In New York Slice the players share out six pizzas. Each pizza is one round, and each round has a Special, which will go to a particular player. The game is played by the simple means of the starting player dividing that round’s pizza into as many portions as there are players.
Each pizza is made up of several slices, and they all have different toppings. A few – known as combos – even have two. Each topping has a number value – telling you how many slices there are of that topping, and how many points you get if you have the most of that topping at the game end. When the starting player has divvied up the pizza into four portions (for four players, in this example) everyone takes a portion for themselves – with the starting player choosing last; he or she will get whatever is left over. When you take a portion, there are two things you can do with the slices – you can keep them face-up in front of you and hope you have the majority of that topping come the end of the game. Or you can eat slices too – turning as many as you like face-down in front of you. Every slice of pepperoni on your ‘eaten’ pizza is worth a point at the end of the game!
We mentioned the Specials: one comes out in each round, and the starting player chooses which portions to assign it to – so someone will pick it up. The specials give you some kind of in-game advantage – first choice in a subsequent round, for instance, or doubling the value of certain slices. One even scores you points.
After all six rounds are played out, players compare their face-up toppings. If you don’t have the most of a type, those slices are worthless! If you do, you get the points value on the slices themselves. Players also add on all their ‘eaten’ pizza, and any benefits from the Specials. Most points wins – but watch out for those anchovies! They’re minus points…
It’s a game of simple rules but great depth to the decision-making – like Mammut, you have to admire a game where the main mechanic is sharing. But beyond that New York Slice doesn’t excite me that much – agonized decision-making can make for a really fun game, but here it just felt like an abstract puzzle (the game alleges you are chefs, but that conceit never really enters play) and a puzzle replete with rather big pauses – though I do like the cleverness of the game coming in a pizza box with triangular pieces.
It might not seem it at first, but there's plenty.
You need a little patience to wait whilst the starting player chooses how to divide the pizza...
...and you'll understand why when it's your turn! You don't want to help anyone too much, but you don't want to be picking up rubbish yourself either.
Pizzas and Specials come out randomly, but the inscrutable decision-making is what stops New York Slice feeling predictable.