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Robots Love Ice-cream Review

Battle robots with Weaponized ice cream

The chime of the bell brings back so many memories. The warm summer days as a kid, walking here with your grandfather for a special treat. The chime of the bell was like a countdown to the rich and creamy taste of mint with the choc chips. Just as you finish that thought, you are slapped back to reality with the shutter of glass. You turn to see a several large tubs of Ice-Cream float past you and out the broken window. You are confused, shocked and find yourself moving slowly towards the door and out into the street. As you peer up, you see the through the glare that Ice-Cream being plucked from the air. As your vision starts to clear you chuckle to yourself and say, ‘Who knew, Robots love Ice-Cream’

The goal of the game is to prevent the Spinston robots from getting away with the ice cream—you must save at least 10 of the 13 ice creams over the course of 5 rounds or everyone loses. If you succeed, the individual player who saved the most ice creams and sprinkletonium wins.

Set Up:

  • give each player an ice cream truck card, and then select the set of planet cards that match the number of players. The planet cards are numbered from 1 to 5, showing the order, you will use them. Shuffle the ice cream cards and deal 7 to each player, placing the deck within reach.
  • Shuffle the robots (not including the Spinston cards), and then arrange Spinston cards and randomly drawn robot cards to match the planet card. There will be some number of columns of robots, with Spinstons at the top. The 3 Spinston beam track cards are placed near the playing area, arranged to form the beam, and the bottom one is flipped over to show the man holding the ice cream. Then place one ice cream token per Spinston on the bottom beam track card.
  • Choose a player to go first and give them the start player card. Players will take turns one at a time, and then the robots will get a turn.

Gameplay:

During your turn, you first draw 2 ice cream cards and choose 1 to discard. (Starting at the 3rd planet, if you have no ice cream cards and no sprinkletonium, you may draw up to a hand of 7 cards.)

Then, you may fire ice cream weapons. You must play a matching set of ice cream cards (Brain Freeze cards are wild and match anything) equal to the robot’s health in order to destroy it, and you may only shoot at the bottom-most robot in any column. The destroyed robot is discarded, and you get sprinkletonium as shown on the robot card. If you destroy a Spinston, you also take an ice cream token from the beam track.

At the end of your turn, you may optionally spend 1 sprinkletonium to draw back up to 7 cards.

Once each player has taken a turn, the robot phase begins. The robots activate from left to right, row by row from bottom to top. Each robot has its own effect. Lil Chip moves to a new column, Pewboty causes everyone to lose sprinkletonium, and so on. Any Spinstons that are left at the top will pull ice cream tokens up one level. Flip over beam tracker cards to show the man being pulled up, and move any remaining ice cream tokens along the beam as well.

Each planet will last up to three rounds of play—if the Spinstons have not been destroyed by then, they will get away with some ice cream tokens, which are removed from the game.

After the planet is over, there’s a store/upgrade phase, where players get a chance to buy boost cards using sprinkletonium. There’s a market of 3 available cards—if you buy one, you replace it immediately, and you may spend as much of your sprinkletonium as you wish. You may also spend 1 sprinkletonium to refresh the market. Some boost cards are truck upgrades: typically, you can have up to 2 upgrades loaded on your truck for any given planet, and you can swap them out between planets. There are also game effect cards which have various abilities—some are discarded after use.

The player with the least sprinkletonium gets to purchase first. Once everyone has had a chance to make purchases, pass the first player card, and set up the next planet.

Winning:

After the end of 5 planets, check if the whole group saved at least 10 ice cream. If so, you win—and the player with the most ice cream and sprinkletonium wins: ice cream is worth 2 VP each, and sprinkletonium is worth 1 VP each. Ties go to the player with the most ice cream.

There are variant rules included for solo play, as well as challenge variants to make the game easier or harder.

Robots love Ice-cream is one of the cutest, fun family game I have played in a long-time. The art it colourful, bright and the robots adorably cute and though they are trying to steal the worlds Ice-Cream you can’t help having a favourite. Mine is Pewboty, which is a blue and green robot with an almost melancholy look on its face. I think I like it because it reminds me of Marvin from the Hitchhiker’s Guide.

Over the years I’ve heard of numerous board games become apps, but this is the first time I have heard of an app becoming a board game.  Normally it is a lot easier to create and test the mechanic of a board game than an app. Not to mention the massive amount out coding. I thought of all the apps on my phone and couldn’t think of one that could quite possible be reversed engineered to make a good board game.

I downloaded the app to play before I played the game, as movie made from a book I should try the original media. The app is so adorable and fun but I feel isn’t as good as the board game. Sorry Dev team, your hard work has made a great app but I like cardboard better.

I have played this game more than I normally would for a review. This is mainly due to the name and art. People see Robots love Ice-Cream and kind of go, What the…. Then pick up the box and it is on the table. What I enjoy so much about this game is the theme works with the game. I’ve played games in the past where the theme is awesome but has very like impact or doesn’t seem to go with the game itself. Robots love Ice-Cream just works, I couldn’t imagine another it working with another theme.

The art on this game is so cool and reminds me so much of a kids cartoon. The truth is, I would love a Robots Love Ice-Cream colouring book and lunch box. The personality put into each robot is handled with so much care, they leap off the cards. Sometimes I found myself wanting to let them get the Ice-Cream, especially Pewboty. As they want it so bad; they probably don’t have anything like that on their world and want the enjoyment of it. So the game aspect of this game makes you want to win, but the art is so stunning and the characters have so much personality that you don’t mind losing….. sometimes anyway.

Overall, Robots Love Ice-Cream was a massive hit with everyone I played it with, from kids to adults a like. This is a family game that has enough depth for even a more seasoned gaming group to enjoy.

If you would like to get a copy of Robots Love Ice-cream you can get one from your Friendly Local Game Store or from Amazon

PS- I’m thinking of starting a petition to get 25th Century to make this into a TV Series. I love these Robots that much!

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Derek 'Dez' Maggs

Board Game & Tech Reviewer / Podcast Host of Rapid Reviews on the Boomer Radio Network / Assistant Producer of Creaytors Series on YouTube / Coffee & Hug Addict

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