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Tom Vasel Video Review of Yomi

Tom Vasel did a video review of Yomi. As I said before, he's one of the most respected board game reviewers out there, so it's a real honor to see his glowing review.

Reader Comments (32)

WANT! Must get money for complete edition!

December 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHanamigi

As I only recently found this blog I didn't even consider having a deeper look into Yomi, as I'm generally more interested in things like "Secrets of DKC2" and such. However, a video of 10 minutes isn't that much of my time wasted if I wasn't interested in it after all.

So I took a look without knowing anything about Yomi, and wow... My mind was nearly exploding. So much simple complexity is awesome. I could immediately tell that this game is what I wish for any game: Simple, yet so much room to play with.

(Simple complexity means for me sort of: Easy to understand but you can do sooo much with it)

December 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterYagamoth

Congrats Sirlin! I am so happy to see Yomi get such a ridiculously positive review from such an esteemed reviewer. I really hope this takes off for you and that you make hundreds of games for me to play over the next 30 years.

December 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJimb0v

Hahaha, that guy was really excited about it.

You should scrap the "Yomi" thing and rename it "A bit of that whole Princess Bride thing going on in there".

It just rolls off the tongue!

December 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDave

One thing that keeps going through my head about this game is how the ten different decks would make it great for playing Caravan, the card game in Fallout: New Vegas. Essentially, you have to build your own deck for it using regular playing cards, but if you want two of the same card, like two copies of the 9 of Spades, they have to be from different decks, which in New Vegas means cards printed by different casinos. I assume this restriction is to give your opponent a heads up that you've got a deck with plenty of dupes(or have you, hehehe) by eyeballing whether the backs are varied or not, so the different backs to Yomi cards would make it perfect.

The game looks awesome. If only Christmas and the Steam sales hadn't wiped me out completely, I'd buy it right now. What's the situation with shipping to the UK? I've got a good mind to buy all three games when finances permit, but what would the delivery charges be?

December 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNidokoenig

I'm not sure if you're really suggesting that idea or just saying it reminded you of another game. For a real physical card game, it's infeasible to have different card backs in the same deck because you can't shuffle without cheating. Also, players played a customized online version like you're saying for fun, and it's degenerate, unsurprisingly. Instead of 10 decks, there's basically 1 deck, or maybe 2 or something.

As for UK shipping, or any shipping, you can put the games in your cart at and see exactly what the shipping will be. I think it's $30 for UK shipping, and it's probably the same whether you order 1 or 2 or 3 games, so might as well combine your order to save on shipping if you can.

Also, thanks about saying it looks awesome. ;)
And Jimbov thanks, I'll try to make a few more games for you too.

December 28, 2010 | Registered CommenterSirlin

It reminded me of another game. The Fallout wiki has some more information on Caravan:

It's mostly intended as a bit of flavour in a post-apocalyptic world, not a deadly serious game, and even then Obsidian aren't exactly known for balance and polish, so I've got no doubt that the game is easy to break with a little thought, and being able to do shady tricks with shuffling is probably only the start of it.
You use a custom-made 30+ deck made up of cards you scavenge throughout the game, and your opponent uses their own deck. You can have any regular playing card in your deck, including Jokers, but if you want to use more than one of specific card, it has to be from a different set. The object of the game is build three caravans with your cards with a value between 20 and 27 and beat your opponent's bids, and these have to be either ascending or descending and all the same suit, so there's an obvious advantage to stacking your deck with, say, just one or two suits from different sets of cards, but if you do that, you'll have a bunch of cards with different backs, which your opponent can draw inferences from and do things like play a Queen on one of your caravans and switch its suit to one you might not have, forcing you to use a Queen of your own to switch it back, disband that caravan, or reveal that your deck is more diverse than you've been letting on.
You're probably right that it's exploitable and all that, but the only way to find out is to try and the Yomi set just seems like the perfect tool for doing that.

I basically only mentioned it because it's a game that (almost) requires several different versions of a standard deck to play and Yomi handily blows apart the ugly business of collecting different sets of cards. It's just been a mental tic that's been bothering me every time I see the game, "Ten sets of cards? Perfect for Caravan!". Even if it is a dumb idea, it'll bother me a lot less now that it's out there.

You're right, the shipping cost is $30 for all three, hell of a bargain. Also, making the basket a sad bag that you make happy by putting stuff in is a stroke of genius, you magnificent bastard. Anyway, as soon as I have $225 to spare, I know where to spend it.

December 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNidokoenig

Ah I see where you're coming from. Just had to get that idea out there so it wouldn't eat at you anymore, ha.

I agree that sad bag / happy bag is amazing. It was too hilarious an idea to pass up! I am laughing in real life just looking at that poor sad bag right now, haha. Save him with your $225!

December 28, 2010 | Registered CommenterSirlin

I wish I had people around me who liked playing board games. This game looks so freaking fun. Are there clubs where people play board games?

December 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCanis

Hey Sirlin, me again.

Just wondering if I placed an order for Yomi season 1 today, how long would you say it would take before I receive it.

I'm in a similar situation to when I got Puzzle Strike, and the address I put on the shipping info would be dependant on the delivery's arrival date.

December 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Tom Vasel also recorded a review for Puzzle Strike. His review was good, but not nearly the shining praise that Yomi received. He called Puzzle Strike a "good game" and if it used cards instead of chips, it would have been a "great game".

This, in my eyes, is a good sign for Yomi. If I enjoyed Puzzle Strike, and he reviewed Yomi with better praise, I see no reason not get it. I'm seeing a preorder coming along later this evening.

December 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterME

Dave: the exact shipping date is out of my hands on this one, but it looks like it will be the end of the first week of january, or perhaps the end of the second week. Good news is that whichever date it turns out to be, it will ship to absolutely everyone who ordered, none of this backorder stuff like last time. An unfortunate thing is that it's not as easy for me to change your shipping address after you order anymore, so do your best to put the right shipping address.

ME: yeah I saw. I guess I'll just have to disagree with him about the chips. There's a reason that so many Dominion fans made their own chips for that game (hint: shuffling). I also found it mysterious that he loves Yomi, a competitive game about interaction, but he heavily cautions everyone that Puzzle Strike is a competitive game with interaction. Yep! It sure is. It would have made more sense to me if he scolded certain other games for not having nearly enough interaction. You'd think interaction is kind of the point! Ha.

December 29, 2010 | Registered CommenterSirlin

I think Vasel cautioned about the interaction to people that were looking for a Dominion alternative. In a fighting game such as Yomi, it is expected.

December 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThierry

But if I'm looking for a Dominion _alternative_ it's because I don't want to play Dominion. Why caution someone that a game adds a new feature that makes it more fun!

December 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark Conkle

Because what makes something more fun for you doesn't necessary make it so for everyone else, but they still may want variety from time to time and are looking for a different theme Dominion-like game.

December 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThierry

He kept saying we can play the game for free on your website. I've visited both sirlin games and here, All I can find are the beta print outs...

is that what he means? or do you have a demo with an AI?

January 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

The online version is at
It's actually in the description of his youtube video, the bottom of's footer, mentioned in may of all my posts about Yomi here and on Facebook. I have linked it so much that I didn't link it in this article, but there you go! Enjoy! Remember that it looks pretty rough though. Feel free to leave feedback in the forums.

January 1, 2011 | Registered CommenterSirlin

After a long hiatus, I checked out Yomi once again. As it turns out, it's still pretty good! Unfortunately, it costs twice as much as StarCraft 2, the price of which already gave me a mild heart attack. How much of the price is a result of independent publishing and a small print run, and how much of it is just board games being expensive in general? Basically, how low do you suppose the price could go, if the game ends up being a wild success?

I will grab the PnP version, though, as I can't bear Sad Bag's disapproving stare. Supporting cool games is always a plus, too, I suppose.

January 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpkt-zer0

Nice. I'll be picking up both Yomi and the new run of Puzzle Strike when they're available

Have you given any thought to personally running some sort of tournament or competition or something for your games in the future Sirlin?

January 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCentimetro

Centimetro: I'd actually like to have a yearly tournament series for my games. That is too big of a thing for me to organize myself, as I have like 10 full time jobs making this stuff. So I'd need someone like SRK's Mr. Wizard to organize such a thing. Also, I was kind of wondering if it woud be popular enough without my unannounced 4th game...a customizeable card game that will be finished in about 100 years. Maybe Yomi + PS + Flash Duel is enough to hold an event though? (Working on a 2nd edition for Flash Duel with way more modes and stuff, btw.)

pkt-zer0, I don't expect the price to go down at all for the complete Yomi set, maybe for the 2-packs though. Here is what I wrote on BGG about that:

I'm very proud to offer the game at such a low price. Each deck costing less than $10 when you buy the bundle means that it's cheaper than a pre-con in Magic: the Gathering. MTG has huge print runs, lower quality cardstock, and you aren't even getting a tournament strength deck there (those cost $300+ per deck). That I have managed to beat them on price of *pre-cons* at around the $10 point is mindblowing.

Also, I specifically avoided the CCG model to be able to get you the entire game at such a low price. As a CCG, it would have cost you many thousands of dollars to get the complete game (with rares and random packs). There's another very expensive model called LCG where there's no random packs, but expansion after expansion that creates more cards than are really necessary for a game. It would cost you about $280 per year to get the complete Warhammer: Invasion, as an example. Meanwhile, it's only $100 once, forever, for Yomi. Somehow as a one man company, I'm able to beat those big companies on price/value.

Nothing says you have to buy every deck, either. 2-packs are $25, or the print-and-play of the entire game is only $15, and playing online on the (early in development) dev server is completely free.

I'm glad you liked the game so much, and I hope you appreciate how my anti-CCG model stance has allowed these prices. There is so much pressure in the market to go the CCG route and milk people for more than $10 per rare card, as opposed to under $10 per deck. I even put a warning label on every box to let people know it's not a CCG, has no rares, and no random packs. (For years, people expected that it was a CCG, it was the most frequent question about the game.) Anyway, I also hope it's a game you can play for years and years without having to buy anything more. Enjoy!

January 3, 2011 | Registered CommenterSirlin
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