Weekly PnP: Why I Otter

  • Designer: Aaron Andrew Wilson
  • Artist: Lee Angerstein
  • Publisher: Button Shy
  • Where to Print It: PnPArcade or Patreon

Luke: It’s hardly a surprise that a Button Shy game would be featured in our first Weekly PnP article.

Phil: We’ve been gearing up to feature them on our channel for months now, and considering the state of the world right now, it seemed like as good a time as any to bring some brightness and positivity to the internet.

Luke: And what better way than with a bunch of cute, colorful otters?

Phil: As much as I love the original coloring for this game, Button Shy has actually done something rather clever on their Patreon channel. Their most recent post featured a Color Your Own PnP file for this game, giving imaginative kids and creative adults a fun activity to while away the time before playing the game.

Luke: Assuming the idea is popular enough, we should see more of these out in the future, which is phenomenal.

Phil: Much like this game. Make no mistake, this may be one of our favorite offerings from Button Shy to date.

Luke: Why I Otter is a clever 2-player trick-taking game that provides players with tough decisions every turn, revolving around an evolving set of scoring parameters.

Phil: Each player starts the game with 3 cards in hand and 3 cards in the river. Ultimately, 1 of the river cards will be shored up, removed from the game while also determining one of the 4 ways players will earn points.

Luke: Cards are double-sided, meaning when a card is set aside for scoring, it also removes a card from the game? Which card? Well, you’ll have to remember that.

Phil: And you won’t.

Luke: Absolutely not.

Phil: As with any trick-taking game, one player leads the trick, playing a card to the middle of the table. Each card features 1 of the 3 suits; Bubble-Head Otter, Box-Head Otter, and Pizza Party Otter.

Luke: AKA the Circle, Square, and Triangle suits.

Phil: The 2nd player will play a card in response, and the winner is determined by a rock-paper-scissors wheel, with squares beating circles, circles beating triangles, and triangles beating squares.

Luke: In the case that both players play the same suit, the higher valued card wins.

Phil: The winner keeps both cards in their scoring area and takes 1 of the 3 cards in the river into their hand. The 2nd player then chooses 1 card to take into their hand and the other card to become a scoring option for both players.

Luke: Each scoring card either allows a player to score 1 point for each of a number/suit or 2 points for having the most of a number/suit.

Phil: Players continue until they no longer have cards in hand-

Luke: -7 rounds-

Phil: -and whoever scores the moist points wins!

Luke: … I think you mean the most points.

Phil: I stand by what I said.

Luke: I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t expecting much from this little game. A trick-taking game for 2 players? That’s a hard pill to swallow.

Phil: And yet it’s phenomenal.

Luke: It has the number-crunching of trick-taking games, a mechanic that creates imperfect information, and winning a trick isn’t always the right move. There’s so much to love about this game, I can’t help but gush.

Phil: And unlike a lot of small-box games, each game creates a new meta based around the scorecards that players select, which adds a good amount of replayability.

Luke: The randomness of the cards mixed with having to read your opponent makes for such a thoughtful and fascinating game experience.

Phil: I could see some people not being a big fan, but those are the people who wouldn’t like any trick-taking game. Generally speaking, this is an incredibly easy recommendation on our part, and I’ll be looking to pick up an official copy sooner rather than later.

Verdict: Why I Otter showcases why wallet games work, giving players a ton of game in a small package. The art’s great, the gameplay is tight, and there’s never a dull moment, making this one of our favorite trick-taking games to date.

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