Be Careful if you Swipe Right
In Cindr players are looking to find a spark without starting a fire, literally. Take on the role of a single hopeful in a fantasy realm, looking for love. Of course dating, even in the magical realm, is difficult. Between work and your busy personal life, it’s hard to find the right match. So you, like many others, have turned to technology for assistance. You decided to use the app Cindr to help you find and match with some dreamy dragons all in a quest to find love. This is easier said than done as dragons tend to be emotional and if the date goes poorly you could end up burned (in more ways than one). With a bit of planning and some good luck, things will go your way and your romantic life will take flight.
Dragon Dating 101
Cindr is a press your luck, dice rolling game in which players compete to go on successful dates with the various dragons on the Cindr app, all in the hope of being the first to score 21 love points to win the game. Cindr plays over a series of rounds so let’s talk about the phases of play and my impressions of the gameplay.
The first step to setting up any dating app is to build out your profile. Players select a player board for their character in the game, name them, and select their pronoun of choice. After this players select their characteristics from the list supplied on the right of their board. This will affect what dragons you connect with as the more characteristics you share in common, the better your dice pool will be during the dating phase of the game. Once you have your profile created, you are ready to get dating!
How to Find a Spark Without Starting a Fire
In the dating phase, players will begin using the app to “swipe” right (approve) or left (reject) to find their match for their date. Players may swipe left up to two times for free on their turn as they try to gauge which dragon may be a good fit for them based on a bit of profile text. Dragons that are rejected will fall into the collective dating pool that can hold three dragons at most. A player may select a dragon from the dating pool, even if they moved the dragon there, or off the top of the stack to be their date for the evening. The player will take this card along with a random location card for the date to build their dice pool.
The dice pool is built by comparing your characteristics to those of the dragon. You get a green die for each match, a blue die for each that is one away, and a red die for each that is two or more spaces away. Each die has a varying number of flames (bad) and hearts (good) on them. Green has the most hearts, blue is balanced, and red has more flames. A date is broken into three portions each consisting of a roll of your allotted dice.
As you roll, you are searching for hearts, which will be added to your love points if the date goes well. Each flame you roll will be set aside, reducing your dice pool. If you receive three flames, your date ended badly and you got burned, losing all love points in the process. This is the press your luck aspect of Cindr, you can gain better rewards by making your date last longer with the dragon, but run the risk of an unlucky roll ruining your date and costing you all your hard-earned love points. There are some abilities in Cindr that help prevent this from happening. If you are burned badly on a date you will be given a second chance power that will help you cancel out or mitigate flames rolled in later dates.
If your date is a success or you quit while you’re ahead (after completing a roll), you can bank all of your love points rolled throughout the date and add the dragon to your personal dating circle. It will cost other players love points to try to date this dragon now and may even give you some special bonuses for having them in your circle.
Gameplay continues in this fashion with players selecting, dating, and rolling until one player reaches 21 love points. They are then crowned queen (or king) of the dragon daters and have earned great bragging rights with all other Cindr users.
Will You Be My Valentine?
I was fortunate enough to get to preview a copy of Cindr at Pax East this past year and I was very excited with this fun, cheeky game that Smirk and Dagger created. With this game launching on Kickstarter on Valentine’s Day, I’m expecting to see a lot of stretch goals met for this title. Press your luck dice games are as old as Farkle so the style of game is not new, but Cindr adds a splash of modernity and some unique mechanics that set it apart from its competitors.
The location cards, and sometimes dragons themselves, have abilities that will modify your rolls and results, which help keep gameplay fresh and exciting. The ability to find a better match to improve your dice pool and even the die mitigating cards you can gain all add a level of strategy beyond simply “roll the dice” or “stop and score”.
While the theme may not be for everyone, I feel Cindr’s art and fun-filled lens through which it gazes at society’s dating app-inundated culture is amazing and unique. The theme for this game is so very “up with the times” and I applaud this.
Cindr is a great small box game, perfect for when you are out with your buddies or perhaps seeking something on the lighter side of things. The player count can vary without affecting gameplay and it is simple and easy to set up, teach, and play. Smirk and Dagger stated the goal of this game was to be a fun game that you can play with your mates during or after a few drinks, and I believe Cindr accomplishes this well. If you want even more strategy for your game, fear not. There is a small expansion in the works as well that doles out secret preferences for players, encouraging them to seek out certain types of dragons. The more of these goals they accomplish, the more points they score at the end of the game. These secret objectives add a nice new layer of strategy about how you plan your dates!
If you are looking for a lighthearted take on dating and are open to some laughs at the unique dates or failures you may encounter, Cindr will be a hot pick for you when it launches on Valentine’s day on Kickstarter. Maybe you’ll get lucky and get the D, and by that, of course, I mean the dragon.
Genre: Press your luck/dice rolling
Pros: Accessible, Unique theme and system, Dice mitigation
Cons: Unique theme, Luck based.
Rating: 6.9/10 A dragon among the sheep of press your luck dice rollers!
Disclosure: Meeple Mountain received a free copy of this product in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. This review is not intended to be an endorsement.
Disclosure: Meeple Mountain was provided a pre-production copy of the game. It is this copy of the game that this review is based upon. As such, this review is not necessarily representative of the final product. All photographs, components, and rules described herein are subject to change.