Chai (2019) is a collecting and sequencing game about running a Tea House. You play by strategically collecting ingredients to serve customers beverages matching their tastes. It's clever because of its Candy Crush-style ingredient collecting and competition to serve customers ahead of other players.
You race other players to score points by serving customers in your tea house but can only do that if you have the Ingredients (rooibos, green, oolong, black or white tea) and Additives (milk, sugar) on their card. The more complex drinks score more points but are harder to fulfil. As the customers mount up, you work to serve their drinks without running out of money for more ingredients.
While Additives can be collected for free, Ingredients are purchased from the novel Market board where you collect not only the Ingredient you pay for but also their matching neighbours like in Candy Crush or Puzzle Bobble. Once a drink is served you get a tip that helps you buy more Ingredients and keep your store cupboard stocked.
There's a twist that you can only serve customers if you have a Tea Leaf token matching their colour. You start with six of your own colour, but care is needed as opponents can purchase your tokens to serve your customers ahead of you. If you run out of tokens, you can't serve that final customer that may have won the game. At the end of the five rounds, you count up how many points you got from each completed order and add any remaining money to this total.
The result is a game where you must manage your own stores and customers but also keep an eye on other players' plans. You can sneak in and buy their last Tea Leaf token to stop them from serving a customer, or you can strategically buy items from the Market board to deny them the Ingredients they need. But of course, keeping your own customers served with tea at the same time.
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked Chai 16 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 9 months ago.