Board Game Review:
Rating: 6.8 out of 10 stars
What I hope to accomplish with my board game reviews is to introduce you to a new game and help you determine whether the game is a good fit for you. I will consider and rank five criteria: gameplay, design, strategy, originality, and replayability.
Latte Throwdown was published in 2020 and is a dice rolling board game for 1-4 players. In this game, players are baristas using die rolls to perform latte art. The game is best for ages 8 and up, and the game is low in complexity.
Gameplay (6 out of 10 stars)
On each players turn, they take several actions. They roll their dice, including whatever surplus dice they have earned. Then they use the dice to try to match the numbers at the bottom of a latte card. If they can’t finish the set of numbers, they just place what they can and hope to roll the other numbers later. If they complete a latte card, they can take it and score the number indicated on the card. Or, instead of finishing a latte card, they can do any of several special actions using Barista cards. Then they return the dice used to complete a Barista or Latte card to their pool and the next player takes their turn.
Special actions include converting a die to a different number, turning in two matching die for a point, etc.
The first player to 20 points wins.
Design (9 out of 10 stars)
Design includes two categories: art and components.
The artwork in this game is attractive and makes me want to drink coffee. There’s not much more one could ask for!
The components are attractive and fit the game style. It was interesting to have the latte cards be circular, and since there are not too many, the weird shape does not make it too hard to shuffle easily. Most of the dice, excluding the surplus dice, are the colors of coffee.
Strategy (5 out of 10 stars)
There is a lot of luck involved in this game due to the amount of dice-rolling and the randomness of the shuffled Barista cards and circular Latte cards. Strategy is low, but still present if you analyze the probability of being able to finish the Latte cards before your opponents and use the Barista cards wisely.
Originality (8 out of 10 stars)
The concept of a game where the theme is baristas competing with latte art was extremely creative. This is not your average coffee-themed game. It stems from real consideration of the art of creating and serving lattes. The name of the board game comes from public gatherings where baristas show up their latte art skills.
Replayability (6 out of 10 stars)
Replayability is reasonable. This is the sort of game you can pull out from time to time, but not one that anyone would be likely to play more than once every couple of days. I personally do not play it often.
This game would be best for a group of amateur board games, those new to the hobby. Or it would be a good option to play as a warmup to a heavier game. It’s relatively simple and easy to learn, which is a plus.