Go Nuts for Donuts

  • Go Nuts for Donuts: The Pastry-Picking Card Game
  • Publisher: Gamewright
  • Plays 2-6
  • Ages 8+ (realistically, 4+)
  • Playing Time: 20 min
  • Initial Release: 2017
  • Elevator Pitch: Bid, bluff, and scheme to collect donuts and win points
  • Score: 5/5

Gamewright and donuts? Consider us sold. Go Nuts for Donuts has become the go-to game here at Roarbots HQ over the past couple weeks. And it’s easy to see why.

The game is incredibly easy to learn. It has adorable donut art. It has a simple gameplay with just enough strategy and tension to make it perfect for a variety of ages. And it’s endlessly replayable.

Inside the box, you’ll find:

  • 70 donuts cards
  • 42 selection cards
  • 7 donut row indicators
  • instructions

As I said, gameplay is pretty simple. Everyone gets a set of selection cards, which are nothing more than numbers 1-7. You’ll use these to bid on the donuts lined up in the donut deck.

The number of cards in the donut deck is the number of players plus one. So, in a four-player game, you’ll have five cards lined up in the donut deck.

Each round, players decide which donut they want to bid on and secretly choose that number selection card. Then all players reveal their choices at the same time. If you’re the only player to bid a particular number, then you win that donut. If two or more players make the same bid, no one gets the donut (which is then discarded).

Restock the donut deck from the draw pile and start over. That’s it. Play until you don’t have any enough cards left to make a complete donut deck and then tally your points. Whoever has the most points wins.

Many donut cards just have victory points attached to them. Some have actions that take effect immediately after claiming the card (e.g., draw the top card from the discard pile, steal another player’s card). Others have variable scoring depending on how many cards you have in the set at the end of the game.

The strategy lies in deciding which card to bid on. Do you go for the card with 5 victory points, knowing that other players are also likely to want the high-value card? Or do you go for a lower value card that might turn into more points at the end of the game if you collect enough of them? Or do you bid on a card you don’t want just to ensure another player doesn’t get it (and complete a set, for example)?

The gameplay is simple enough for the youngest of players to learn in just a few minutes. Even kids who can’t read yet will do fine if you take a moment to go over the action cards in the deck at the beginning of each round. Since the actions all take effect immediately, there’s nothing for them to remember.

Also, the “gotcha” aspect of the game is fun and not at all mean-spirited (at least, it doesn’t have to be), so young kids won’t get frustrated if they keep losing the cards they need. The game plays so quickly that there’s always time for another round.

In a catalog of amazing games, Go Nuts for Donuts stands out. Gamewright keeps upping their game, and it’s why we’re such huge fans.

(Gamewright provided me with a review sample of this product. All opinions remain my own.)

Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire, StarWars.com, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.

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