SNAP Review – Kim-Joy’s Magic Bakery!
Do you remember Kim-Joy? She was one of the contestants a few years ago on The Great British Bake Off and made it to the finals.
Well, in the final episode of that season, we learned some interesting things about Kim-Joy. We knew she was adorable, but we also learned she likes board games, which is awesome. And, she describes herself as whimsical.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, Kim-Joy has joined forces with Skybound Games to make a wonderful, whimsical, bakery themed card game!
This is a SNAP review for Kim-Joy’s Magic Bakery. Kim-Joy’s Magic Bakery is a cooperative baking game where you’re working to gather ingredients to create layers to serve your customers the baked goods they’re looking for. The game is suitable for ages 8 and up, for 2-5 players and it takes maybe 15-30 minutes to play.
Everything from the Helpful Ducks, to the sheep ordering the almond & chocolate torte, or even the dragon ordering crumpets – they’re all delightful and they’re all adorable.
Even the ingredients like the fruit and the icing are illustrated similarly.
Players start with a hand of three Ingredient cards. On the table you’ll have a mix of customer cards (that change by player count), the layer cards that you can bake while you support the bakery, and five more Ingredient cards laid face-up.
In a round, each player takes a turn, where they have either two or three actions (depending on player count). For an action you can take an ingredient, discard ingredients to make a layer (eggs, butter, sugar, and flour to make Sponge, for example), discard a mix of Layer and Ingredient cards to serve a customer the baked good they’re looking for, you can give cards to other players (remember, this is cooperative), or spend an action to refresh the pantry, which discards all the face-up Ingredient cards and puts new ones out. (Because customers want chocolate, and there’s no chocolate in the pantry! So we need a new pantry – got to find it somewhere!)
Once everyone takes a turn, the customers move along, browsing the wares of the bakery. You can’t fit more than three customers in your whimsical forest store, so if a fourth one would come in, the customer who has been there the longest leaves. You don’t want them to leave empty handed! Make sure they get the baked treat they’re looking for!
You’re always working together, so make sure to hand cards to the right players to get the customers their treats!
The actual game takes place over a ten scenario campaign. These scenarios have special twists and turns to the main game, and some really adorable narration in the rulebook. These scenarios do get harder as you go along, so thankfully, Skybound has included some extra Helpful Ducks, which are wild ingredients. You can add those to the deck if you can’t quite manage to beat a scenario.
There’s nothing destructible about this game, so you can play it over and over again, to try to get a better score. Or even mix up the scenarios and play them in a different order.
Bakers! Ready – set – BAKE!
What did we expect from Kim-Joy’s Magic Bakery?
The subject matter is adorable and silly – and whimsical like it’s supposed to be.
It says cooperative baking card game on the front, so I knew that was going to be part of the adventure as well. I suspected we’d be working together to make different parts of a final baking project, and that’s kind of what we got.
We’ve played games like Overcooked on video game consoles, so I thought it might be a board game version of something like that, where you’re racing the clock to try to put your final dishes together.
I think my biggest surprise was the campaign. The simple rules of the game lay out a basic order of play and the quick reference on the back sets you up for a single play through, but the campaign really adds a lot of flavor to the game. Who can complain when an adorable tuxedo cat comes into the bakery?
Anyway, I really enjoyed the narrative element to the campaign scenarios. They add just a little bit of an extra twist to each game we play.
Kim-Joy is a really fun, laid back, strategic cooperative game. After the first few scenarios it can get pretty tough to manage the highest tier of stars (depending on how many customers you satisfy, you get a star rating), but it never felt overwhelming. It’s also just wonderful how nice it is to collaborate here. Sharing the glory is easy, because the game truly is cooperative.
Much like the title persona of Kim-Joy herself, this is a fun and happy game. Its well suited to the 8+ on the box, because reading is helpful but not critical.
If you add more players, you’ll find two things. First, only two actions per turn makes it really hard for a single person to feel like they’re accomplishing anything. You’ll really be relying on setting other people up to execute the team’s plan. Second, even though the actions drop from three per player to two at higher player counts, the game can stretch a little long for the younger ages if they’re waiting for four other people to go until it gets back to their turn.
But as long as we manage that expectation, we really are enjoying this game. I’m looking forward to seeing how the plot unfolds in the last few scenarios.
So what are we going to rate Kim-Joy’s Magic Bakery from Skybound Games?
I think we’ll give it four star bakes out of five.
And that’s Kim-Joy’s Magic Bakery… In a snap!
The Family Gamers received a copy of Kim-Joy’s Magic Bakery from Skybound 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?
Kim-Joy's Magic Bakery
Number of Players: 2-5
Age Range: 8+
Playtime: 15-30 minutes