warned that you can only claim this twice in the game, so be sure to wait for the right opportunity to try to do this! IF you do not take a Perfect shot, you take a token and place it on the 0VP side.
To take an album – choose one of the face up album cards or the top of the deck, and place it face up in front of you. At any time in the game, you can arrange your photo tiles on your albums as you like. Each album will give bonus points if it is complete (there are photos in all the spaces) and if all the tiles meet the bonus requirement.
The game continues until the Landscape deck is empty – then finish the current round so that all players have the same number of turns. Then take one more turn each. Finally, calculate your scores:
- 1 point per Photo tile placed in an album
- 2 points for each successful Perfect Shot
- 1 point per completed Yeti in an album (2 tiles, one of each half)
- 1-3 bonus points per album is it meets the requirements
The player with the most points wins. Ties broken in favor of the player with the most Yetis.
My thoughts on the game
Perfect Shot takes a simple idea and makes a pretty decent little game of it. The landscape cards with the various holes in them give you a fun challenge each turn as you try to visually place them on top of the current top card in the holder. You can usually figure out whether you’ll get an animal or two, but the decision about the perfect shot is harder than it looks! I have started to hold onto cards with a single huge hole in them and wait for the right moment to try to use them on a perfect shot.
I would say that people are getting at least 10 tiles on average in a game right now, so you’ll have to give yourself enough time to pick up albums. At the start of the game, it’s an easy decision to make when you have not many good targets on the board for the cards you have – rather than waste a turn taking a picture, sometimes it is just easier to spend the turn to pick up an album.
Sure, ideally you’d like to get an album that has a good bonus – but many of the cards only give a single bonus point for completion; and frankly, you can do just as good by taking a picture with one more animal on it – assuming you have an album to put the tile on!
The yeti albums have a really good 3pt bonus; but man, I find it hard to get the yeti’s in my sights. At most there is only one yeti on a card, and while I haven’t counted it out, I’d guess that no more than half of the cards have yeti’s at all. So, you have to be a bit lucky to have them come up when it’s your turn, and then you have to have cards that will be able to take the photo.
Thus, for me, I really don’t pay attention to the albums other than when I want to temporize for a turn from taking a un-rewarding picture. Past that – there’s not really a huge amount of strategy here – you just make the most of the cards that you have and try to take pictures that will yield the most animal chits.
Really, that’s what you get here. It’s a fun filler, and the art is nice. My only comment on the components is that the photo tiles are two-sided, and you need to be careful not to accidentally flip them over – as the side matters for the potential bonuses. The game plays quickly – maybe 15 minutes, and it’s been a pleasing diversion this fall.
Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers
- I love it!
- I like it. Dale Y, Steph H
- Neutral. Eric M., John P
- Not for me…