Monday, March 13, 2023

Convenience versus quality

Have mixed feelings about Potato Tomato Carrot. On the one hand, I know it’s a bland little game that doesn’t do anything new. On the other hand, I found it terribly convenient.

Potato Tomato Carrot is a print and play solitaire game that I downloaded for free from PnP Arcade. The whole thing is nineteen tiles, including three marker tiles and a tile serving a score track, and fits on one piece of paper.

Fifteen of the tiles are what you actually play the game with. Each one has one to three symbols on it (potatoes, tomatoes and carrots, naturally) and they are divided with diagonal lines so every edge clearly belongs to a specific produce.

Draw a tile, place it so it matches edges. Get a point for each edge that  matches. So far, nothing remotely new in the world of tile-laying games.

The twist is the market tiles. Randomly draw one at the start. Then, when you reach ten points, you reveal the other two. The order you reveal them will determine endgame scoring. You score the largest group of each produce. One, two or three points per symbol depending on when you reveal the market cards.

So we’re not talking about that much of a twist. And the decisions aren’t that tough to make. And, frankly, I’ve found that your end scores don’t have that wide spread. Potato Tomato Carrot doesn’t bring a lot to the table.

With all that said, I do churn through a lot of tiny micro solitaire games. Potato Tomato Carrot took no effort to dash off. And it has come in handy as a lunch game when I only have ten minutes to eat lunch. There’s almost nothing to it but I’m getting some mileage out of it.

But, if you only want to make only one one-sheet tile game, go for Micropul from 2004. It is nearly twenty years old and it holds up amazingly well. It’s got hand management on top of interesting tile-laying decisions and will support two-players as well as solitaire. Micropul is great.

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