At the Cafe 7 - Just One Feature

At the Café #7: We Playthrough Just One, Dixit, Wavelength and Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza  

Welcome to our seventh edition of At the Café. In this series we share our playthroughs and experiences of games we try at our local board game café. You will hear about our first impressions on games and hopefully get an insight into whether they are worth trying for your family.

In this edition we all (our daughters 8 and 11, teen son, wife, and I) share our playthroughs and thoughts on Just One, Dixit, Wavelength and Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza. We tried all of these at a recent trip to the café, one had us laughing out loud and we bought it a few days later. Read on to find out which one.

What You Will Find in this Playthrough Article

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Just One Playthrough and Thoughts

Play Time:  20 Min / Players: 3-7  / Complexity: Low / Age:  8+  / Publisher: Repos Productions / Designer:  Ludovic Roudy, Bruno Sautter

At the Cafe 7 - Just One Box

Game Overview

For our first game, I thought we would start with something super simple, quick and collaborative to get us going. Just One sprung to mind. I played it a few times before and it was a lot of fun.

In Just One all players are working together. Each round one player is the active player and places a card facing towards everyone else without looking at it. They call out a number from 1-5 to determine which word they will have to guess.

All the other players will write clues on their personal boards in secret. Once everyone has written down their clue, the active player closes their eyes, and all the clues are revealed to remove any that are not allowed. Illegal clues include any that are duplicates, have the word written in a foreign language, or written differently to sound the same, or are even in the same family (for example Princess and Prince).

Once illegal clues are removed the active player opens their eyes. They then attempt to guess the word based on the clues in front of them. A correct guess earns a point an incorrect guess earns no points but also requires one of the cards from the player deck to be discarded reducing your scoring potential. There are only 13 cards used in each game, so each incorrect guess makes a difference.

How it went…

At the Cafe 7 - Just One In Play

We decided to play a little differently given we were learning, so instead of 13 cards we made a deck of 15 so that each of us could get the same number of turns as the guesser. We also decided not to penalise ourselves for a wrong answer in our first game by discarding one card in the deck, instead we just kept track of how many we got right out of the 15 cards.

Our first guesser was my son and the word we had to give him clues on was firefighter. After a little thought we were ready to share our clues and so my son closed his eyes while we revealed them. Turned out my oldest daughter and I were on the same page and used ‘firehose’ which we had to remove as a duplicate, I think it may have been illegal anyway as it had the term ‘fire’ in it. Not sure. So, it was down to my wife and younger daughter to carry the team, their two clues turned out to be very good, ‘burn’ and ‘extinguish’. My son thought pretty long and hard about this one. In fact, the girls were getting a little impatient by the time he was ready to guess. Unfortunately, he guessed ‘flame’ setting us off on a rocky start.

At this point I checked in to see if everyone was keen to continue or if the game just wasn’t for them. Everyone was unanimous, they wanted another crack, so we kept going. Turns continued like this with each of us taking a turn guessing and then passing on to the next player.

There were plenty of high fives for successful guesses, encouragement of ‘good clue’ for particularly clever clues and groans as we eliminated duplicates. Truth be told we were getting pretty animated during the game.

As the game progressed, we were also getting smarter about trying to avoid clues that we thought would be common and therefore likely to be eliminated as duplicates. Although we weren’t always successful, Tomato had two ‘sauce’ clues that were eliminated, and Penguin had two ‘cold’ clues that were eliminated.

Overall, we did pretty well for our first game, we managed 9 correct out of 15. Well, we could claim 9 and a half really as one word we managed to get partially correct. More importantly we all had a blast.

It was a great way to start our afternoon with a collaborative, light-hearted game where we were all able to get involved. Everyone in the family really seemed to get into it, and it was great to see the kids celebrate correct answers and congratulate each other for good guesses.

What we thought…

Kid’s perspective

Both my daughters really enjoyed Just One. It was simple, quick and easy to get into. Importantly, it was easy for my youngest daughter to participate fully. The only thing we adjusted was that when the guesser selected a number to indicate the word, we would check in to make sure everyone knew what the word was, if anyone didn’t, we picked a different word. It really wasn’t a hard adjustment to make.

Teen perspective

My son also enjoyed Just One. He really put a lot of thought into his clues to make them a little out of left field but still related to the word to minimise the risk of duplicates. He would happily play again.

Parent’s perspective

My wife and I enjoyed Just One as well. Quick, fun and plenty of interaction. Anything that gets the kids working together constructively and having fun is likely to be a hit with us too.

Hit or Miss?  5 Hits

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Dixit Playthrough and Thoughts

Play Time:  30 Min / Players: 3-8  / Complexity: Low / Age:  8+  / Publisher: Libellud / Designer: Jean-Louis Robira

At the Cafe 7 - Dixit Box

Game Overview

For our next game, I thought we were ready for something a little more involved. I had heard about Dixit before and been meaning to try it, so I thought this was a good opportunity.

In Dixit players will take turns selecting a card from their hand and then providing clues to their opponents about what the picture on the card is. The clues need to be carefully considered because the active player will only get points if one or more of their opponents guesses the card correctly, but not all opponents. If they are successful, they will gain 3 points along with any other player who guessed their image correctly.

It is a very delicate balancing act. Make your clue too challenging and no one will guess your card, leaving you with no points and your opponents with 2 points each. Make it too obvious and everyone will guess it correctly, again leaving you with no points and your opponents with 2 points each.

All the non-active players will get to select a card that will get shuffled in with the active player’s card. The cards are then all placed face up next to one of the numbered spots on the board and each player will pick which card they believe is the active player’s card.

If players mistakenly pick a non-active player’s card, then that player receives a point for each person that picked their card.

How it went…

At the Cafe 7 - Dixit In Play

Dixit took us a little while to get to grips with. The challenge is that the clues you give need to be enough for some people to get the correct card but not everyone. That is a fine balance and I suspect takes a bit of practice to get good at.

My youngest daughter really struggled with the concept and her clues were far too specific making them easy to guess. My son put a lot of thought into his clues and did well.

The other factor seemed to be the luck of the card draw. If you happened to have a card that matched the clue well you had a good chance at some points for stray guesses if you weren’t the active player, if not you would have to play a throw away card essentially.

My youngest daughter and I were in the lead for most of the game, while she did poorly for points when she was the active player, she was able to pick up a fair number of points as the non-active player with some well-played cards. I also managed to do quite well with some relevant cards in hand at the right times.

The field tightened considerably near the end with all of us within 5 points of each other. The last round ended in a win for me. As the non-active player, I managed to play a card which was a pretty close match to the active player’s clue, ‘knights’. I ended up guessing their card correctly and having the other three guesses placed on my card. I got 3 points for my correct guess and another 3 for the rest of the guesses falling on my card. This was enough to just get me across the 30-point mark and get the win.

What we thought…

Kid’s perspective

Both my daughters hung in there for the whole game and had an ok time but weren’t mad about this game. I think they struggled a bit with the luck of the card draw as the non-active player and with the balancing act of giving a well-pitched clue as the active player.

Teen perspective

My son got to grips with Dixit fairly quickly and so played confidently but got a little frustrated that others in our family weren’t as quick on the uptake as he was. This made the game a little unsatisfying for him. He does think there is a lot of potential for Dixit to be a fun game but thinks it needs a few more plays and is likely better with more experienced players.

Parent’s perspective

My wife didn’t really like Dixit and I am a bit undecided on this one. She wouldn’t play again, I would like to play a few more times before I make up my mind.

Hit or Miss?  1 Miss, 4 Undecided

Wavelength Playthrough and Thoughts

Play Time: 30-45 Min / Players: 2-12  / Complexity: Low / Age: 14+    / Publisher: Palm Court / Designer:  Alex Hague, Justin Vickers, Wolfgang Warsch

At the Cafe 7 - Wavelength Box

Game Overview

Sticking with the theme of guessing games I grabbed Wavelength and headed back to the table. By this point some fries and drinks arrived so we took a quick break to refuel.

When we were ready, my wife got to work reviewing the rule book and teaching us how to play. In Wavelength you split into teams and your goal is to earn as many points as possible by guessing where a hidden dial is between two extreme points on a wheel.

Teams take turns with the active team nominating a player to spin the wheel secretly, see where the dial stops and then provide a clue to their team. The clues are all based on two extreme statements on a card that is drawn. For example, the statements on the card may say something like Legal on the left and Illegal on the right. If the dial happens to be on the far right, you might say something like burglary to indicate that the dial is closer to the illegal side than the legal side.

Your team mates then guess where the dial may be. The opposing team gets to critique your guess by stating whether they believe the guess is too far one way or the other. If you get close to the dial you can get 2,3 or 4 points depending on how close to the dial the guess is. The opposing team gets 1 point if their assertion was correct. The game ends when a team reaches 10 points and the team with the highest number of points wins.

How it went…

At the Cafe 7 - Wavelength in Play

This one took a bit for us to get into a rhythm, we decided not to track points on this as we were just learning. My son and I made up one team and my wife and daughters made up the second team.

We had a few rounds going back and forth, some cards seemed easier to work with than others. Cards like legal and not legal resulted in my son saying smoking as a clue, which was a pretty good clue, it led me to move past the middle mark towards illegal but not too far as although smoking has rules and constraints around it, it isn’t totally illegal. We managed to score 2 points on that one as I guessed close enough to the dial.

Other cards seemed really challenging or maybe it was just us, hard to sit on vs easy to sit on seemed a challenging proposition given the dial was near the middle. The clue used was a medium sized wall, and my son didn’t figure that one out.

My wife’s team was having an equally sporadic time of it, with some cards seeming easy to work with given where the dial landed and others seeming very challenging.

There is some skill in thinking of just the right clue that will give your team mates the right idea. But for us it seemed like some dial and card combinations were easier while others were very difficult. Often, we would be able to get a general indication of where the dial was, but we would be just a little bit off. At those times it just seemed a little random as to whether you would get the points or not.

What we thought…

Kid’s perspective

My daughters weren’t really that enthused about this game, it didn’t really seem like there was enough here to hold their attention.

Teen perspective

My son found the game got a little repetitive and the results seemed to be a little random. Not really a game he is keen to try again.

Parent’s perspective

My wife and I didn’t enjoy this one. Like our son, we found it a little repetitive and random.

Hit or Miss?   5 Misses

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza Playthrough and Thoughts

Play Time:  10-30 Min / Players: 2-8  / Complexity: Low / Age:  8+   / Publisher: Blue Orange Games / Designer:  Dave Campbell

At the Cafe 7 - Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza Box

Game Overview

After three guessing games in a row, we thought we would look for something a little light-hearted and quick to play. My oldest daughter mentioned Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza which she has played at school a few times. We all agreed and once we found it, she set to work teaching us how to play.

In short, this game takes snap and adds some bells and whistles that add hand actions and a series of weird words to recite as you play.

To begin 12 cards are dealt to each player. Each player will then place a card from their deck face up in the middle of the table. As players are placing their cards, they will recite one of the following words, Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza. They are said in order, so you must pay attention to the word recited by the previous player.

If the word said matches the card they played in the middle, then all players must race to slap their hands on the card like snap. The last player to slap their hands on the card takes the pile of cards and places them in their deck. Play then moves to the next player and they recite the next word in order. The goal is to be the first person to get rid of your cards.

The twist is that there are other cards that require players to perform an action and then race to place their hands on the centre pile:

  • The gorilla requires everyone to beat their chest and then race to place their hands on the centre pile
  • The groundhog requires players to knock on the table before they slap the centre pile
  • The Narwhal requires players to slap their hands together over their heads to form a horn before they slap the card pile. This one is particularly amusing to watch.

How it went…

At the Cafe 7 - Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza In Play

It took us just a few minutes to learn how to play and then we got to work playing cards, reciting a crazy list of words, and slapping the table so hard our hands went red.

As the game progressed, we found ourselves laughing loudly at the mistakes we made and the crazy hand actions. We kept confusing the actions for the gorilla and groundhog, it must have looked hilarious to other people as some of us wrapped our knuckles on the table and others beat our chests like King Kong.

We would all burst out laughing when the hand actions went awry, and someone ended up starting one and transitioning to the other too late.

My wife really struggled with the Narwhal for some reason and copped a bit of grief from the rest of us. I simply didn’t have the speed of reflexes needed to be competitive.

My oldest daughter has played this before at school and won every game, she was far too quick for the rest of us. In the end she sat out so that someone else could win and my son won that game.

For a game that is really just a tweak on snap, I didn’t think we would all enjoy it. But there is something about it that generates a lot of laughs and in the end we all came away having had a lot of fun.

What we thought…

Kid’s perspective

Both my daughters loved this game. They laughed a lot, and it gave them a good opportunity to poke fun at their parents, so we’ll call that a win for them.

Teen perspective

My son really enjoyed this one too, I didn’t think he would, given there’s no real strategy here, but he had a lot of fun.

Parent’s perspective

My wife and I enjoyed this too. For me the thing I enjoyed the most is having a laugh together, there isn’t anything compelling here from a strategy perspective, but sometimes you just need a good laugh. My wife liked this game so much, she bought a copy for us a couple of days later.

Hit or Miss?   5 Hits

Since writing this article we have published a full Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza review, check it out if you want a more in depth perspective.

Once we had finished with Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, we had a few minutes left so we thought we would maintain our tradition and finish with a game of Telestrations to keep the laughs going. It didn’t disappoint. If you haven’t tried it before check out our full Telestrations review.

We hope you enjoyed our latest At the Café article and are keen to hear from you if you have comments or questions, please feel free to post below in the comments section or get in touch through our contact page.

About the Authors

We are parents who love board gaming. We have three children and have been enjoying board games as a family ever since we had our first child. We share our real unbiased experiences and opinions on board games so you can decide if they are right for your family. We also write guides and articles to help you get the most out of your family game time. 

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