Publisher: 25th Century Games
Player Count: 2-6 Players
Game Length: 20 Minutes
Originating in Japan in the 1970’s, Gashapon are toy vending machines similar to any you might find at your local grocery or department store. The glass container gives you a peek into the possible prizes that can be won with just a coin and twist of the handle… so basically gambling for children… but we love it!
Gasha attempts to mimic this experience by allowing players a peek into the riches a card choice can deliver. In this family-friendly, set collection card game, players will be trying their luck at gaining sets of toys that can later be exchanged for bonus actions and victory points.
ON YOUR TURN
The game takes place over a number of rounds where players take turns choosing 1 of 2 actions: draw 2 cards or exchange sets for rewards.
The game area consists of 4 stacks of gasha cards and 4 available set rewards.
For a simple game, Gasha is highly tied to its theme through the cards and mechanics. Each gasha card gives you a peek into the toy featured on the backside of the card by showing you 2 or 3 possible toys earned by drawing the card. Of course, just like engaging a gashapon, you may or may not end up with your desired toy, but this clue does help you in your pursuit of certain sets.
Cashing in sets to earn reward cards is your 2nd potential action. Reward cards feature specific toy requirements necessary to achieve a point reward. Choosing this action simply means exchanging the required set for the reward card. Reward cards also feature tickets with certain colors where pairing two same-colored ticket sides together earns you a bonus token that can in-turn earn you additional points or feature bonus actions.
Games continue until one of a variety of end game conditions are met. Players then add up their points and the winner is crowned gasha champion for the night.
ARTWORK & COMPONENTS
Artwork in Gasha leans heavily on it’s Japanese influence presenting a variety of illustrated toys is a light-hearted, anime-style. The game features 110 cards and a few cardboard tokens. It doesn’t seem like a pricey game and the production isn’t over the top. The rulebook is short and easy to follow.
PROS & CONS
➕ Fun, simple choices make this one great to play with kids
➕ The theme is very strong, successfully emulating a traditional gashapon machine.
➕ Secondary reward card choices potentially earning you bonus tokens adds an additional layer of engagement
➕ Super accessible game that can easily be picked up in minutes with no prior knowledge of the rules
➕ Quick play time keeps the games light and brisk
➕ Playing up to 6 players, Gasha works for larger families
➖ While I’m surprised by how well the theme is integrated, the game is ultimately forgettable thanks to a lack of depth and replayability
➖ Gasha tries admirably to bring variability to each game, but the differences each play brings with available reward cards or new bonus tokens feels minimal.
WHY WOULD YOU LIKE THIS GAME?
If you’re looking for a light-weight, family-friendly game to play with the kids, you can definitely do worse than Gasha. There is just enough strategy to challenge young kids new to gaming as well as keep adults interested.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT THIS GAME?
The best thing about Gasha is how the theme is tied into the mechanics. It really feels like you’re playing a gashapon machine. I enjoyed being able to see the potential outcomes of each card beforehand. This helps mitigate the luck factor and creates a fun, push-your-luck mechanic.
Gasha is a fairly harmless game. It’s light, quick and provides some fun decisions. I’m not really excited about the theme, but I really appreciate the thought that went into bringing the theme to life. The turn choices do create some fun moments that I think will work well for younger kids just getting into gaming. Gasha wouldn’t be my first choice off the shelf, but I’ve enjoyed all my plays. My kids really like the silly toys you can earn and the game’s accessibility and quick pace guarantees I won’t lose anyone before we’re through (parent’s will understand this one). If the theme seems interesting and you’re in the market for a light, portable, quick card game, Gasha is a decent distraction good for a few laughs.