In 1-2-3 Cheese! – designed by Ta-Te Wu, art by Shenanjegans, and published by Sunrise Tornado Game Studio – players are a group of mice who have been caught in the middle of a cheese heist. To escape, each mouse must abandon their burglaring associates by dropping as much cheese as possible in other players’ stashes.
Each player’s goal in 1-2-3 Cheese! is to end each round with as few cards as possible in their stash (the area in front of them) and hands. To do this, they will build same-color runs and same-color number matches, placing those unwanted cards in front of their opponents.
At the end of each round, cards in each player’s stash are counted as one crumb, and each card in hand is considered two crumbs. The lower crumbs the better, as scoring ranges from 1 to 6 points per round based on each player’s number of end-round crumb. Any player hitting 12 points triggers the end game, and the player with the most points is the winner!
Ta-Te shared with me that, “Colorblind accessibility is always part of my game design and development process,” and that holds true for 1-2-3 Cheese! The four suits are identified by color (red, green-I-think, and two shades of blue-ish) and symbol (Triangle, Circle, Heart, Star). In addition, the number of cheese blocks on the card matches its number. Ta-Te and team earn top marks for colorblind accessibility.
Side note: Matching symbols to their natural colors, like a red heart, is a subtle, much-appreciated nod to colorblind players.
The scoring sheet is also colorblind-friendly, so we’re all good there. In my preview copy, the player meeples for score tracking were placeholders, so I’ll keep an eye out for the final version.
I liked but didn’t love 1-2-3 Cheese! in 2-player mode, though I have a feeling it may shine at higher player counts. In my game, our number of “crumbs” were nearly the same each round, and I didn’t see the tactics or strategies that would change this. Also, I previewed this game the same day I first played Boba Mahjong, which I fell in love with immediately, so I could be comparing the two unfairly. That said, I recommend giving 1-2-3 Cheese! a try, especially if your group is 3 to 5 players.
1-2-3 Cheese! will be available on Kickstarter in Summer 2021. Go to the Sunrise Tornado website for details!
Colorblind Games received a complementary pre-production copy of 1-2-3 Cheese! for this preview. Some components and final art may change in the published version.