The UK government recommends you having “five-a-day”. That’s five portions of fruit or veg every day. This is sometimes tough for me. On those days when I am not reaching my quota, I go to my Kallax and get Point Salad off the shelf. I haven’t checked with the World Health Organisation, but I am pretty sure playing this card game counts towards my target!
This card game also counts towards my quota for annual brain burn… but more about that to come. Welcome to the review of Point Salad…
The number of cards you play with varies depending on player count. Sorting this is the only arduous admin in the game. It’s not fun, but equally you can’t grumble too much! To appease the card counting set up police, this variety of cards allows for an assortment of options when replaying the game as you don’t always play with the same cards.
Divide the cards into three roughly similar draw piles with scoring objectives face up. Turn over the top two cards to their salad side to create a common pool to draft from.
Perhaps with a name like Point Salad it will not come as a surprise to hear that you win the game by gaining the most points from your salad cards.
On your turn you will either claim one scoring objective card or, claim two face up salad cards.
Point scoring varies, but typically in a game, there is points for having the most or least of one type of card, certain pairs of cards, groups of cards and some cards that give a few points for one type and negative points for others. Almost every card you draw will affect your score.
Once per turn you have the option of flipping a scoring objective card you have collected over to its opposite side. However, you can never turn a salad card over to its reverse.
Play continues until all cards have been drafted, replenishing the pool when required. If the draw decks get depleted you split one of the others in two.
At the end each player tallies their scores.
What it’s like
For those not in the know, the definition of ‘point salad scoring’ among board game hobbyists, is to pretty much score points regardless of your actions. Point Salad is a pretty good example. Every scoring objective influences your set collection and thereby your score. You are always making decisions and planning your strategy, but pretty much whatever cards you take, your points will go up.
That’s not to say there is no strategy, because there is. However, your strategy will change from game-to-game depending on the cards available and what salad items you score. One game you might be gathering more tomatoes than Heinz for their ketchup, the next you might be building a mixed salad bag by having a spread of different cards.
Play moves around fairly quickly. It is difficult to plan for your turn at higher player counts as cards can get whisked away from beneath your nose quite regularly. That can lead to a small delay between turns. It’s never too long to wait though so don’t let that deter you too much unless you play with a group that majorly suffers with analysis paralysis even with a light strategy game!
Scoring at the end may deter some people, but I have been amazed at my kids ability to not only fathom the gameplay but tally their points at the end. They play competitively and often chalk up a well-earned victory. There is a very good case to be made, that this game is educational. It certainly improves basic maths skills! Don’t tell the kids that though!
So there is a deck of 108 cards in the box and a rulebook. Oh and plenty of air… so much so, the box would hold another 108 cards quite comfortably. Regular readers of my reviews will know this is a bugbear of mine. Not only does it take up unnecessary room on my severely-lacking-in-space board game shelves, but also shipping air around the world is not particularly environmentally friendly. Once upon a time, I understood the perceived value of a bigger box, but in the days of internet shopping, the size of the box is irrelevant!
On a positive note however, it is still a smaller size box. Perhaps an expansion, Point Fruit Salad, is coming which will be in Eco packaging to be stored in the base game. Who knows!
The cards themselves are really nice quality. The scoring cards could perhaps be better looking. In contrast, I love the salad cards with their bright and colourful designs.
What the kids thought
Max (7): I’ve played it lots of times. It’s really fun! I really like the colourful fruit and veg cards. It’s quite long for me. It’s not too hard and it’s not too easy either.
George (11): ): I enjoy it, I like how the scoring cards give you something to aim for when collecting fruit and veg. It’s nice and simple and I like that about it. It looks good all laid out on the table, but I would say I would like more detail on the cards.
Harrison (14): Point Salad is one of my favourite card games. I enjoy the light strategy and I’m good at it. I regularly win which means I like it more.
Final thoughts on Point Salad
Just like salad on a dinner plate, this is unlikely to be the main event at the table. It doesn’t come with a Caesar sauce or a bowl full of buttery new potatoes. Equally though it is a nice accompaniment to other things. As a light starter, or something in between, Point Salad is a really nice dish to be served!
Point Salad is a game that I am pleased I own. It regularly gets pulled to the table with the family when we want to play a quicker game. For me, it is nice to play a game that my boys are competitive at, that also entertains me and my friends too. It keeps all our interest throughout the game and we enjoy playing it together.
Number of players: 2 to 6
Board Game Review Recommended Age: 7+
Publisher’s Recommended Age: 8+
Playing Time: 20 minutes
Setting Up and Take Down Time: 3 minutes
Designers: Molly Johnson, Robert Melvin and Shawn Stankewich
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
There is a lot to enjoy while playing Point Salad. There is plenty to get your grey matter working, looking for optimal objectives and salad cards. Yet the game is streamlined and easy to teach to all ages and abilities. It’s relatively quick to set up and play but you still feel like you’ve played a game. In that regard it is an excellent filler game.
Artwork and Components
Value for Money
- Reinforces maths with kids
- Bold artwork
- Great game to take on holiday
- Great filler game
- Has a broad appeal
- Removing cards during set up
- The little bit of downtime between turns at higher player counts
- The amount of air in the box
Buy Point Salad
If you want to buy Point Salad after reading our review click on one of our affiliate links below (note there has been no affiliate links until this point)
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