Puppy Love - a phrase that can mean a few different things, from a budding romance, to platonic love, to literal love between cute little dogs. When I first read the back of the box description of this one, I will admit, I was a tad skeptical. By a tad, of course, I mean very, because it seemed like a weird concept and also a game I wouldn't be very fond of (not always huge on the abstract genre). However, a Barnes and Noble sale combined with that ever-pleasant 10% Membership discount convinced us to pick this one up, and actually, despite a few reservations I may still have about it, it's pretty good!
The game is pretty simple in concept. Players take turns moving their dogs trying to position them to lick another dog, sniff/be sniffed by another dog, or pee on the fire hydrant in the center of the board in order to score 3, 2, 0r 1 point respectively. Movement is made by placing the back legs where the front legs previously were (without being able to turn completely around). Though simple, I'll admit that it took me a few minutes to really get the hang of the movement - mostly because there's actually a lot of planning involved with each move!
You only move a little bit at a time, so you do want to be able to set yourself up to get in a scoring position, BUT you don't want to leave your opponent the ability to get into scoring position on their turn at the same time. Usually, the abstract thought process and planning ahead mechanic frustrates me because I'm not very good at it (ergo, my finance is much better at it), but this wasn't too bad. Once I got a better handle on the movement and understood exactly how I needed to be positioned to score, it was pretty fun!
Despite it's fairly fun end result, I have to admit that I was a little hesitant to play at first. I thought it was such a strange theme and I wasn't sure how it would translate to a game, and if it would actually be fun or just too silly to have any substance. But no, it was really well thought out and ended up a really good game to add to the collection. As far as abstract games go, I'll still pick up Santorini first, but this is definitely up there as well! If you have the chance to try it or pick it up, I recommend it for abstract gamers!
Happy Gaming, everyone!~