Sugar Gliders – Board Game Review
Follow Genre: Party, Family
Players: 2-4
Age: 8+
Duration: +- 30 minutes
Distributor: White Goblin Games

Sugar Gliders – Board Game Review

Site Score
7.2
Good: Simple, Up and running in a matter of minutes, Cute art
Bad: Flaws like: being stuck an entire match,
User Score
7.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Sugar gliders, the cute squirrel-like animals, might be an uncommon sight, but nonetheless we stumbled upon small wooden versions of these little rascals. Indulge yourself in a mortal-gliding-battle where collecting the most food is the only key to victory. Plan your moves to beat your fellow gliders to the punch, to start the biggest pile of food tiles the animal kingdom has yet to see. Perhaps Darwin’s (actually Herbert Spencer’s) law should be revised to become survival of the fattest? Scurry along to grab some food during this miniature battle.

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Contents

  • Rules
  • Game board (double sided for 2 players or 3-4 players)
  • 4 Wooden Sugar Gliders
  • 60 food tiles

What immediately caught our attention were the fun wooden versions of the sugar gliders, that will serve as your pawns throughout the game. These pawns are detailed, yet simple, but show that the creators were aiming for a cute board game. Other than that, the food tiles are simple, but have a pattern of leaves on them, which goes hand in hand with the giant tree on the game board, as they will fill up the ‘gaps’ on it. Certainly a satisfying look.

Mechanics

In some ways Sugar Gliders will remind some of a checkers/chess-like game, albeit with only one piece. To win the match you’ll have to gather the most points, which can be found on the food tiles your little munchkin picks up along his gliding adventure. That being said, you’ll have to start by picking the proper side of the board (2 or 3-4 players) and randomly place all the food tiles on the empty branches (when playing a 2 player game, you will not have to use the ‘5’ points tiles). When the battlefield has been prepared, you’ll just have to pick your own sugary sugar glider and prepare to emerge in a nature themed food fight.

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Each of the 2-4 players will start out on a randomly selected tile with value ‘1’, with the rest of the tiles varying from a value of 1 to 5. The value on all of the tiles is not only the amount of points you’ll receive at the end of the game, but also how many spaces you’ll have to jump across. This means that you’ll have to plan your next moves, as a tile with a high value might not allow you to make your next jump. For example, if you’re on top of a tile with a value of ‘5’, but you’re on the edge of the map, and the other routes are blocked by other gliders, you will have to stay put. This means you can’t jump over other players or end up on the same spot as them. That being said, if you either jump or rest, you will pick up the tile that was underneath your pawn, and it will be added to your supply of food. If you decided to rest, you’ll have to place a tile from your stash on the spot you’re currently resting at (when it’s your turn again), in order to start moving again. Seeing you can choose any tile from your stockpile, you will be able to choose how far you can jump during your next turn, albeit only a value from the tiles you currently own. If you can’t place a tile and/or decide to keep resting and all other players are resting as well, the game will end.

Luck or Strategy?

Sugar Gliders is actually a fairly decent balance of both luck and strategy, with strategy having a slight upper hand. The strategic portion of the game is trying to plan several moves ahead, by jumping to the right tiles, and already considering the options you can do with jumps after that, with the numeric value of the following tiles in the back of your head. Whilst the following moves can still be spoiled by the competing creatures, you’ll most definitely pull off a few of your planned moves.

SugarGlidersBoard

Resting also has a tactical advantage, as you’ll be able to plan your next move even more carefully. When resting, you receive the tile that’s underneath you, allowing you to place a new tile from your own stock upon the board during your next turn. Thanks to this, you can make a planned jump, which might get you to better tiles, by sacrificing only one tile.

On the other hand, the luck aspect actually depends on the action of the other players, due to them trying to screw you over, or simply because one of their ‘forced’ moves ends up blocking your path. During several of the play sessions, one of the players was blocked for an entire match, as she had to jump back and forth between the two same places over and over again, as she only had the same tiles in her stockpile, causing her to only have 1 option every single time. We’re not sure to call this a flaw in the otherwise good mechanics, or simply bad luck. Nonetheless, the game has a proper balance.

Conclusion

Sugar Gliders is a fun family game thanks to its simplicity, funny situations and of course the amusing wooden sugar glider pawns. Whilst the game is never that elaborate or groundbreaking, it will surely spice up a game night, albeit only with a round or two each time. Certainly worth checking out, if you’re a fan of a healthy mix of luck and strategy.

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Rating: 7.3/10 (3 votes cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Sugar Gliders - Board Game Review, 7.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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