When first approaching Yacht Rock, this game seemed very odd as we were collecting parts of songs and various summer clothing items, but it ended up being a very simple and fun experience. It isn’t going to challenge anyone strategically or be your family’s new best friend, but it pretty entertaining in groups of three or more.
Some issues to bring up initially, the directions on how to set-up the game are very difficult to understand and it really took playing the game to figure out things. Also, it says that the game can be played with two players, but it doesn’t seem super well-balanced for two players and there isn’t even a two-player set up in the rulebook currently. It can be played with just two people, but it’s clearly designed for 3 to 6 players.
In the game, players must pick up parts of songs and different clothing types. When certain things are not picked up, they get increasing value because other items are placed with them. This means that although players may initially get the best items, subsequent players can receive a higher quantity of items as the game goes on. It’s a good way to balance things and keeps things interesting. At the end of the drafting of items and musical parts, players will then attend one of two parties (randomly chosen through cards) that have music, certain types of clothing, or specific colors associated with the clothing. After the parties are chosen by the players, It is revealed how many points each song/clothing item/color is worth and the players will score points according to the items in music that they drafted earlier. It’s very simple to explain while showing and talking face-to-face someone, but as I mentioned above, it’s difficult to understand the full concept in just writing or in the manual.
It does feel fairly random and relies a lot on luck and picking the right things before others can. This doesn’t make the game bad, it just makes the game more arcade-ish instead of being heavily strategic. In other words, it’s much more of a party than a competitive type of game.
Overall Yacht Rock is a lot of fun and has some good style but the initially difficult understanding of the game and small cards/pieces can make it somewhat difficult to play. It’s fun for medium size groups and will definitely people entertained for a little while but not challenge players to keep coming back night after night.