100% Orange Juice Review

100%OJ BoxBy looking at the name alone, you wouldn’t be able discern that 100% Orange Juice is a board game. Beyond its anime style and theme appearance, it is certainly one of the more interesting hybrids of skill and chance that can be frustrating as it does bring out the worst in people with a competitive nature. It still amounts to a great deal of fun all the same.

Information

Title: 100% Orange Juice
Genre: Card/Board game
Developer: Orange_Juice (Published and localized by Fruitbat Factory)
System: PC (Steam Store)
Length: Varies

Review

As someone who grew up with the traditional analog games such as: Monopoly and Uno to the more unorthodox such as: Duel Masters, Yu-gi-oh, and the Pokemon TCG – 100% Orange Juice undoubtedly sets itself apart as these titles electronic counterpart in both good and bad ways. With the good hinging on forging your own winning strategy against the unpredictable RNG (random number generator) from hell – it almost topples the negative where the game leans heavily on a steep learning curve even with the provided manual. Regardless, if you can stick with it and find friends to join in with some the mulitplayer aspects, 100% OJ becomes both an exercise in bringing out your competitive spirit as well steadfast patience against a nearly unfair, if not fickle game of pure chance.

As alluded to, there is no set way for you to win a game in 100% Orange Juice: it is all up to you. While the overall goal is to get 5 big stars, you can do that in one of two ways. One, you can defeat a prescribed number of opponents (random monsters and fellow players alike) or collect a set number of smaller stars by the aforementioned methods or landing on a bonus panel. Like most board games, 100% Orange follows a simple routine of players awaiting their turn and rolling dice that will determine how panels they get move over. Most of the panels have various effects such as: receiving more stars, dropping them, drawing a card, getting into a random battle, wrap panels, a base that will heal HP and allow you to receive your “Norma” (the condition for getting those big stars) or nothing. Ideally, you want to complete your Norma as soon as possible to get to the next, but as I am sure you will find out the process isn’t so easy as you will lose stars, meet defeat by another player, or simply cursed by bad luck. To this end, one round of in 100% Orange Juice can easily amount to an 1 hour of play that will be a world of suffering or joy until you choose to end it. However, that is only the half of the game and I have yet to get to the vindictive part.

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100%OJ6Before you begin a game, you get to build a deck of cards from a pool you own, 10 in total that possess different effects. You only start off with one when you begin a match, but if you land on a draw card panel during your turn, you will eventually get more. The cards can be use in various ways: some as panel traps, some immediately, and others in battle. Using them in combination ways will help your game, but also can hinder it just like it can for the other player. For example: I was behind on my Norma for the fourth star while one NPC was close to winning. I decided to lay a trap on the board that would give 3 points of damage to however landed on it – enough to deal with that NPC for a turn or two. As fate would have it, due to stopping on a wrap panel twice, I eventually fell for my own trap and died. Unable to roll a higher enough dice number to revive myself for two turns (you have to do that if you die), the NPC eventually won, a game I spent 45 minutes carefully trying to control. If all sorts of mischievous like this can happen via single player free play and campaigns, you can only imagine that this makes for a rousing meta game of “piss off your friends/family/random people” in multiplayer. At the end of the day, it is still all fun, but hard not to get competitive or slightly angry with all the misfortune that can happen or come from behind victory moments occurring at a moments notice. When you win matches, you get certain number of stars dependent on your end game total and used as currency that will allow you purchase new cards from the shop or stronger random battle monsters that adds nice element of surprise and challenge for both yourself and opponents, but also ups the reward.

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Mentioned previously, besides playing the main campaign as anyone of the 4 initial characters, other game modes include: single player free-play or multiplayer where you can host a room with friends or join in with others. The wait does vary if you are joining a game, yet I found myself getting one around 7 minutes with everyone ready to play, due to the sizable number of players that will sometimes be present on odd days of the weekday. The weekend wait is not bad either. You can also view your play records, see the cards you have, and more importantly – view the manual (which I think only pertains to the Steam version). Again, while is possible to pickup on the rules rather quickly, the manual is still must if you want to get most of the game and really understand the fundamentals so you can be at your best. When it comes to rules, this game is anything, but intuitive and will probably take you a couple of hours to have a working knowledge of things.

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Boasting a 2D anime style design, the artwork is vivid and colorful – befitting a game such as this. Unless you have played other games developed by Orange_Juice (they have also been translated by Fruitbat Factory), then most of the characters will likely be foreign to you, but you don’t have to know the characters to enjoy this game. The music is also nice – plenty of it akin to elevator music, yet nice relaxing, if not already to throw a fit. Thankfully, with all the description of the cards clear and manual very thorough of what you need to know, Fruitbat Factory has done a great job with localizing the game as well as keeping up with periodic updates the it receives. More blessings or headaches? You be the judge.

100% OJ definitely isn’t and won’t be for everyone – nonetheless, if you are the person that likes competitive play against friends or family, it will be a perfect fit. The game does have an element of easy to get into if you learn the rules, yet also naturally hard to master due to luck and skill being equally important to how well you will perform. Although for game that doesn’t take itself too serious, you shouldn’t either and will be enjoyable if manage to do just that.

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Pros: Easy to jump into, different ways to achieve victory, an equal usage of skill and luck, collectible/useful card component, great artwork, nice soundtrack, manual included

Cons: matches can drag on, steep learning curve, could use a predefined tutorial

Note: As of writing this (10/14/2014), the game is on sale via Steam until Oct 20th. $6.99 to $2.93 is a good deal if you are interested enough.

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7 thoughts on “100% Orange Juice Review

  1. While I -do- like 100% Orange Juice I can’t bring myself to say it’s a good game. Compared to other board games i’ve played it just doesn’t have very many features and the vast majority of choices you make aren’t particularly important. You can follow one particular algorithm to increase your chances of winning and that’s about it. While you can think very carefully about which cards you’re going to include you probably won’t even pick them up during a game. I’m not sure i’d say it has a steep learning curve either…there’s just not much to it overall >.<

    Similarly, it has an anime-ish feel but the story isn't very good at all. It's fun to play with friends, I admit, mostly because of how ridiculously turned-around games can get. All in all, I would say it's not a bad buy in a sale, though if I had to rate the game itself i'd have to give a 5-6/10.

    • I can agree with some of that, but not all. Yeah, you do have to rely on one of the two specific normas to get a victory – both easily achievable, but in reality, they aren’t and the chance element is apart of what makes it semi-enjoyable. It it is also true that there isn’t much to the game and most of the cards you choose for the deck, you probably won’t get – but again, there is element of chance you will draw them. So, when I construct a deck, I only put in 1-2 of my most non-situational cards and 2-3 to the useful ones to ensure the chance I draw them when I do land on the space. That being said, learning which ones are useful to no so much is apart of the learning curve and skill aspect – albeit limited. I had no idea different cards had cost associated (until now) with them – until I tore into the manual again for the 3rd time. Factor in the 3 (well 4 now thanks to the new update) difficulty modes, it does have fair amount of both intangible and tangible aspects to it.

      I do agree that the story isn’t too interesting, but seems like more of a game to play with friends. So for someone that rarely plays these type of games often on either spectrum (friends or alone), it is a refreshing and frustrating title.Around a 7/10 for me, but do hope they add some balance so that the game doesn’t drag on as long in many cases.

  2. Steep learning curve? Don’t tell me you’re one of those dumbed down gamers. Also you missed mentioning game updates like Dangerous Pudding.

    Anyway, game is fun. I started playing it since release date. Although the wiki I started isn’t getting updated nowadays.

    • Wow, that was rude and uncalled for. I’m just looking at through lens of a normal person..someone that if picking this up wouldn’t have clue to make of it playing through a round a couple of times. And yes, those were updates I referencing. I’m able and willing to read the there Steam feed before reviewing anything…

      • Whoops, didn’t mean my tone to be that personally rude at you, directly. I recently find problems with those type of people on some games like Guild Wars 2 (because their updates like leveling is getting stupid). Reason why I simply call them as “dumbed down gamers” because they don’t think and are plain lazy looking for instant cheese on the table. Although I find it unreasonable to go down and think like them.

        • I wasn’t particular offended, but after reading the rules for 2 hours and hadn’t even got to the surface, I would like to think that wasn’t just mindless playing. Although, you might of picked up on it quicker than I did, especially how the cards are used.

  3. Pingback: QP Shooting Dangerous!! Review | Moonlitasteria

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