Board game: Hip Hops

I have a library full of games. At its height it contained almost 500 different ones, these days I brought it back to 225 games according to board game geek. Naturally I have several games about beer and once in a post I’d like to tell more about one of them. Again a very travel sized game this post:

Hip Hops (also known as Brews of the World).

Hip Hops doesn’t get very good reviews on Board Game Geek, and I get that. It is not a particularly clever game, but I think the game is still interesting enough. Hip hops was supposed to be a collectible beer card game. The game didn’t do all too well though, so it’s hard, not to say impossible to get the game at the moment, let alone collect more cards. Too bad, because the cards and artwork look really nice. And I do like the vision the designer had, which you can read on the kickstarter page:

One day you’ll visit a new city and pick up a deck of hip hops illustrated by a local artist. It will cover all the most interesting beers in that area, you’ll choose one, go to the brewery. There maybe you’ll pick up its exclusive expansion pack, use it as a menu as you sample its beers over a game. You’ll compare your collection of hip hops with the beer geeks in the taphouse, maybe trade a rare one. You’ll have updated your pocket collection of your favourite beers, and have some unusual cards to beat your drinking buddies with back home. 

Hip Hops is an easy to learn and play Top Trumps kind of game. All cards list some attributes of a beer like the alcohol content, bitterness and year of introduction. Some cards also list hops used in the beer. Your objective is to get rid of all your cards. Each player starts with two cards in their hand and have to play one on the session pile. When you have less than two cards in your hand, you must take one from the draw deck. When you can’t play, you have to take the whole session pile back in your hand. The first player opening a session determines what to trump: They must choose between having to play a higher alcohol percentage, a higher bitterness unit or an earlier year. When you can play three cards with the same hops, you cay take the whole current session out of the game. To match the hops you may play more than one card ánd you may take into account the last played card on top of the session pile. This way you reduce the ammount of cards in the game significantly and minimise the risk of getting a lot of cards back in your hand. There are also 4 special silver cards in the game that trump everything and with which you may change the objective. The first one to lose all their cards wins.

So yeah. Not much game, but it is quick and fun to play. It is also playable on any surface, including the small tables in a train or airplane, and it is small and fits easily in your pocket. It also doesn’t require a lot of brain power, which makes it a perfect pub game as well. The cards are lovely, but it’s a bit of a bummer that not all the information on the cards is correct. I also miss some information on some cards, for example, not all cards have a bitterness unit. But the cards sure are beautiful and I still would have loved to buy the boosters for this.

All and all I am glad I have it in my collection. It would have been nice if it had come in a sturdier box though. And if you really want to have it as well, you can still find it here and there in random stores and pubs around the world.

Which beery game do you bring with you to the pub?

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