UPDATE: the Sunrise Market Kickstarter was canceled and relaunch is planned for January 2022. There may be a few changes from our review below. We’ve updated the images however to reflect new artist Holly Chiu’s artwork on the game.
Their Kickstarter relaunch link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tatewu/boba-mahjong
Boba Mahjong by Sunrise Tornado is a fast, fun, competitive set collecting rummy style game for two players that we were sent for review! It is coming to Kickstarter this month on August 23rd. We thoroughly enjoyed the pacing, artwork, and point scoring system of this title. There is a lot of action packed into this small packaged card game.
The first thing we liked about this game is it is for two players. We hoard two player titles because as a couple we like playing husband vs. wife and this game has officially been put on our favorite two player games shelf. It is also something you can play with a friend easily!
You start by having a deck of cards, three separate mixing piles and a hand of five cards. You are trying to grow and fill your tableau by completing sets, and you use the tableau to score at the end of each round. So as you are playing you’re always trying to put cards in the tableau that will net you the most points but have to be quick about strategizing so you don’t end up having few cards to score at round end.
There are various ways you can complete your sets. You can go for straights, color matching, different colors, collecting topping bonuses, and/or number matching. All the rummy mechanics. However, the boba theme doesn’t feel like just a recycled reskin on a classic, the game genuinely makes a name for itself. The game just utilizes an easy to memorize scoring mechanic!
Space wise it doesn’t take up too much room on the tabletop, about an average amount. With it being for two players that also minimizes table space even more. The game is also short but not too short, the way that classic card games should be. It gives you enough time to strategize but doesn’t ever drag on. There is also enough ways to strategize that new games do not feel stale. Each game we played I found a new way I wanted to try winning the next time.
This title is also very portable, you can fit it in your pocket. This is a game that is easy to introduce to others and to and explain in just a few minutes.
Language Barrier Playability: You don’t really need language to play, you can look at the imagery on the reference card and be able to play. These are our favorite types of games where we can play with no specific language needed.
A link to their kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tatewu/sunrise-market
Replayability: So much! We got a little playfully competitive playing this one. It is enjoyable to replay.
Artwork: The artwork is clean and minimal. The colors are the big focus with cute boba designs but not overwhelming. The little plastic squares for the boba are nice and simple but so creative.
Quality: Nice quality cards, they have that nice new smell too. They are easy to shuffle, that is a considerable criteria for us! The plastic point pieces are also made well.
Strategy: You can’t go for all of the scoring criteria in one round easily, so you kind of need to pick two or three things that you’re going for. This is nice as it gives you new strategies to try with each game.
Instruction Manual: The rulebook is a draft, so we don’t want to critique this one too far. However looking at the current version it could be simplified a tad more and could rely mostly on imagery like the reference cards. This is where we found the most confusion in learning how to play, however once we got the concept down we found it was super easy to understand.
Organization: It is a little box of cards! Fits well, portable, and something we are definitely taking on the go! We aren’t sure if the Kickstarter version will be different but our boba points came in a separate bag, it’d be cool if they fit in the box too.