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License to Krill - Review

Updated: Mar 2

This is a review of License to Krill, a 2-5 player game by Matthew Kambic who will be publishing the game later this year. The designer was kind enough to send me a review copy, but my thoughts are my own.

Whale blushing belching out cards for the game.

The game is an open drafting game where you get cards of different powers, points, and icons which will aid you in trying to get the most points. Turns are simple with players drafting a card from the market, doing an action card from the market card below- often this will cause the whale to turn toward another player, and then drawing a card from the whale deck. The game ends when a player draws the "Krilling Time" card from the whale deck.

The game has whale cards, a whale plushy, market cards which dictates what happens depending on which market card you take, kelp cards, and market cards with various krill and whale puns

The variable drafting with the accompanying market action provides a nice balance of choice and action selection. You essentially want to get the whale as far from you as possible, but whale cards may later thwart your best plans. There is a small bit of take that feeling in the game, but it is a fast game with quick turns. Overall, the larger player counts seemed best as we saw the most movement of the whale. This game wants interaction and feels the most fun when a lot is happening quickly.

I played at all player counts and enjoyed the game as a light family filler type games. Setup and play do not take long and the whale itself is a nice conversation piece to say, "Do you want to play this game?"

Poop Loop card - draw a new card and do the action let's you get more cards and give you 0 points and two water icons

This isn't a game who don't want cutesy, take that, or low complexity. That shouldn't surprise anyone who sees the game though.

On the other hand, children will find some educational opportunities via the text prompts on the cards. Parents can use the information to help spurn conversations about things like ocean biomes, whales, and interconnected food chains.

It's a cute game that has some really fun elements. The number and variation of cards in the market deck is just right.

Shrimply the Best card gives you 3 points as long as you don't have the most total cards, it's zero if you have the most cards.

When I need a game that doesn't take long and doesn't have a large rules overhead, I would play this. Matthew has done a fine job incorporating way too many puns in his whale game and many people will find joy in the silliness of playing a card game out of and into a whale.

License to Krill

Designed by Matthew Kambic

Published by MaKa Games

Aesthetics 8/10

Strategy 4/10

Gameplay 7/10

2-5 Players

20 minutes


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