Café del Gatto is the name of the latest game by the winner of the Kinderspiel des Jahres, Lena Burkhardt, in collaboration with Julia Wagner. The two still young game designers combine their two passions, playing games together and drinking coffee, into a tactical placement game in which we become baristas ourselves. All this is paired with a cute art design (because let's be honest... there can never be enough games with cats) on the market by traditional publisher Schmidt Spiele. You can find out how we found the refreshingly pick-me-up game in the following review.
In Café del Gatto, 2-5 players take on the role of talented baristas. The aim is to fill an empty cup of espresso, espresso macchiato, doppio, cappuccino and latte macchiato as tasty as possible. Because in the end, only the barista who has collected the highest barista values with the best mixtures wins.
Café del Gatto is quickly explained. In turn, the players can choose one of three actions. We either buy a coffee or milk stone from the espresso machine, serve one or more coffee drinks or take two coins. If we want to buy a coffee or milk stone, we have to pay the opposite value of the stone. This means that if we want to buy a milk stone, for example, we have to pay the value of the coffee stone in the same row. Then all the milk stones slide down and a new milk stone is placed at the top of the espresso machine. If we don't like the stones in the espresso machine, we can decide in an additional action to clean one side of the machine for 2 coins and refill it with new stones. We then place the purchased stone on a coffee drink of our choice. We have to make sure that we place the stones on the respective fields of the coffee tiles from bottom to top, like when you pour a drink into a cup.
If a coffee tile is full, it can be served with another action. Depending on how high the sum of the numbers on the coffee and milk stones of the drink is, the better victory point tiles we can take from the middle of the table. For example, if we manage to serve a latte macchiato with a stone total of 13 points, we can decide to take the victory point tile with either 4, 8 or 11 points. The remaining points are converted into coins.
In addition to the points, depending on how many symbols we have used, we receive coins for our served coffee drinks. We can see how many coins we get from the drinks menu. For example, if we use three different symbols for a latte macchiato, we only get 2 coins for the drink. However, if we manage to serve the drink with only one type of symbol, we will immediately receive 7 coins.
The game ends as soon as the first person has served all their coffee drinks. The round is then played to the end, so that all players have had an equal number of turns. The person who collects the most points wins.
High quality material
And that was the whole game. It is easy to explain and also easy to play. We needed an average of 20 – 30 minutes for our test games. Even children will quickly understand the principle and will be particularly enthusiastic about the art style. Children from a family friend of mine immediately grabbed the game and enthusiastically looked at the small details on the coffee drinks, because each individual drink, in combination with the victory point tiles, makes a cute little cat coffee. The coffee stones also feel of high quality. This makes playing a lot of fun.
The only downside was that the game was crammed with an unnecessary amount of packaging material. For example, the coffee and milk stones were delivered in additional shrink-wrapped packaging inside the box. This could have been solved more elegantly. Especially considering that the stones are in a high-quality cloth bag as soon as they are unpacked. This could theoretically have been used as packaging for the stones.
About Cafe del Gatto
|Number of players: 2 – 5
Age: from 8 years
Playing time: 30 minutes
Long-term motivation: low
Classification: placement game
Author: Lena Burkhardt, Julia Wagner
Café del Gatto is a generally relaxed placement game in which you try to make the most of the current situation. The more players play, the more fun the game becomes, because here it is all the more important to react spontaneously to the current game situation. With two players, too little changes after the opponent's move. While this offers more opportunities for tactical thinking, that's not the point of Café del Gatto. The game is particularly convincing for four or five players with its unpredictable rounds and the random arrangement of the coffee or milk stones in the espresso machine.
At 42 euros in the original packaging, Café del Gatto is a little more expensive. Sure, the game material is top, just feels great and contributes a lot to the fun of playing, but purely in terms of gameplay, Café del Gatto offers too little to justify the price. You've seen everything after what feels like two games. The game just doesn't have that much replay appeal. There is too little of everything for that. For example, a larger number of coffee drinks that can be selected for each game would significantly increase the replay appeal.
Overall, however, Café del Gatto is not a bad game. We had a lot of fun with it in our test games. The game will certainly end up on the table again in the future, simply because it is quick to set up and play. The game will particularly appeal to children, as they will be enthusiastic about the material and the cat theme alone.
|Schmidt Spiele 49430 Café del Gatto, family game, party and... *||22,99 EUR||Buy|
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