Mint Works is a curiously strong worker placement game designed by Justin Blaske and published by Five24 Labs. The game plays 1-4 players in 10-20 minutes and is suitable for players 10 and up. The objective is to score the most stars for the buildings you have built in your neighbourhood.
Getting Mint Works out of the tin and onto the table is quick and will have players rolling in very little time.
- Place 4 core Locations on the table
- Place 2 Deed locations on the table with the “”closed” side up
- Shuffle the Plans and make a deck
- Draw 3 plans from the deck
- Give each player 3 mints and place the remaining mints in a pile
- Give the start player token to the first player
The game comes with a variety of additional locations that can be added once players have played a few games and want to change up the strategy and options presented.
Each round has 2 phases Development and Upkeep. During the Development phase players will make one of 2 choices:
- Place a mint on an available action and perform that action
That is the extremely simple view of Mint Works, essentially on your turn you are trying to accomplish 3 major things
- Get more mints
- Get a Plan
- Build a Building
Getting mints is relatively simple as long as the producer or leadership council actions are open but the other two require a little planning. To take the Supplier action which allows you to take a plan you must play the amount of mints indicated on the plan you intend to take. In order to build you need to first have a plan in hand and then place on the Builder action space. Getting buildings built in your neighbourhood is key since this is not only how players score but certain buildings will grant the player bonuses during the upkeep phase.
Once everyone has passed they complete the upkeep phase:
- Check if anyone has reached 7 stars, if so move onto scoring
- Refill the plan supply to 3 plans
- Check each players buildings for upkeep effects and resolve them
- Check if any played on a deeded location, if so pay the owner
- Return all played mints to the mint pool
- Each player takes 1 mint
If scoring wasn’t triggered during upkeep play another development phase until the end game is triggered. Once the end game is triggered the player with the most starts in her neighbourhood is the winner.
Mint Works is really well done. The embossed tin looks great and fits nicely in your pocket or back pack. My only minor quibble was that the instruction booklet didn’t pop out of the tin as smoothly as I would like due to its square corners when the tin has rounded corners, this was quickly resolved by trimming the corners. The mints are lovely little wooden bits and even the start player marker is wood. The location and plan cards look great and have a good weight. The overall presentation is excellent, its cute, its functional, and is extremely portable.
Mint Works is the perfect introduction to the worker placement mechanic, it boils the system to its purest form and makes it extremely accessible. It sets up, teaches, and plays quickly. The solitaire option is an excellent addition with several AI opponents included that can prove to be fairly challenging. The price point and play time make this a great little game to carry with you at all times and I highly recommend looking into this pocket sized power house.