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Chai

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Play OverviewPlay Overview

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 23 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 5 weeks ago.
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Play StylePlay Style

This is a Collecting and Sequencing game with Puzzle, Race and Strategy elements. You can play with 2 to 5 players in the same room. Best with 4 players. There are cooperative and solo versions of the rules, as well as an advanced version that is harder and more competitive.

 
You can play this game in the following styles:

DurationDuration

Learn to Play: This takes 45 minutes to learn. Once the game is set up it's relatively simple to play but you do need to understand how the Market board works and how to serve customers before you can employ tactics. As with all games like this, playing a test round as part of learning the game is a good idea.

To make it simpler the first time you play you can do the following:
  • Only serve your own customers so as not to worry about other players stealing your Tea Tokens.
  • Don't use the Ability cards as they add complexity.
  • Experiment with different ways of buying items from the Market board, considering both single and multiple purchases using the same money.

Play Time: This game will take between 30 hours and 60 hours to complete.

BenefitsBenefits

This game is good if you want to:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Skill Level

8+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. You need to be able to balance spending money on a customer's drink and having enough for the next visit to the market. You also need to be able to cope with other players blocking you from serving a customer by stealing your Tea Leaf token.

Content Rating

We rate this suitable for 3+ years-olds.

CostsCosts

There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.
 
There are some different versions you can buy:
  • Chai: High Tea expansion adds new player powers and Ingredients like refreshing horchata, or a sip of yerba mate.
  • Chai: Tea for 2 is a stand-alone two-player version of the game based on dice and worker placement. 
 

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/01/2019

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Players: 2-5

Genres: Collecting, Sequencing (Puzzle, Race and Strategy)

Accessibility: 0 features documented

Components: Bag, Board, Cards and Tokens


Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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