Welcome to our review of Bicycle Games: Super Truffle Pigs. Bicycle is the name most associated with playing cards, but here they have created a full-fledged board game that’s super fun and quite different than anything we’ve been playing recently.
In Super Truffle Pigs, you have two pigs that you move around a tiled board, spending actions to dig up truffles.
Be careful, though. Wolves are on the prowl; should your pigs be scared off, you will be out of the game. The winner is the player who scores the most victory points by completing particular tasks and hidden achievement cards. Let’s learn how to play.
Game Overview – Super Truffle Pigs
In Super Truffle Pigs, the goal is to dig up as many truffles as possible to score Victory Points. The strategy involves knowing how long it takes to dig up a truffle (how many actions) and deciding if you have enough time to do that before a wolf moves into your space. The game adds extraordinary “superpower” and “mission cards” to the game to help defeat the wolves and gain additional victory points.
This game is not overly complex, and we feel that anyone can pick it up pretty quickly.
The game comes with a fair number of components. There are miniatures of the pigs and wolves, forest tiles, player boards, a wolf board, and loads of cards.
The pigs are color-coded Orange, Green, Pink, and Purple. Each pig color has two miniatures. The colors also extend nicely to a player board and a level marker. Additionally, there are four wolf miniatures – two brown and two greys.
The quality of the minis is suitable for this type of game. They aren’t the paintable type of minis, but they have some character. The illustrations on the player boards are basic but functional, as are the Wolf Directional cards.
We liked the Super Power Cards’ illustrations and the excellent double-sided Forest Tiles. One side is Summer, and the other side is Winter. The tiles are different, and the rules do change with each. We like that a game variation is built into the core game, and we don’t need to purchase additional add-ons.
Super Truffle Pigs is a reasonably easy game to get on the table. Players take their pigs’ minis, player board, direction cards, and level markers. Then all players shuffle the forest tiles and lay out the 20 tiles in a 5×4 grid. The Wolf board gets placed at the top of the tiles.
The players mix up the truffle tokens and place them face down on the indicated truffle space in each tile. Then they shuffle the Super power cards and draw three to place below the Wolf Board. Finally, the players each draw three mission cards. These are the secret missions you are trying to complete by the end of the game! Now you are ready to go!
In Super Truffle Pigs, the goal is to gain more victory points (VPs) than your opponents.
So how do you play?
At the start of each round, the starting player rolls the wolf die. The die tells the players how the wolves will move in the second half of the round. It’s excellent that rolling the die happens first because it allows you to plan your movements a bit to avoid the wolves.
At the start of the game, each player gets a total of 3 actions per round. The number of actions can increase throughout the game. Upgrading is part of the strategy of play. You will need those extra actions later in the game, so upgrading your pigs is essential!
During their turn, players can choose to spend actions to move to an adjacent tile and dig for truffles. A truffle can take upto three actions to dig up. Each color of truffle provides a different number of VPs, which, because they are face down, you don’t know what amount you’ll get until you dig it up.
These are Super Pigs, of course, and there is a shared pool of cards with superpowers on them.
A player can purchase a card by spending the number of actions listed on it and then playing it immediately. Superpowers are a fascinating aspect of the game because you can cause the wolves to be stunned, or you can get additional victory points, for instance.
While Truffles give players VPs at the end of the game, players can also spend any two truffles to upgrade their pig’s level to gain more actions per round. So there is this strategy: do I keep a hold of the truffles to gain more VPs or spend them to gain more actions, which means I can get more truffles later?
Finally, at the start of the game, each player gets three mission cards, and by completing these, they gain additional VPs at the end of the game. These mission cards are first shuffled between all players, so everyone sees all mission cards in play, but when we were playing our two-player game, She-Hawk would be like, “are you trying to collect yellow truffles?” — “no comment”
Interestingly, all players are involved in deciding how the wolves will move. The player “programs” the wolf movement at the end of their turn. How is this done? The players each have directional cards in their hand with N,E,S, and W on them. They first look at the wolf die, then select that number of direction cards from their hand and place them face down to either the Brown Wolf or Grey Wolf tracks. Each player repeats the above process at the end of their respective turns, and the wolves finally move after all players have laid down cards. By the end of the round, you’ll have directional cards from multiple players on the wolf board.
If the die shows a wolf icon, players also add a new wolf to a cave facing north. Then one by one, the players flip the Brown wolf direction cards over and move all Brown wolves one tile in the direction revealed. If the card shows a 2 (instead of N, E, S, W), the players move the wolves two tiles in the direction they are facing. If a wolf hits a wall tile, it stops, but if it reaches the edge of the board, it loops to the other side. This movement is repeated for the grey wolves. So you can try to move the wolf towards your opponents, but with multiple people putting down cards, you can’t guarantee it will move where you want it to.
If a wolf moves through or finishes its movement on a pig space, that pig runs away. They are removed from the board. Losing a pig is the worst possible outcome and should be avoided at all costs. If both pigs of the same color run away, one of the pigs is out for the rest of the game. Players may pay two truffles to another player, and then you can return one pig to the game. You do not want to get caught by the wolves! So you can try to move the wolf towards your opponents, but with multiple people putting down cards, you can’t guarantee it will move where you want it to.
After the wolves move, any stunned wolves get revived, and if the direction track for either wolf type is complete, all cards get returned to their respective players. Finally, the next player in player order takes the die and rolls it – beginning the next round.
The game ends when there is only one player left in the forest or if the board only has three truffles left. Players then add up their VPs; the one with the most is the winner.
We were pleasantly surprised by Super Truffle Pigs. Too often, we expect a game from a major publisher to be a carbon copy of another game, just reskinned. However, in this game, we got something new. Maybe that’s because Bicycle took it through the Kickstarter process – our copy was from there. We like the give-and-take strategy of whether you give up truffles (secured VPs) to upgrade your pig and potentially gain more truffles later. We also enjoyed the “programmable movement” of the wolves as it felt like everyone had a bit of control on where the wolves go. In a two-player game, it was easier to predict where the game was going to go, but I imagine it would be harder to keep track of in a four-player game.
We also liked the variety of Pig superpowers. There was Laser Vision, Super Dash, Mind Control Secret Path, Teleport, Fly, Super Swap, and Warp. Each of these was entertaining to read. They also had pictures to show you how to move the pigs across the tiles for each super power.
The mission cards were good, but we noticed that most missions were just variations of types of truffles to collect. There were other cards, but three-quarters of the cards were these truffle collection cards. Not a huge critique, and it doesn’t affect the game. In a two-player game, if you both select truffle cards at the beginning, the whole game’s strategy becomes simply collecting truffles. Which I guess is the point of the game!
So, all in all, this is a fun game and something that players should bring Super Truffle Pigs to the table more often.
If you are interested in this game, we hope to get it into our store soon. It was a Kickstarter, but it looks like Bicycle will be doing a retail version. We’ll update this article with any new information as it becomes available.