Tanto Cuore: Oktoberfest

Tanto Cuore: Oktoberfest | Japanime Games | Rating: 8.7 / 11 |

Available on Amazon

Initial Set-Up Time: 30 mins
Regular Set-Up Time: 10 mins
Average Game Play: 45 mins

Tanto Cuore is a deck-building card game where you employ maids to gain bonuses, abilities and victory points. The object of the game is to be the player with the most victory points when the game ends. There’s several paths to victory and many ways to end or draw out the game.

The Oktoberfest expansion, released in 2016, is themed precisely as it’s named adding a new collection of maids (including bar maids), beer and beer related event cards. The expansion can be played with other versions and the rule book even explains how to make it work with any or all of the previous expansions – even with extra players!

Getting through the rule book will take you about 20 minutes initially. It’s a small no frills booklet, much like the packaging of the game itself (the real production money is spent on the card artwork – totally worth it), done in black ink with small print making it a difficult initial read. Especially for the more visual learners out there. However, any questions about the rules are cleared up in the example game play section and the reference section for each card type is extremely helpful for the trickier abilities.

What’s great about Oktoberfest (and other versions of Tanto Cuore) is the replay-ability. Every time you play there could be a new selection of maid piles to choose from. This provides the game with many paths to victory and new paths with every play. Being the first version of Tanto Cuore we’ve played, we can’t honestly stack this version up to the core game or previous expansions, but we can say once the game mechanics are understood this becomes a highly addictive game.

Put any discrepancies you may have towards maids or the anime art style behind you, this is definitely one of those ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ type games. While, for some, the biggest appeal initially might be the card illustrations made by some of Japan’s finest illustrators. It really carries no weight in the game and requires no previous anime knowledge.

Tips for Success:

  • When selecting your 10 maids during game set-up, we highly suggest picking Toni Darling. She’s a bit overpowered, but probably our favorite maid.
  • Pay attention to bonuses that maids give you when employing, in addition to their ability. Having extra servings (to chambermaid Matilda for example) and love is especially useful. Love being the currency used in the game.
  • Whenever you see a symbol and then a minus number by it, it means it will cost you that much. This was very confusing for us during the first plays.  So a finger-pointing symbol that has “-2” after it means it costs you two servings to carry out that action (like to move Matilda to your private quarters).
  • The game ends when two maid piles or the beer cards are depleted. Think of depleting piles as a path to victory if you think you’ve got more points than your opponents. Otherwise, slow down on purchasing maids that are running out if you need more time.