Kickstart This! #254: Dollars to Donuts
Designers: Molly Johnson (Point Salad), Robert Melvin (Point Salad), Shawn Stankewich (Point Salad)
Artist: Dylan Mangini (Point Salad)
Publisher: Crafty Games (Mistborn: House War)
Genre/Mechanisms: abstract strategy, grid coverage, matching, pattern building, puzzle, set collection, square grid, tile placement, victory points as a resource
Funding Status: At the time of this posting, Dollars to Donuts is already fully-funded. Pledges currently total almost 1.5x the initial funding goal with 4 days left to go on the campaign!
Player Count: 2-4
Solo Mode: no
What It’s About: “A tasty tile-laying game from the award-winning team behind Calico & Point Salad.”
How It Works: “In Dollars to Donuts, players take turns purchasing tiles and placing them onto their player mats to create delicious spreads of donuts. By matching identical halves, you create perfect donuts, which can be served to customers. Mismatched donuts can be sold off for cash to spend on other tiles, single donut halves to place for new matches, and donut holes to plug into empty spots on your player mat.”
“Your ultimate goal is to fill your Player Mat and create as many perfectly matched donuts as possible. For each perfectly matched donut you create, you collect a Victory Token of the same type. These are worth 1 point for each plain, 2 points for each chocolate glazed, 3 points for each deluxe sprinkle, and 5 points for each jelly-filled. They may also be served to customers for even higher points. Each mismatched donut lets you draw 1 or more Dollar Tokens from the bag. Dollar Tokens may be spent to buy tiles from the Specials Board on later turns. Some Dollar Tokens feature donut halves or donut holes you can alternately use to fill gaps on your Player Mat.”
On their turn, players take the following steps, in this order:
“Buy: Purchase a Donut Tile from those available on the Specials Board. Spend a number of Dollar Tiles equal to the cost listed at the bottom of a slot and take the tile from that slot. The rightmost tile is always free. Dollar Tiles that you spend are immediately returned to the Cloth Bag.”
“Place Donut Tile: Place the purchased tile into any empty space on your Player Mat, in any orientation. You may even place the tile so some but not all of it extends off the edge of your mat, though this isn’t recommended, especially early in the game. Donut matches made off your Player Mat are not counted for any purpose. Once a tile is placed, it may not be moved in later turns.”
“Collect Victory Tokens: Take 1 Victory Token for each donut you perfectly matched (with two identical halves).”
“Draw From the Bag: For each mismatched donut, draw a number of Dollar Tiles from the bag equal to the higher number of dollar signs between the two halves. For example, matching a plain half with a deluxe sprinkle half earns you 3 Dollar Tiles from the Cloth Bag. Note: A single tile placement can earn you Dollar Tiles from multiple mismatches. Be sure to draw for all of them.”
“Place a Dollar Tile (optional): Once per turn, if you have any Dollar Tiles with half donuts or donut holes on them, you may place 1 of these tiles into any gap on your Player Mat. You may only place 1 Dollar Tile onto your Player Mat per turn. The placement of donut holes does not matter. You earn the points for each pair of each type of donut holes, no matter where they are on your mat. You may collect multiple pairs of each donut hole type, but you score no points for leftover single donut hole tiles (the first, third, fifth, etc.).”
“Serve a Customer (optional): Once per turn, if you have the necessary Victory Tokens, you may serve a single unclaimed customer. Take the Customer Card from the face up market and place it in front of you. Place Victory Tokens from those you have collected on matching spaces on the Customer Card. These donuts are no longer available to you to serve other customers, and they no longer count as victory points at the end of the game (instead, they earn you the same amount plus a bonus as listed on the served Customer Card). Each customer has 3 levels of satisfaction. Contented: 2 donuts on the top line. Delighted: 2 donuts on the top line, and 1 donut on the middle line. Thrilled: 2 donuts on the top line, 1 donut on the middle line, and 1 donut on the bottom line (fully served). A customer must be served from top to bottom. At the end of the game, each customer you’ve served earns you the victory points listed on the bottom line you’ve filled with donuts. Each customer may only be served once, and may only be served when you claim the card. You cannot add more donuts to the card in later rounds to boost the customer’s satisfaction.”
“Fill the Specials Board: Shift all tiles to the right to fill the slot emptied in Step 1. Draw a new Donut Tile to fill the $5 slot.”
“Add New Customer (if needed): If a customer was served, draw a new Customer Card to replace them.”
“Each customer comes from one of 3 neighborhoods (Mt. Timber, The Rose District, or Sunset Heights). Players earn additional victory points for serving sets of customers from different neighborhoods, or the most customers in any neighborhood. The game ends when one or more of the following occurs: When any player completely fills their Player Mat, play continues until the player to the right of the starting player has taken their turn (until all players have taken an equal number of turns). When a player is unable to fill the Specials Board during Step 7 of their turn (because no Donut Tiles remain in the supply). The game ends immediately.”
“Total your score by adding together the following and subtracting the number of open spaces left on your Player Mat (–1 per empty space): Points on served Customer Cards; Neighborhood bonuses (3 points per complete set, 2 points per majority); Pairs of donut hole tiles placed on your Player Mat (1 point per plain pair, 2 points per chocolate glazed pair, 3 points per deluxe sprinkle pair); Victory tokens not placed on Customer cards (1 point per plain donut, 2 points per chocolate glazed donut, 3 points per deluxe sprinkle, and 5 points per jelly-filled). The player with the highest score wins and is declared the best donut baker in town. If tied, the player with the most unused Dollar Tiles wins the game. If still tied, the player with the fewest open spaces on their Player Mat wins.”
Comparisons: A few other popular and well-rated games with grid coverage and tile placement include Barenpark, Blokus, The Castles of Burgundy, Cottage Garden, A Feast for Odin, The Isle of Cats, Patchwork, and The Princes of Florence.
What Should I Pledge?:
$29 Dollars to Donuts Base Game: includes the base game, the Solo Mode mini-expansion, 3 promo cards, the print and play, and all unlocked stretch goals.
$39 Dollars to Donuts + Deluxe Upgrade: everything in the Base Game pledge level, plus 1 set of PVC play mats, the Milkshakes mini-expansion, the VIPs mini-expansion, the Merch mini-expansion.
All-In Total: In the continental U.S., you’re looking at $39 for Dollars to Donuts + Deluxe Upgrade plus $15 in shipping for a total of $54.
Dollars to Donuts completes its Kickstarter on Monday, August 10th and tentatively ships in May 2021.