Home > Games > Eating a lot of cream… at least it’s good for the bones

Eating a lot of cream… at least it’s good for the bones

September 22, 2014

It has been some time since I’ve written up a new game. We have actually played several new (to us) games over the last couple of months, but with most of them we just haven’t got to the point where Miss B wants to give a verdict. We do have one now, though: Piece o’ Cake.

Miss B wanted to do the photography this time, and even with a broken arm she does a better job than me, capturing the essence of the game as well as my stylish and understated shirt.

Miss B wanted to do the photography this time, and even with a broken arm she does a better job than me, capturing the essence of the game as well as my stylish and understated shirt.

I had heard of the game a couple of years or so ago, but we only got to try it out during a visit to the Thirsty Meeples boardgame cafe in Oxford. Everyone enjoyed the game and I totally fell in love with its elegance. Unfortunately it is out of print (at least in English), but a couple of days later I managed to find someone selling a copy of the German version (called “…aber bitte mit Sahne”) through the BoardGameGeek marketplace. The game is completely language independent (apart from the rules, which are downloadable) so we are now the proud owners of this little gem, which we have played a few times since.

So, I may have given the impression that I like the game, but how does it work?

Well, basically, Piece o’ Cake is a game about sharing pieces of cake. Each round one player lays out a cake which comprises slices of different varieties: chocolate, strawberry, gooseberry, and so on. There are 11 slices laid out each time, and the player whose turn it is divides the cake into portions, one per player in the game. Each portion can have one or more slices in it and due to 11 being a prime number, there will always be at least one portion of a different size to the others, which is a neat touch. Each player chooses a portion to take, with the player who chose the splits taking last. For each slice taken, each player chooses to either eat it (which will score points equal to the number of dollops of cream on it) or keep it (which scores more points for the player with the most uneaten slices of each type of cake).

That’s pretty much it other than a rule where you can pass your turn in order to just eat a load of cake you had previously been keeping. You go through all this process five times and then count up the scores. The game is actually really mathematical, with a bit of push-your-luck and psychology thrown in, but it plays so easily that most people don’t notice, and just have fun sharing out slices of cake.

I’ve played this now at all player counts from 2 to 5 (Miss B hasn’t been in on a 5 yet) and have to say that it is weak (though not awful) with 2 players, so I don’t expect I’ll be playing it with Miss B alone all that often, but other than this it is absolutely great.  Miss B seems to enjoy puzzling over her decisions and figuring out her best options, and has fun regardless of her end score.  And to round off, this was the first game she got out over the weekend when some friends came around to play games with us.

The verdict from Miss B (aged nearly 7¾): “It’s a very good game. I’d recommend this game because it’s very light and easy.”

The game: Piece o’ Cake/…aber bitte mit Sahne (Rio Grande/Winning Moves), 2 to 5 players aged 8+.

  1. September 22, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    My boys and I have been playing around with this one for a while now. They are still at the ages where they only want to eat every time, but they are starting to notice that daddy always seems to get more points by saving the cake for later! So now they are starting to explore that. For such a straight forward game there are a lot of excellent learning opportunities for the tiny table toppers – great add! Glad to see it highlighted!

    ps – I really enjoy your blog! Thanks for sharing your great memories!

  2. Rob
    September 22, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Thanks, David, great to hear from you. The more I play this game, the more I like it. Not mentioned in the post is that I tried it as a warm-up game at a local games club the other night and it was great in that context too. Piece o’ Cake deserves more love — and another print run!

    • September 22, 2014 at 11:21 pm

      Yes – another print run would be well received I am sure!
      It just occurred to me that if your shirt ever gets to the point of being tossed out, you should cut it up and play “piece o’ shirt”…it looks like you have enough patterns and colors to do so! 🙂

      For children learning money management and investing I want to re-theme this game something like this: “This pie represents all the $$ you have earned from various jobs (baby sitting, lawn mowing, etc). You can take that $$ now, or invest it for later. Be warned though – all investments are not guaranteed!”

  3. Rob
    September 23, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Hmm, Piece o’ Shirt… I think I could market that. I’ll cut you in on the royalties when it makes me a million.

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