SNAP Review – Fika

At The Family Gamers, we love coffee. (We love coffee!)

In fact, we even have this cute little sign where we make our coffee in the mornings.

Sweden knows what’s up. This is an integral part of their culture, and they actually a special name for a break built into their day for coffee and cake with friends. It’s called Fika. Now, you can explore your own coffee break with friends in a game.

This is a SNAP review for Fika.


Fika, “The Clever Coffee Break”, is a game for two players by Pieter Van Gompel, published by Board Game Circus and 25th Century Games. The box says it’s best for ages 10 and up and it plays in about 20 minutes.


Let’s talk about the art in this game. (So nice!) Beth Sobel illustrated the cards and they’re wonderful.

The 18 main cards for the game are all delicious looking foods – and drinks! – and every one of them different.

Fika cards

But that’s not all – every part of this art evokes a cozy coffee shop: from the hands holding coffee around a table, to the little tip plates and even the cards representing the street that can be flipped to either a summer or winter side.

I also love the way the Group cards are represented, really showing that you have people around a table – there’s a bonus because there’s five sets of hands, and five people in our family. Perfect!


So what do we do with all these gorgeous cards? Let’s talk about the mechanics of Fika and how to play the game.

After setting up the central street, put the supply of cafe cards on one end and two cards representing “Groups” on the other. Each player draws a hand of six cards.

Choose an order for the three suits to break ties, then it’s time to pick a card and start playing.

Each player secretly picks a card from their hand, and both players reveal that card at the same time. Then, the player with the higher number places their card first, in one of the empty slots in their cafe. They may also use the immediate effect listed on the card, if they want to.

Then the other player places their card and uses its effect, if they want to. Use the order of those suits if both players pick the same number.

Each of the six numbers has its own effect, swapping cards around in different ways, exchanging with your opponent, moving the groups around, things like that.

Every card also has a scoring condition on it, such as two identical numbers placed side by side, or three cards of the same suit next to each other, or a 1 and a 6 on opposite ends of your cafe. If you fulfilled the pictured objective at the end of the round, you score the points for that card. And if there’s a group at that particular spot, you’ll either double or triple your points!

This is where the strategy in the game comes in – the same cards you’re using for moving cards and scoring define the scoring conditions that you’ll have when you’re done.

Once one player has five cards in their cafe, the other player has a last chance to play to fill their cafe – then it’s time to score.

Whoever has more points wins the round and takes a tip card. Set up for a new round. And when one player has two tip cards, the game is over!


So Anitra, what did we expect from Fika?

[Anitra] Everything about this game says “cozy coffee break”. The art is lovely, the way the cards fit in their places long the cafe makes sense. We were expecting a nice game for couples that was going to be lightly puzzle-y and not too competitive. Nice and friendly.

[Andrew] Anitra and I go on coffee dates every week, and I was super excited to have another game that we could break out when enjoying some special time with my honey.


[Anitra] But that’s not quite what we got. Let’s talk about our surprises.

Fika feels MEAN.

[Andrew] It does. The game is super mean. Some cards, like the number one, allow you to swap any card from any cafe (including your opponent’s!) with one from the general supply. There’s only seven numbers [editor’s note: only six numbers] in the game, you can’t hide your strategy all that easily.

[Anitra] Or a card like the six, which just swaps the position of two cards in any cafe. Or the two, which swaps your card with the card opposite on the opponent’s cafe.

[Andrew] I like the concepts here, and I like that it’s a quick, 15 minute game. But everything about this game told me to expect one thing (cute, cozy coffee stufff), and I got something completely different. And that disconnect really didn’t sit well with me, or with some of the other reviewers at The Family Gamers.

[Anitra] Retheming this to something like “The Conniving Coffee Game” or maybe even “Game of Thrones” – (although maybe that license is too expensive) – that would have put me in the right mindset to play this kind of game. But that’s not what we have here.

[Andrew] This is also the kind of game that’s going to drive a lot of kids nuts. If your kid struggles at all with losing – which is most kids, to be perfectly fair – this one, guaranteed, will result in some frustration.


[Anitra] So Andrew, do we recommend Fika?

[Andrew] Man, I really want to love this. I love it conceptually. I love the ideas and I love what’s going on. I super-love the game length. But the theme and the art are just not at all consistent with the mechanics. It’s a hard marketplace to be in, and these really need to work better together.

So I think we’re going to give Fika three crafty coffee connoisseurs out of five.

And that’s Fika, in a SNAP.

Fika card game

The Family Gamers received a copy of Fika from 25th Century Games for this review.

This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.

SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?

Fika: The Clever Coffee Break
  • Crafty Coffee Connoisseurs


Number of Players: 2
Age Range: 10+
Playtime: 20 minutes