Do you like deck-builders? It doesn’t really matter, because I’m going to take you on a journey of sexy, scantily-clad Anime maids who want nothing more than to please you; their Ultimate Master. Sounds like something out of Matt N.’s mind, right? WRONG! It’s a mother-fucking deck-builder game! Actually, in all honesty, this game is absolutely fantastic, except for the lack of tentacle porn.
If you haven’t played a deck-building game before, you draw a certain amount of cards on each of your turns, and you use those cards in the best combination you can. The interesting thing is that once your deck runs out, you re-shuffle the cards used that turn back into your deck once it runs out, unless a card was permanently placed in front of you (in Tanto Cuore’s case, this is called “Chambering”). Tanto Cuore is a 2-4 player deck-building game that plays very similar to Ascension or Dominion (never played either one; Jeff mentioned that this game is like one of those games, but I forget which one. Listen to the goddamn episode if you want to figure it out). Long story short, you are dealt some starting maid cards as, well as some “Love” cards (which is the currency in this game; why the fuck not?) to help you purchase your own underage harem of maids. You can also use Love to buy cards that are worth more Love (Yo Dawg…), which helps you get more out of your hand. For Tanto Cuore, you can use the Love cards to buy more profitable Love cards and other maids, you can use the maid cards to give you bonus effects (such as giving you extra Love or being able to chamber an extra maid), or you can chamber a maid, which takes her out of your deck, and gives you a permanent bonus or end-game victory points while thinning your deck, to give yourself a better chance of drawing more profitable cards on later turns. Players take turns until any 2 types of maids are bought out (you determine which maids are available before the game starts, as not all are available each game). Players then tally up their victory points to determine the winner. You can also purchase special Private maids and buildings.
Of course, the artwork in this game is mostly underage Anime maids, with some in provocative positions. If you don’t like that, then you won’t like this game. A group favorite is the Nap Maid, as she is hired just so you can take a nap on her lap. However, if you can get past the creepiness of this game, it is an incredible deck-builder. Like most solid deck-builders, each of your turns can have major consequences if you draw up a bad hand that round, or squander it away on useless ass maids. The learning curve is fairly steep, so I wouldn’t introduce this deck-builder to someone who hasn’t played one yet (Penny Arcade: The Card Game is slightly simpler, as well as Star Realms), but as the teacher (or should I say Ultimate Master), it’s your job to teach your underlings how to play, and not destroy them the first time they play. That can ruin the game for anyone. All in all, I really do enjoy this game, and the ridiculous theme just makes it all the more appealing to me, albeit in a slightly creepy way. Anyway, if you’re looking for a deck-builder that isn’t about stupid-ass wizards and dragons from shitty movies and shows like the Hobbit and Game of Thrones, and you want to creep out your friends and family, then this is the game for you.
Final Score: 8 / 10
Until Next Time, Adios Amoebas!