Kickstarter Preview: Filler

Designer: Jonathan Chaffer

Artist: Claire Donaldson

Publisher: Green Couch Games

Play time: 20-30 min

Plays: 2-5 players

A prototype copy of Filler was provided by Green Couch Games for this preview. I would like to thank them for their support of Jambalaya Plays Games. Everything you see is most definitely in prototype form. The art on each card is the same at this time. Filler hits KS April 11th, 2018. A link will be posted at launch.

Kickstarter Preview: Filler

I’m trying to lose weight, but one thing I won’t lose is my love of cakes, pies, and pastries. I never have my fill of treats. I think that’s why I wanted to take a look at Filler. In fact, I was eating cake or a kringle at work when I happened to see the Filler game announcement. Before I continue to expound on my gluttonous ways, let’s find out more about Filler by Green Couch Games.

In Filler, players are bakers who are trying to fill different kinds of desserts through a blend of set collection, resources management and simultaneous selection mechanics to become the Star Baker. The goal of the game is to collect as many cards with trophy, star, and coin icons to score victory points.

Setup

The setup for a game of Filler is pretty simple. You have 50 cards in a full deck, but you only take 10 cards per player to create your deck for the game. The Recipe Book display for each round is built by dealing cards equal to the amount of players. At the end of any round, if the Recipe Book area cannot be refilled from the deck, the end game scoring begins. Each baker (player) receives three starting recipe cards and each card has multiple uses during the game. Take a look at the slideshow to get better idea of how recipe cards are used.

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Fill it Up

To begin each round, players will choose a recipe card to play as their Time Cards for that round. All of the cards get revealed simultaneously and the order is determined from earliest to latest. The arrival Time Cards will be added to each player’s discard pile. The acting player will have two choices on their turn. They can fill a recipe or restock their hand. To fill a recipe from the Recipe Book, you play cards from your hand using common, rare and wild ingredients that match the requirements of one the recipe cards displayed in the Recipe Book (center display). The cards used to acquire more recipe cards are added to the discard pile BUT the card that was filled goes to the player’s hand. I like this little touch because in a lot of games you have a sort of deck builder mechanic that the newly acquired card go in your discard pile and you have to wait to use them down the line. In addition to taking a filling and gaining a recipe card, there are some that have special abilities. When you see one of the two action icons, you gain a bonus or restock action immediately when you acquire them. After a couple rounds, you want to have as many actions as possible. Having enough of the right cards and the opportunity to purchase more than one recipe card in a round, will give you a huge advantage. Sometimes you can’t fill anything or you run out of recipe cards. The restock action allows you to gather all recipe cards back to your hand. As an additional benefit, you have the option to take one of the recipe cards from the Recipe Book and reserve it by placing the card on top of the deck. This is one of the ways to prevent other players from purchasing a card you can’t fill at the moment, but maybe next round. Gameplay continues until everyone has one turn and that’s one round. At the end of a round, the Recipe Book is filled with enough cards equal to the number of players.

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Closing Time

If there are not enough cards to fill the Recipe Book, the end game scoring begins. All the cards in your hand and discard pile are combined to gather symbols and sets of symbols for victory points. Players receive one point for every symbol and two points for each set that have all three symbols. I appreciate games that have quick gameplay and simple scoring.

20180409_225132-12115464524.jpg
There are 11 icons for 11 points and 2 full sets 2 points per set. 11+ 4 = 15 total points

Why Should I Back Filler?

  • Easy gameplay, easy scoring
  • Perfect for families and casual players
  • I like the theme, even if it has no real impact on the gameplay
  • I think there is potential for more advanced gameplay
  • Green Couch has a good reputation for publishing solid games (Best Treehouse Ever, Rocky Road a la Mode and Ladder 29)

Any Concerns?

  • Might be too light for you
  • You may own a game or two you feel is slightly better

Final Impression

Filler is a solid game, with a theme that will attract a wide range of gamers. I know the art is in its early stages, but I could see a game like this attracting families based off the current cover. If you’re looking for a game that’s quick, simple and fun, then Filler may be your family’s next filler game. If you have a casual gaming crowd that needs an introduction to set collection, then Filler is probably your group’s next filler game. Green Couch Games has the right idea when it comes to creating 15 to 30-minute experiences that teach basic mechanics to novice gamers, but appeal to a slight more advanced crowd. I look forward to seeing what they do with Filler. I played Rocky Road Ala Mode last year and it was more than just another cutesy sugar-coated hand management experience. I was blown away by how much gameplay was in that little box. With that surprising and overwhelmingly positive experience, I have lofty expectations for Filler. It’s still a very light game, I have faith that there will be more advanced gameplay added if the campaign is successful. I’ll let you decide what to do with your money, but I think Filler is a sweet little set collection game.

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