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Sunday, December 8, 2019

Tanto Cuore: Winter Romance – Japanime Games – Review

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Tanto Cuore: Winter Romance - Japanime Games - Review 92
Joseph Summa
Joseph Summa has a degree in Engineering Physics from Rose-Hulman. He plays games for the competition and the community. His personal favorite type of games are deck-builders followed by worker placement games.

This marks the 10th anniversary of Tanto Cuore!  Check out kickstarter to find the 10th anniversary special edition of the game!

Joseph Summa

MeepleGamers

10/10
Tanto Cuore: Winter Romance - Japanime Games - Review 77

Theme and What is it?

8/10

Tanto Cuore is a deck-building game where players employ cute maids to serve them.  The player with the most valuable collection of healthy maids at the end of the game is the perfect master and wins the game.  Tanto Cuore means “Much Heart” in Italian.  The entire game uses heavy thematic elements to explain normal deck-building mechanics established with Dominion. 

Winter Romance is the ultimate (and final) expansion for Tanto Cuore.  It introduces some novel mechanics that will force a much heavier player interaction than normal to the game.  In keeping with the romance theme, Winter brings male butlers(the still count as maids mechanically) into the world of Tanto Cuore!

This marks the 10th anniversary of Tanto Cuore!  Check out kickstarter to find the 10th anniversary special edition of the game!   

Tanto Cuore: Winter Romance - Japanime Games - Review 78 Tanto Cuore: Winter Romance - Japanime Games - Review 79

Gameplay Mechanics

9/10

Players use their love points to employ new staff.  Only one new staff may be hired unless a current staff member has increased that limit.  Newly employed staff usually head to the kitchen entrance (discard pile).  The master of the house calls maids at his side (hand) to serve him during his turn.  Each player starts with one serving on a turn but some maids will generate extra servings to allow other maids to serve in the same turn.  

At the end of each turn, most cards return to the kitchen entrance and the master summons those in the waiting room (draw deck) to his side (hand).  If the waiting room is empty and the master needs to summon more to his side, all the staff in the kitchen entrance scramble to the waiting room in a jumble (shuffle) where they will enter in whatever order they ended up.  

Winter Romance introduces meetup cards.  Players purchase one of these events during one turn and can execute the attempt on a future turn.  With a meetup (or even more than one back to back) in front of them, the active player puts a maid or butler face down in front of them to approach another player.  The other player must then select the highest cost maid card in their hand (they pick in case of a tie in cost).  The cards are revealed and if there is a difference in cost the active player can discard love cards to bridge the gap if possible.  

When a successful meetup occurs, the active player flips the meetup over to its other side and puts it on top of the newly formed couple.  The player who lost a maid gains a friendship card (a glorified 1 love card with scoring benefits).  The couple an be attacked with a trial or protected with a chapel.

Tanto Cuore: Winter Romance - Japanime Games - Review 80

Initial Impressions

9/10

Winter Romance brings some drastically new mechanics to the Tanto Cuore world.  It looks like exploring these new mechanics while not getting overwhelmed by them and forgetting to actually build a good deck will be vital.  I haven’t been so excited for a Tanto game since reading about the Reminiscence mechanic.

Tanto Cuore: Winter Romance - Japanime Games - Review 81

Game Build Quality

10/10

The cards are of quality construction and the dividers for the sets of cards are well organized.  The dividers also have numbers on them for a reasonable sorting order (descending cost).  The box was designed with sleeves in mind so that a cardboard spacer makes the game fit as packaged.  By flipping the spacer vertically, thin sleeved cards will fit snugly.  And premium thick sleeves with solid backing will still fit in the box by removing the spacer entirely.  

This is a very courteous step Japanime Games has taken.  It ensures players will be able to use the provided materials effectively regardless of how they protect the game.  I wish every company took the time to make sure their components will remain useful in the real world.

Tanto Cuore: Winter Romance - Japanime Games - Review 82

Artistic Direction

9/10

As you would expect from Japanime Games, there is a HUGE anime theme to the art!  It looks straight out of a manga.  The maids are all intended to be in various cute clothing and poses.  Some of the art has more suggestive posturing or angles than others.  Winter Romance tends to have warm clothing and introduces a bunch of males.  I didn’t spot anything at all near the line.  

Tanto Cuore: Winter Romance - Japanime Games - Review 83

Fun Factor

10/10

Having one of your weaker cards stolen in a meetup only to immediately send a trial their way and end up with a stronger card from the ensuing breakup is quite enjoyable.  Watching your best card get swiped and then get married with the chapel card can be sad.  But at least you can send a blizzard their way.  Every important part of this set has a way to counter it.  Engaging with the drama deck can put some extra excitement into your plays if you include them.

Tanto Cuore: Winter Romance - Japanime Games - Review 84

Age Range & Weight

9/10

The rating is 13+.  Mechanically, players could learn deck-building games earlier than that.  Most of them have this same age range.  They have a barrier to entry getting used to the main mechanisms that are then very easy to swap between all the games within the genre.  Thematically, this game is worth parents considering if it is right for them.  Most people will not mind at all while some will find the theme offputting. 

While there are male and female characters, you don’t always get mixed group couples in a meetup.  This could be a potential thematic problem for some players or parents.  The artwork is really tame for the Tanto Cuore expansion arc.

Tanto Cuore: Winter Romance - Japanime Games - Review 85

Conclusions

10/10

Tanto Cuore is going right next to my other favorite deck-building games.  It will come out on the table regularly.  Having played all of them now I am mostly likely to use reminiscences, winter romance core mechanics, and whatever random market I would like from any of the sets.  Including the meetups and their related events and buildings will work in any game regardless of using any other cards from this set. 

This marks the 10th anniversary of Tanto Cuore!  Check out kickstarter to find the 10th anniversary special edition of the game!

 

Tanto Cuore: Winter Romance - Japanime Games - Review 86
Tanto Cuore: Winter Romance - Japanime Games - Review
Tanto Cuore: Winter Romance - Japanime Games - Review 90

Facebook Twitter Instagram This marks the 10th anniversary of Tanto Cuore!  Check out kickstarter to find the 10th anniversary special edition of the

Editor's Rating:
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