‘Piña Pirata’ board game review
By Ed Appleby, Senior Columnist
This game actually has an element that I have never seen in a board game—pirate furries.
Piña Pirata (2014) is a matching card game for two to six players designed by Donald X. Vaccarino and published by IELLO. In the game, players try to match cards in their hand to the card on top of the discard pile in an attempt to empty their hands. The player who first empties their hand wins the round, and the player who is the first to win a set number of rounds wins the game.
The gameplay is similar to other matching card games like Uno (1971) or Crazy Eights. However, as the gameplay progresses, certain cards come into effect that slightly change the rules, giving the game a bit of randomness similar to what you would see in Fluxx (1997). Though the game is designed to be fast-paced, I found that certain players tend to overanalyze their options, leading to games slowing down—which, in a turn-based card game with a lot of people, can be very frustrating.
Visually, the game is great: The anthropomorphic pirate illustrations by Sylvain Guinebaud are very well done and add a whimsical tone to some very basic gameplay.
All in all, I found Piña Pirata to be a fun and simple game, and a good one to play with friends in a casual setting. I wouldn’t recommend it for players looking for a more complex, strategy-driven game, but if you want to upgrade from Uno then this is one for you.