Let's go to the seaside in Chip & Collect

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside! Except perhaps when being harassed by hungry gulls or pigeons who fancy your chips... Such birds can get a bit of a bad rap, but Chip & Collect shows them in a fun light as you get to have your own flock of gulls, pigeons and ducks to try a bit of chip grabbing yourself.


Fun fact: there is actually no such thing as a seagull, just gulls. Fifty different species of gulls in fact, six of which are found in the UK.

The Chip & Collect card game box

​Players: 2-4

Ages: 6+

Game Time: 15-30 minutes

The card game was designed by Norfolk-based Chris Parker and his two daughters Jasmine and Summer as a lockdown project. I had a lovely chat with Chris at UK Games Expo 2022 after being drawn to the brightly coloured box and quirky artwork and was thrilled to be sent a copy to review. The original inspiration for the game came from the family giving chips to bird flocks at their local seaside town and watching how they held or dropped them in a battle of skill. What started as an energetic discussion on the car journey back about a chip grabbing card game, then lead to making a paper prototype and ultimately Golden Doughnut Games being born with Chip & Collect successfully launching via Kickstarter.


The game is set up by firstly shuffling each deck - 'Skills', 'Grab', 'Chips' and 'Held or 'Dropped' - and then laying them out on the table in that order, representing the battleground. The top card of each deck is then placed above the respective deck to start the discard piles.



The 'air crew' bird cards (those with the coloured badges -'glider', 'navigator', 'pilot', 'swooper') are shuffled and dealt out equally, with the remaining 'cadet' (white badge) cards then also being shuffled and dealt out equally to ensure a fair distribution. Each player then shuffles the cards they have been dealt to form their own flock, which is placed on the table face down.


Play starts with each player turning over the top card of their deck and reading out the 'squawk off' decibel level. The player with the loudest bird is the start player, with play then moving to the bird battle. If the start player has a 'cadet' bird (white badges), they must then turn over the top card of the skill deck, otherwise if they have an 'air crew' bird they may chose either the top card from the discard pile or a new skill card.


The bird battle is based on green, amber and red flags next to the three skill types - 'flying', 'chip grabbing' and 'quacking'. Green beats amber and red, and amber beats red. In the event that two birds have a matching skill level, the player with the highest 'squawk off' level wins. The winning bird then earns the privilege of trying to grab some tasty chips.


Each bird has its own unique 'chipability' - this might be something useful e.g. for Chip Chip you get to take another held/dropped card if any chip cards are dropped, or something potentially harmful e.g. for Quaninky you must grab the top grab card on the discard pile and use it instead.



To start chip grabbing, the player turns over a new grab card, placing it below the grab deck. The amount of seconds on the card (1,2 or 3) represents how may chip cards can then be grabbed. There may be some modifications based on chipabilities e.g. being able to draw an additional grab card.


The player then grabs one chip card for each second, picking from either the discard pile or deck (this can be mixed if more than one second) and places them in a grabbing line from left to right. They then draw a new held or dropped card from the deck, placing one down per chip card also from left to right, unless they draw the 'caution' card, which ends their turn . Grabbing can also sometimes be modified by chipabilities.


Chip cards are a mixture of one, two and three chips, bad food cards (e.g. the evil plastic bag), caution cards with a picture of a dog which force you to miss a turn, and bonus cards (e.g. the Golden Doughnut worth six points and the Golden Feather that if discarded lets you either scare off the dog, add one more second to a grab card or win any squawk off).



The played 'held' or 'dropped' cards, and dropped chip cards are then placed in their respective discard piles, working right to left back down the line. Any held chip cards are grabbed and placed next to the player face up.


If the player managed to grab at least one good chip card, the player then starts a new bird battle after selecting/drawing a skill card. If they grabbed only bad food or dropped all items their turn ends.


The rules state that if a turn ends you then follow 'new turn', taking the top skill card from the new neck and placing it face up so everyone can see and starting a new bird battle. It's unclear which player would turn over this card, as the rules do not specify. Therefore, I would presume that this is a forced new skill card and that air crew birds only really matter when it's your turn to have the potential to retain your turn for more grabbing and that whoever wins the bird battle from the turned over new skill card takes the turn.


Play continues until all food items are grabbed, with the winning player being the one with the most points. The food items are not shuffled once the deck is depleted, which adds an interesting dynamic as it means that players may want to deliberately lose a bird battle so as to not risk grabbing bad food.


Let's get the negative out of the way. My biggest struggle with the game was the rules. Firstly how they were written. I had a hard time getting my head around a player's turn. I thought it was maybe just me as I can sometimes struggle to take in rules after a first read through. However, I got our resident Rules Lawyer to read them and he also found them slightly confusing. This could easily be resolved by a little more care in wording and the order in which things are explained. For example, it starts referring to colour coded flag colours before explaining their function. Another example is that usually in most games when a card is 'discarded' it then cannot be used but if you win a bird battle the rules state that you place the bird in a discard before then using its chipability for your chip grabbing; I would have perhaps said to retain the bird to use its chipability and then discard it. The layout of the rules sheet is also a little confusing as page two appears to run on to what is actually page four. I would have preferred a booklet instead but appreciate this may have increased costs/the price point slightly with the addition of a staple.



I also have a couple of accessibility niggles. Firstly, the font size on the rule sheet is particularly small and thus hard to read. Secondly, it is a little hard to tell between amber and red flags when they are in isolation and suspect that some colour blind people may struggle, symbology/letters could perhaps be added to resolve this.


A slight criticism is that I found that in two-player quite often one player ended up dominating with the other player not getting a look in. In the version we were sent we have nine dropped cards, and eleven held cards, which should have been twelve held and eight dropped according to the rule sheet. Chris has told me that they'd listened to feedback at UK Games Expo during playthroughs and that in the newer printing they have changed the weighting of 'held' and 'dropped' cards to a 50% split to prevent this issue. We played our own variant whereby your flock was actually a hand and you got to pick which bird card you were playing. We enjoyed this as it added some tactics rather than feeling quite heavily luck based. However, I respect that it was a deliberate choice not to have this to avoid players just always playing their best birds.


As a possible enhancement there could maybe have been additional abilities for the different 'air crew' birds than just being able to select the top skill card from the discard pile.


Negatives aside, there is a lot to love about this little game and I thoroughly enjoyed playing it. The yellow and blue seaside-inspired colour scheme is great. It comes in a compact box, and the cards and rule sheet fit nicely inside. However, I maybe would have liked some space for the options of sleeves as the cards could quite easily get damaged. It is highly portable and therefore is perfect and fun game to take on family holidays to have a quick game or two in an evening or a rainy day. Top Trumps tends to be a popular family game, and anyone familiar with it should quickly pick up the gameplay. I can see it selling really well in seaside gift shops.


I adore the artwork, which was originally hand drawn by the Parkers and then beautifully digitalised by The Moosemind (www.fiverr.com/themoosemind). Also, you can't help but smile reading each bird card because of the funny names (e.g. Dirty Barry or Crackers) and amusing flavour text. Finally, always a plus for me, there are no plastic elements, and it is all FSC certified paper, so environmentally friendly.

Chip & Collect is a great family-friendly game that is quick and fun to play and can be enjoyed by both children and adults alike. I love that it was designed by a dad and his two daughters. It is highly portable, so great to take on holiday or to play in a café. The artwork is fantastic and the card text puts a smile on your face and it would be a great gateway game to get children more into gaming.


As Golden Doughnut Games are just starting out they don't currently have their own dedicated website for purchasing the game. However, if you love the sound of Chip &Collect and would like to grab yourself a copy, you can pay £15 via PayPal to dreamshed4ever@btinternet.com and Chris will send you a copy. Or contact him at goldendoughnutgames@gmail.com. You can find them on Instagram (@goldendougnutgames).


Your resident Word-nerd Sueyzanne

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