I dominated at this game. The game is meant to be aggressive and fast. That is how I played and because of it, I won.
Theme and What is it?
Deal Maker is a game of wild negotiations and cunning interactions. Trade, exchange, and make the best deals possible.
The goal of the game is very simplistic. You need to get the most points from Deal Tiles which can be obtained by collecting sets of cards (resources) that are listed on the tile. There are six different resources and they have a hierarchy.
The play is all simultaneous. Players start with three cards in hand. Then players trade cards around, similar to Catan style except that all players are doing this at the same time instead of turn based.
When a player wishes to Make a Deal (turn in cards for a tile), they shout “Deal” and grab the DealMaker. Then, all trades are paused. They discard their cards and take the Deal Tile.
Most of the Deal Tiles request so many resources of a certain type. To make a deal, players turn in three of that exact type, OR they may turn in resource cards that are higher in value as a substitute OR three of a lower value. For example: Diamond is the highest value in the hierarchy followed by gold. For gold, a player could simply turn in gold OR a diamond since it is a higher value OR three of another resource lower than gold.
And really, that is it. There are some other little small mechanics that can be a surprise if you play. Players continue making trades and deals until the entire deck of resources is out. Then, everyone has one more chance to make one deal.
Honestly, I was not looking forward to this one. It did not look like something my group would enjoy. My group needs more thought provoking games.
Game Build Quality
The game is a slender box that has skinny cards and the deal tiles are the width of the box. It is very portable!
The DealMaker is a thick, wooden meeple token. It is double-sided and has a sticker for a man and a woman.
Art is very simple. It did not reach out and grab me. The different resources chosen are kinda strange. Here is their hierarchy:
The carpets I found strangely illustrated. It kinda looked like an odd comb.
None the less, beauty is in the beholder’s eye.
I have completely mixed feelings. Personally, I had a lot of fun. My initial impressions were spot on but also incorrect for myself. I dominated at this game. The game is meant to be aggressive and fast. That is how I played and because of it, I won.
However, I was absolutely correct when I said that my group would not like this one. I think one player was “okay” with it because it did not last long.
It completely upset the other player when I made a deal and then resumed the game and then immediately made another deal because what I drew was what I needed. I was not even grabbing the tile he wanted so it should not have mattered. But, that is just how he is and nothing will change that.
Of course, there are two sides to this story and a small argument ensued on whether I was “hovering” the DealMaker. I won’t go into those details but beware if you think this same thing would occur with your players!
Age Range & Weight
The age suggestion is 8+. I think this is perfect. The game is basically set collection with a slightly different twist. Younger audiences will have fun with the speed of the game.
As I mentioned above, I have mixed feelings. I enjoyed this one but my group really didn’t. The game is meant to be played FAST and with constant talking. I played this with two other players so I am sure it would have been even more chaotic with up to 5 players. However, that is the fun of this game and what it means to accomplish.
If your group includes sore losers and those that don’t play well with speed, this is NOT for you. If you are just looking for a good, fast-paced game, then pick this one up.
Personally, I try to promote a positive environment so I will not play this one again with my group but I think some of my family members will enjoy it. So, I will try it again with them.
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