Review: Om Nom Nom

Posted by James (admin) on December 13th, 2013

Om Nom Nom game

Om Nom Nom is a very quick and light game of predicting what other players will do.  On the table are 3 boards showing a different set of animals/food in predatory order: Wolf/Rabbit/Carrots, Cat/Mouse/Cheese and Hedgehog/Frog/Fly.  So, at the top is the main predator, below it is the predator’s food, and below that is the predator’s food’s food.

At the start of a round, 15 dice are rolled which have the 6 foods on them (rabbit, carrot, mouse, cheese, frog, fly) and these are placed on the relevant board areas.  Each player starts each round with 6 cards – one for each animal (wolf, rabbit, cat, mouse, hedgehog, frog) and each card can only be played once during a round.  There are 6 turns in a round and, each turn, all players play 1 of their cards by revealing them simultaneously.  Players playing an animal which has food below it share the food evenly (discarding any that can not be shared evenly) – rabbits, mice and frogs are each worth 1 point; whereas, carrots, cheese and flies are each worth 2 points.  (Note that rabbit, mice and frog cards that players play also count as food so can be eaten too.)

However, there’s a catch: The eating gets resolved from top to bottom on each board.  This means a predator at the top of a board may eat the animal below it before that lower animal gets a chance to eat the food below them.  In the photo above, if player A played a hedgehog and player B played a frog, then player A would eat player B’s frog along with the 2 frogs on the dice and this would happen before player B’s frog gets a chance to eat the  flies.  You score 1 point for each of your own animal cards that didn’t get eaten when played.  Most points after 3 rounds wins.

On Nom Nom boxOm Nom Nom is incredibly straight forwards and is a lot of light fun.  It seems obvious to start with, but players start becoming more cunning as they start second-guessing each other.  If some players use their cats to eat all the mice, it’s easy to think the cat you haven’t played yet isn’t useful, but you can still use it to eat other player’s unplayed mouse cards if timed well as they’ll have to play them at some point.

Trying to work out what other players will do is the core fun of the game, and seeing the results when you know they did or didn’t do what you expected.  In one of my games, I went all-out risky and sent a mouse to eat the vast amount of cheese in the first turn, hoping everyone else would think that was a too crazy so wouldn’t bother sending any cats – funny thing was it paid off and I hoovered up loads of points as no-one else sent a mouse or a cat.  Of course, I wasn’t stupid enough to try that again the very next turn by playing a frog to grab the vast amount of flies, was I?  Of course I was – and it worked as everyone assumed someone would play a frog!

The game doesn’t really need the big boards that come in the box as the same game could be played using 9 cards to structure the different predators/animals, but the artwork is very nice and the boards make the game more visual.  The game comes with a printed scoring pad and pencil which is a welcome addition, even if it’s not essential.

There’s probably scope for a few variant rules like having any food that does not share evenly remain on the board rather than be discarded, or having used cards go in a face-down discard pile so people forget what’s been played, or maybe even buying back a card, etc.  Still, these are rules players can invent themselves.

I’m not sure about the solo play option as it’s purely picking your own card and then dealing out a random card for another player or two and resolving that.  So, that’s a bit too random for me as it’s the interaction with human players that makes the game.  However, I doubt anyone will be buying this game for it’s solo potential.

Om Nom Nom is such a simple game but with lots of double-thinking and the fun that comes from that.  The gameplay reminds of Sneaks and Snitches (which is a good thing) but even simpler.  Definitely one I’d like to play with the family (old and young) this Christmas.

[Played with 5 players]

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>