Mint Cooperative - Five24 Labs
Game title: Mint Cooperative
Game description: Mint Cooperative is a refreshingly light cooperative game. Fight against periodontal peril with the perfect filler game to keep you engaged time and time again.
Protect Mintopia City and the other towns of Mortimer County from the foul schemes of the Dominion of Halitosis!
Portable, Quick Gameplay
Variable Player Powers
Low to Moderate Randomness
Mint Cooperative is a refreshingly light 1-4 player cooperative game developed by Five24 Labs and designed by Jonathan Gilmour and Brian Lewis. Coming to Kickstarter September 9th!
In Mint Cooperative you will be working with your fellow players attempting to protect Mintopia City and its surrounding towns from the mayhem caused by the Dominion of Halitosis! Each player will take on the role of a Mintopian Hero working together performing unique heroic feats and ever-changing stunt abilities. You will work to increase the town’s supply of mints, reduce panic, and try to keep trouble at bay!
Components and Artwork
The first thing you’ll notice is the Tin. Sturdy, pocket-sized, and full of freshness! Everything you need fits conveniently within this tiny Tin. Inside we find a rule sheet, 2 different sized decks of cards, 6 meeples, 4 dice, and lots of mints!
The larger deck contains Town Cards (7) to create the game board of Mortimer County, Villain cards (3) to defend against, a Regional Panic Card to track the threat level of the Villain, and a Reference Card to determine your action choice.
The smaller deck of cards consists of Trouble Cards (26) and Mayhem Cards (3) to create the trouble deck, Hero Cards (6) and Stunt Cards (9) to give your Heroes their signature moves!
Finally, we have 4 Dice used to choose your actions, 6 Meeples to represent your Heroes location, and several red and white and mints used to help protect Mintopia.
The artwork on the cards is simple, but fitting, and matches the design of the previous games in the series. The half-size cards are small, but they are easy to read, and the iconography is effective at representing the action to take.
Setup and Gameplay
Setting up the game only takes a few minutes. Create Mortimer County by laying out the map cards as specified, then place three mints on each city. Next, build the Trouble Deck by shuffling together four trouble cards and one mayhem card. Do this three times then stack them on top of each other. Select a Villain to defend against, check the villain card for special setup instructions and abilities. Finally, every player will choose a hero to play, each with a unique skill.
At the start of a round, deal one stunt card to the active player and the next two players in turn order. The active player then rolls all four dice. For any dice that have matching values, you may find Trouble, Double Trouble, or a Triple Threat! When this happens, the villain is attacking Mintopia City. Refer to the villain card for the effect. Once resolved, each player will draft an available die and perform an action based on that die. You can add mints to cities, travel to other cities, reduce panic, or perform a heroic feat or stunt. When only one die remains, discard all stunt cards and begin a new round.
The villain’s foul schemes activate through the Trouble Deck. Each card drawn will target one or more cities, and remove a number of mints from each. For each city that panics, Regional Panic increases. As you work through the Trouble Deck you will come across three Mayhem cards. Each time these appear, havoc spreads across Mortimer County and panic will skyrocket! Survive through all three and you succeed in defending Mintopia. But, if the panic level increases too high, the Dominion of Halitosis has won!
Strategy and Player Interaction
On the surface, Mint Cooperative feels like a simple straight forward game. Add mints, reduce panic, sounds simple enough. But finding the balance between mints and panic is tricky! The Regional Panic Track ranges from 0 to 27. At the start of the game, the panic level will be low, and it will only increase a bit at a time. However, mid to late game you can start seeing jumps of 10 or more! This can often come at a surprise, and if you’re not ready, it can cost you the win. While you can work hard to keep panic levels low, you also have to keep each town supplied, or your efforts against panic will be wasted.
Meanwhile, your actions are dictated by the die roll, and they may not always be in your favor. Each action will help, but not every action is useful each turn. You may want to reduce panic but lack the dice to do so. You may have a skill you want to use, but so will another player, and they both need the same die! This is where player interaction is most apparent. Choosing the right die for the right situation, while making sure your teammates have useful actions as well, is important. Every Hero wants to shine and impress the crowd with their stunts, but sometimes a simple mint delivery is what’s best for the team.
Depth and Complexity
Mint Cooperative isn’t a highly complex game. The rules are simple and straightforward, the turns are quick, and overall game length is short. It does have some depth to it though. The balance between supplying the towns and reducing panic in important, but not always easy to carry out. Your action choices are limited by the die rolls, and for every double, or triple, result, your choices are fewer (and the villain hits harder!).
I really enjoy Mint Cooperative. It is fast becoming one of my favorite small cooperative games. Simple to teach and play, yet challenging enough to leave you with a sense of accomplishment! There is a lot of variety with the card draws, dice rolls, and stunt distributions to make every game different. And with three villains, each game has a unique feel to it. Mint Cooperative is fun, light, and challenging. Truly a breath of fresh air for any game collection!
A copy of Mint Cooperative was provided free for preview by Five24 Labs.
Brad Taylor has been an avid board gamer for over 20 years. Recently he has been involved in play testing board games, reviewing and editing rule books, and writing review and previews. In his spare time, he organizes a large local gaming group and is involved in board game related meetups and events.