Mardi Gras is in full swing in New Orleans, and the street performance competition is fierce! Do you think you have what it takes to make it BIG in the Big Easy? Learn and perform the best songs you can to captivate the crowds, match their moods, and earn more tips than the other musicians. Perform well enough, and you may just be crowned the queen or king of the Buskers!
What Is It?
An area control game for 1-5 where players are street musicians trying to please the crowds, earn tips, and make it big in New Orleans. Players can play songs for crowds, and if they’re able to match the crowd’s mood, they’ll have the option of gaining extra tips, or conserving some of their energy for future performances. Players can also learn new songs (some with double or wild moods) to help them be better performers. There are standard songs available as well that can give players a leg up with a special ability! Players will earn tips at the end of each round for hitting crowd thresholds and for giving the most energy to a certain crowd. After 3 rounds, the player with the most tips wins!
Who Is It For?
- Ages 8+
- Fans of area control
- Players who like light strategy
- Fans of bright colors and strong theme
Components + Quality
Cards (Player/Crowd/Song/Robot) – All pretty average quality. The iconography and text are all very clear, so they’re easy to read / don’t raise any questions.
Energy Tokens – Very typical small, wooden tokens, no issues, and very distinct player colors.
Cardboard Tokens (Money/Mood/Standard) – Average quality cardboard. All the icons of the moods are distinct. The money comes in different colors and sizes, which is a small details I always appreciate.
Art – Love the art in this. It’s simple but fits the theme well and the vibrant colors really give this one a great table presence.
Rules – Well written, easy to learn from. The solo rules are a little bit vague though, about the Robots you play against, so I wish there had been a bit more detail or examples to aid in a solo game.
Box – Again, the art and bright colors are super enticing. The box is also a great size for what’s in it; not too big and not too tight.
Variants + Extras
Mardi Gras – More ability cards are available (3 instead of 1). I definitely prefer this, and think it’s a great choice if you’re already an avid gamer. Adds a bit more strategy to the game and makes it more interesting because the first player each round can’t just grab the only ability card for a cheaper cost.
Solo – In the solo game you play against 1 of 3 robots who play in accordance with mood, threshold, or following your lead. There are also 5 levels of difficulty to choose from, so there’s a bunch of variability there. It can be tricky because the robot always goes first and luck of the draw for its’ deck can put you into tight spots. It’s an okay solo game overall, but I find the multi-player more enjoyable, personally.
Playlist – The rules include a link for a Spotify playlist to use while playing to really add to the theme! I think that’s a super neat and unique addition to the game, and really shows attention to detail.
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Unique theme
- Easy to learn / play
- Turns are pretty quick
- Randomness of the standard songs, crowd cards, and mood tokens make each game a little different
- Neat that you can choose to save energy or spend it all if you match the mood
- It’s odd to me that the 1st player each round is the one with most money. It makes is so they can’t react as much to other players, but it also gives them first choice at song cards, or standard song abilities, which seems off
- While the game set up changes a little every time (not sure which crowds/moods/etc will come out) the game itself doesn’t vary much, so you’ll get a feel for everything it has to offer from the first few plays
Overall, I thought this was a neat game. It’s a theme I haven’t seen before, and I think that it works pretty well with the mechanics. Between spending energy on your band members to play songs, to spending your tips to get more energy for your band members, it all flows nicely!
I think it can be easy for players to fall into the same habits game to game (for instance, start by eating up some song cards, then move into playing them, or always go for ability cards first), but that can also vary depending on which cards come out in a round.
If you like colorful games with strong themes, and area control, this definitely might be one for you to check out!
My Final Ratings:
Overall Game – 6/10
Replay Value – 6/10
Difficulty – 4/10
Aesthetics – 8/10
*I was provided a copy of this game to do this review*
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