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Mamma Mia!
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Store:  Card Games, Family Games
Series:  Mamma Mia!
Theme:  Food & Beverage
Genre:  Memory
Format:  Card Games

Mamma Mia!

English language edition

List Price: $14.95
Your Price: $11.99
(20% savings!)
(Worth 1,199 Funagain Points!)

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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 30-40 minutes 2-5

Designer(s): Uwe Rosenberg

Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games, Abacus

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Product Description

Here a salami pizza, there a Bombastica. Hey, who stole the cheese! As Pizza makers, the players put ingredients on the table. From time to time a player may place an order on the table, thinking the needed ingredients are available. If they are, the pizza is made, if not -- disappointment. Thoughtful tactics, a pinch of luck and a pound of memory can bring victory! Mamma Mia is an easy, but unusual card game, which whets the appetite!

Product Awards

International Gamers Awards
Best Strategy Game Nominee, 2000
Games Magazine Awards
Best Memory Game, 2000
Spiel des Jahres
Nominee, 1999
Deutscher Spiele Preis
8th place, 1999

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Uwe Rosenberg

  • Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games, Abacus

  • Year: 1998

  • Players: 2 - 5

  • Time: 30 - 40 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 180 grams

  • All-Time Sales Rank: #93

  • Language Requirements: This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item. Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English.


  • 106 cards
  • rule sheet
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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.6 in 22 reviews

Memory isn't the only thing....
October 08, 2000

If you had a great memory but no ability to form a strategy then you would not win this game. On the flip side, all strategy and no memory won't win either.

People say that this game only depends on if you can remember what's in the pile. Waiting for ingredients to fill your order. That's not true. The way the game mechanics work, if you put an order in now (that lacks 1 ingredient) you can still fill the order later (save that ingredient). You can have the remaining ingredient now and not play it. You might even play the order in hopes of getting the ingredient later.

With a lot of that going on, you don't know what's in the pile anymore. For example: The person before me just played an order that takes all of the peppers that I need if it goes through. But I know that the order is short two mushrooms. I can play my order now since I figure that the previous order will not make it through. However, if that person adds mushrooms at the end of the round, I won't have my peppers and my order won't go through. I should probably save some peppers for the end of the round when I might need them.

I've seen two orders fail because someone forgot to keep ingredients and the third order (which I was sure wouldn't make it) was the one that was filled.

Yeah, I'll agree that this isn't the best strategy game. There is too much luck, memory, etc. to make it a game of skill. Still, I think that it makes for a great family game. The rules aren't too complicated and it keeps people involved. If you get up to get a drink, you probably lost the round.

Works for 2 players as well!
January 10, 2004

I just had to rebuff what was said in a previous review. This game works great for two players. (Mike from Arizona, are you sure you're taking out the right number of ingredient cards before playing the game? It should be almost impossible for both players to finish all 8 orders).

Memory, yes, but much much more
August 15, 2003

We haven't played this game enough for me to give it 5 stars, but our preliminary experience with this game suggests it's a winner.

Mamma Mia achieves that delicate balance that is characteristic of the best games. It's easily explained, players can get right into the action on their first try, but the game offers much to think about. The combination of deep thought and easy rules is a terrific quality for any game.

In Mammia Mia, players hold hands of cards that have displayed on them pictures of ingredients, as well as orders that must be filled. On their turns, players contribute ingredients to the oven. When they think the necessary ingredients are in the oven to fill an order they're holding, they submit the order, too. It's a race to see who can fill the largest number of their orders in 3 rounds.

Some of the criticisms of the game here describe it as overly reliant on memory and card-counting. Yes, it's helpful in this game to watch the cards as they're played, count them, and remember them. But there are so many reasons why memory is only part of the equation here.

1) First, simply counting the cards and playing an order when the ingredients are all in the stack is not the optimal strategy for winning. One of the elements of the game is that when an order is revealed, it can be filled not only if all of the ingredients have appeared before it in the oven, but also if the player has enough cards in his hand at the end to fill an order. Thus, the right play most of the time is to try to work out the probabilities that you're going to draw a given number of cards of the right ingredient and thus have them in your hand by the round's end. An intuitive feel for probabilities in card games is at least as valuable as memory in this regard, and will enable you to beat your opponents to the punch in getting orders down. And doing so is a double-edged sword. On the plus side, you get an order in and use the ingredients. On the downside, you've now committed your 'future hand' as to the cards it must contain. Do this too much, and you'll have problems getting the cards you need because you'll be afraid to let go of other cards you can't afford to discard.

2) There's far too much to keep track of unless you're Steven Hawking. A reasonably intelligent person can keep track of the cards played in five categories of ingredients as the round goes. But now orders start coming in. Now you've got multiple sets of orders to keep track of. In order to figure out the ingredients available for future orders, you have to subtract out the ingredients of the order just placed (assuming it can be filled.) But then you need to also remember the total number of each ingredients played, without subtracting those cards, in order to guess the chances of your still drawing one you need of a particular type. And on top of all that, there's often no certainty as to what cards will be used for an order. If an opponent plays the Pizza Minimale or Monotoni card, you may not know what ingredient will be used to fill the order, and to what extent it will rely on cards from that player's hand. Let's face it, that ain't simple card-counting. There are too many possibilities out there even before accounting for the fact that your opponents may have screwed up their orders and some cards may still be in the stack that you assume are gone.

3) There is plenty of strategy and tactics in this game apart from card-counting. The last game I played, I lost because I didn't get any cards of my personal ingredient, because my opponent had gotten lucky in holding them, then played them all at once in a Bombastica, so that they disappeared from availability to me. Making sure that you don't put down useful cards for your opponents is critical, as is monitoring the numbers of cards you put down. Also, should you pick up orders or ingredients? In my first few tries, I have burned myself by getting too ambitious in holding multiple orders in my hand, when I really needed greater flexibility in pulling ingredients I was relying on getting.

And all of this just scratches the surface. This is not a light game -- it's played quickly, but there is an opportunity for major brain-burn, between all of the card-counting and number-churning, bluffing and basic tactics. It takes a few plays to figure out the stategic use of the Bombastica order, when to gamble on future draws and when to play only based on what's in the stack, and many other subtleties. Perhaps the game will run dry of possibilities for us before is apparent at this point, but right now it appears as though Mamma Mia is a fascinating exercise that will reward repeat plays.

Show all 22 reviews >

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