A to Z Gaming: Mint Works

Mint works

We build up our minty-fresh cities in Mint Works, the next game in our A-Z game shelf play-through.

Basic Info: Mint Works
Players: 1-4
Time: 10-20 Minutes
Designers: Justin Blaske
Artists: Felix Janson, Thomas Tamblyn
Publisher: Five24 Labs

Mint Works is a worker placement and tableau-building game where players use mints to construct buildings and monuments in their growing neighborhood.

The game is set up with the standard worker locations, two deed locations and two advanced locations (optional) laid out in the middle of the table. The plan deck is shuffled and three are laid out. The mint supply is placed nearby, and each player gets three mints to start.

Each round, players place their mints on various worker spots to perform the actions, which include taking one of the face-up plans (using the number of workers depicted on the plan), building a plan (plans are not active in a player’s neighborhood until they are built), getting additional mints, and taking the first player marker. Players can pass at any point, even if they aren’t out of mints, and they can jump back into play as long as the round hasn’t ended. The round ends when all players have passed consecutively.

At the end of the round, players check to see if anyone has seven points in their neighborhood (stars on built plans) — if so, the game ends and players count up points. If no one has seven points, refill the plan market back to three, give players rewards for their deed spots that were used during the round, and sweep the rest of the mints on worker-spots into the supply. Each player takes a mint token, and play continues with another round.

At the end of a round when a player passes seven points or when the plan market can not be refilled to three cards, the game ends. Players count up the stars in their neighborhood, and the player with the most points wins.

I got in on the Kickstarter for this one because it looked like a fun, portable game — it fits into an Altoids-sized mint tin, afterall! And it is a fun, quick game with more strategy that you might expect from a tiny-boxed game.

I really like how tight the game is. You have to be careful about how and when to spend your mints each round — you might want to keep a few for the next round so you can get an expensive plan, but then you might be leaving a lot of actions on the table.

How is it as a 2-player game? Mint Works works well for two players. It’s a little more interesting at higher player counts, but not by a lot.

How about the art and component quality? The game is just a deck of cards, mints, and a tin — all are decent quality, though the cards do just barely fit in the tin, so it’s always a little frustrating to get them in and out. (Especially out.) The art is fine, though minimal.

Will this stay in my collection? Yeah, it doesn’t take up much room, and it’s so easy to pop this in my purse to have a game whenever we might need one.

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