Filipino Fruit Market
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Peer Sylvester describes himself as "an absolute trick-taking fanatic." "I haven't translated fifty card games from David Parlett into German for nothing!" he says. Thus it might seem natural that he would design a trick-taking game or two himself.
Filipino Fruit Market consists of two games from Sylvester, both using the same cards and tokens. Tindahan (which Sylvester says is tagalog for "store") is for 3-5 players, and the basics of game play are what you'd expect in a trick-taking game: You must follow suit, there's a trump suit, etc. The twist is that on your turn you can play a card -- whether to attempt to win the trick or to flush a card from your hand -- or you can add a colored marker to the fruit stand with the color matching the suit that was led that trick. At the end of a round, you score for the tricks you took and for majorities at the fruit stand, while losing points for cards left in your hand. Says Sylvester, "It's very intuitive and fits easily in the filler category."
Bastos, supposedly tagalog for an expression along the lines of "Oh Hell!", is for 3-4 trick-taking experts, according to Sylvester. "You have one suit in which you can never score points, but playing a card of that suit allows you to change the value of any suit," he says. "You can declare trump if you cannot follow suit -- the suit thrown away is declared trump -- but the card's value decreases by two points. In the end every card won in your trick is worth its current value. Bastos is not difficult to play, but it's unintuitive. In the first rounds you may feel you don't know what to do, you feel a bit helpless. With more games, however, you learn ways to gain control and feel the subtle points of the game."
In addition to using new mechanisms in his designs, Sylverster says the important thing for him in a trick-taking game is allowing players control over their fate. "In both games, a skillfull game is worth more than a good hand (although a good hand is worth more in Tindahan than in Bastos)."
Languages: English & German
Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of BoardgameNews.com
Filipino Fruit Market is one of the early and lesser known games distributed by Indie Board & Cards along with Bambus Spieleverlag. Designed by Peer Sylvester, designer of König von Siam and Singapore, it appeared at Essen 2009, and contains two different trick-taking games for 3-5 players, Tindahan and Bastos, both of which are themed around Philippine fruit markets.
Tindahan is arguably the better of the two games, and is a cross between trick taking and majority control. There are mixed reactions as to how well the meshing of mechanics in Tindahan works, but mostly this has been very well received.
Bastos, on the other hand, gives each player a suit that can’t win tricks but can change values for won cards. The overall reaction to Bastos is cooler, but some people really like it.
Trick taking games just aren’t for everyone, but if you enjoy trick-taking games and want to try something original, the two games included in Filipino Fruit Market are well worth a look, especially the unique mix of majority control and trick-taking in Tindahan.