Merry Christmas!

We will like to wish all our customers, supporters, crew, ex-crew, friends and families

A Very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

May Pitstop grow with you through the years.

Cheers to a Wonderful 2010!


Happy Birthday Pitstop Cafe

Pitstop Cafe is 4 years old today. 4 years seem like a short time that is till you realized that within this period of time, some of the regular customers have gone through the phases of their teens, entered NS, ORD and started their career.

The even years birthdays are always significant. Every 2 years our lease is up and we have to make the decision if we should continue or call it a day. The first 2 years were easy. As we had just started, it is obvious that we would continue for another 2 years.

Yet till last month, we wasn't sure if Pitstop Cafe would actually celebrate its 4th birthday. All of us have since then graduated from school and now busy with our careers, marriage plans, etc.

Somehow one thing leads to another or perhaps it was destiny, we decided to carry on for another 2 years. We like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to the current crew, ex crew and all the customers for your support over the past years.

We hope you will continue to support us and that Pitstop Cafe will always be remembered as the place where you have fun, laughter and great memories with your friends!

Pitstop Cafe, be part of fun!



Pitstop Cafe, a big thank you to all!

Time flies and next Wednesday, Pitstop Cafe is 4 years old! A big thank you for all of you who have supported us for the past few years and of course not forgetting the Pitstop crews who have made everything possible.

On 16th December, we are planning a simple party to thank everyone. From 6pm to 11pm, there will be free flow of drinks and games. There will also be a 20% discount off total bill. In additional, we might be also organizing a Bingo session where prizes will be won (still working on the details).

So do register for the event at our Facebook page. Hope to see you there.

Pitstop Cafe, be part of the fun!


Getting more games!

We will be updating our game library with more new games. If you have a great game to recommend, drop us a comment!

Pitstop Cafe, be part of the fun!


Quick update

Actually this isn't exactly an update. Some friends are asking why there isn't anymore updates on this blog or if we guys are still alive and kicking.

Well we are still around but been occupy with a couple of things. Hope to provide more updates soon.

At the meantime, be part of the fun and remember to tag your photos in our Facebook page! :)



Happy National Day!

Living in Singapore has its ups and downs. What matter most at the end of the day is to remember that your loved ones will always be here for you.

"This is where I won't be alone, for this is where I know it is home."

On behalf of Pitstop Cafe, I wish everyone a Happy National Day!



Board Game Review - Hansa

Hansa is one of the those good board games that occassionally slide under the radar. Hopefully this review would do the game some justice. Read on and I belive you will like this hidden gem.


Hansa is a game for 2 to 4 players by Michael Schact and published by Uberplay. In this game, players are merchants of the Hanseatic League (aka Hansa). Players get to control a ship that travels to different ports of the Baltic area. Through the trading of goods at the various ports, players gain victory points.

Game Components

Despite the small box packaging, the game components are of high quality. The game board is beautifully illustrated and function well though I would prefer it to be slightly bigger.

The single sheet rulebook is simple and well layout with clear illustrations and examples.

The game bits are simple but of great quality as what you would expect of Eurogames.

The beautifully crafted wooden ship definitely gives this game its unique character.

I believe you would agree that the Thalers (currency used in the game) look just as great!

The round wooden chips represent the market booths in the game...

and of course the goods that players get to buy.

Game Play

Players strive to get the most victory points and this is mainly done through selling of goods and setting up of their market booths in different ports. Players can move the ship through different shipping routes and visit different ports to buy goods.

Rhis task is not as simple as it looks. Moving the ship and buying of the goods require players to pay Thalers. However players get only 3 Thalers at the start of their turn and can only keep a limited amount of Thalers and goods at the end of their turn. Planning a good shipping route is crucial to do well in this game.

Apart from buying goods, players need to also setup their market booths. Market booths play an important strategic role in the game.

Being a market leader in any port (most number of market booths) will allow the player to get the goods for free. Other players wanting to buy goods at the port will have to pay the market leader as well.

They are also crucial for players to sell their goods. Although players can buy goods at any ports, they can only sell their goods in ports which they have at least a market booth. To sell their goods, players need to sell at least 2 of the same goods (based on the color).

Selling goods will enable player to gain victory points. The more goods (by number of barrels) you sell, the more points you get at the end of the game.

Though the gameplay sounds simple, what make Hansa really shines is that it requires players to make tough decisions.

At each port, players can only perform one of the 3 actions (buying goods, selling goods or setting up their markets). Hence players need to plan their routes well.

Each action also has its trade off. To setup their market booths, players need to discard their goods which mean that they have less goods to sell for victory points.

Similarly, selling goods at a port requires players to give up one of their existing market booth. Selling goods also mean that you have less goods that can be used to setup the market booths.

Wrestling with the decisions is what makes Hansa challenging and deeply satisfying.

Game Theme

I like the the trading theme in the game. The gameplay and component fits the theme well. Using the Hanseatic league is a nice touch, bringing players back the trading era of the middle ages.

The different colors of the goods work well in the game but I think having different type of goods such as corn, sugar, etc, would make the game theme even better.


Hansa is a great game which I think deserves more attention. The decision making part of the game is interesting and satisfying as players try to come up with the most effective sequence of decisions.

This is also a more tactical game instead of a strategical game. It is hard to plan ahead in this game since what you can do is highly dependent on the actions taken by the previous players. The shipping routes could also get a bit repetitive which could affect the replayability of this game.

There could also be moments of downtime as players can get stuck in analysis paralysis during their turn but it isn't really that big deal considering the quality of the gameplay that you get from the game.

So if you have yet try Hansa, it is definitely one of the hidden gems worth checking out.

Pitstop Cafe, be part of the fun!



Board Game Review - Chicken Cha Cha Cha

This a game review of a pretty simple but interesting board game called Chicken Cha Cha Cha. It isn't a game with deep game mechanics or strategy but if you looking for filler game, this game is a pretty good choice with its fun theme and simple gameplay. 


Ready for some cha cha cha?

Chicken Cha Cha Cha is a game for up to 4 players. It is basically a memory game but the designer, Klaus Zoch has design a really fun theme base on this simple concept. Each player has a chicken with a feather. Players will race their chickens in a track, trying to overtake their opponents' chicken and steal their feathers. The first player to steal all the feathers will be the winner!

Game Components

The main game componets are of course the 4 wooden chickens and I like these wooden game pieces. They just have a timeless feel to it.

The rest of the components include oval pieces with matching hexagaonal pieces of different pictures. The artwork is simple but vibrant which really goes well with the theme.

Game Play

This game is a simple memory game. A track is formed using the oval shape pieces and each player chicken are placed on it at roughly the same distance apart.

The chickens will race around this track. 

To race your chicken around the track, you need find the hexagonal piece that matches the picture shown in the step in front of you.

If you manage to find the matching picture, your chicken will get to move one step forward and you get another chance to open a hexagonal piece. So as long as you can find the matching pictures, you get to keep moving your chicken and this is where put your memory skills to the test.

If you are fast enough, you (the green chicken in this case) can catch up to other players' chicken. This is where the fun part begin. 

If you open the matching picture, you get to leap past your opponent's chicken...

and steal its feathers. However players can always take their revenge and steal back the feathers by overtaking each other. This ritual of lossing your feathers and stealing other chicken's feathers will continue until the winning chicken emerges with all the feathers on its back.

Game Theme

The theme is where I think the game really shines. Although the game play is simple and many would have played similar memory game, the theme of having chicken racing around the track and stealing each other feathers is a fun and interesting one. 


On the first look, Chicken Cha Cha Cha would seem like a game just for kids but if you give it a try you could see that it is a pretty enjoyable filler for all. The game is simple but the racing theme and stealing of the feathers can make the gameplay really enjoyable. 

The pace of the game can also get pretty intense as players try to gain the lead after stealing the feathers while the trailing player try to catch up. Since the stealer reveals the path ahead, it is easy for the trailing player to catch up. This helps to level the game and makes it more enjoyable for all players.

Chicken Cha Cha Cha is not a deep strategy game for most Eurogame lovers but if you are looking a simple filler game with a fun theme to start off your gaming session, do give this game a try!

Pitstop Cafe, be part of the fun!



Game Review, Scotland Yard

This is a game review of Scotland Yard, one of the oldest board games in the cafe. I got this game as a gift when I was in primary school back in 1988. So this game is almost 21 years old!


Scotland Yard is a very interesting deductive and cooperative game for up to 6 players. One player will play as Mr X the bad guy who is at a secret location on the map. The rest of the players will be detectives working together to deduce the location of Mr X.

Game Components

The components for the game are of pretty good quality and perhaps that explain why it survive the last 20 years. The game board depicting the map of London is beautifully illustrated. The player pieces are simple but functional.

Game Play

Scotland Yard has very interesting game play mechanics. It is a cooperative game that involves both deduction and strategy. Players acting as detectives will cooperate to beat one player acting as the villain. The game starts with detectives placed at various locations on the map.

Each player acting as a detective will have a number corresponding to a location on the map.

The player acting as a villian has a location as well but nobody know exactly where he is. For the detectives to win the game, they have to catch him at his current location.

Where the heck is Mr X?

To try to capture Mr X, detectives have to move to different locations on the map, hoping that they will land on the location of Mr X. To move around the city, detectives can take different modes of transport such as taxi, bus or train by using the tickets allocated to them.

Run out of tickets and you are stuck!

Different locations have different modes of transport available (indicated by color) and detectives can only travel one stop to another location using an available mode of transport. For example, the detective below can take a taxi and only travel from the current taxi stand to the next immediate taxi stand.

Only taxi are available at location 158 as represented by the yellow semi circle

Different modes of transport enable players to travel different distance as the stops may be further apart. Effective use of the transport system is the key to winning this game.

Trains allow you to travel further since the train stations (red marking) are further apart

Mr X, like the detectives, get to travel around the map too. Transport tickets used by the detectives are given to Mr X. As Mr X moves, the only clue that  detectives get is the mode of transport that he uses.

There he is!

At various intervals, he will have to reveal his location. Using this location and mode of transport that he subsequently takes, detectives will have to deduce his location and land at his location.

Mr X is going to reveal himself soon!

Detectives have to catch him before the end of 24 rounds before he escapes. If that happens, the detectives will have lots of explanation to do. "You mean that 5 detectives can't catch a single fugitive!?"


Scotland Yard has a great theme. Players engage one another trying to hunt down Mr X. There are lots of interactions as players strategize on how they plan to corner the villian. 

One of the strategy is to spread out initially and close in once Mr X reveals himself

When Mr X reveal himself in the location and provide clue on his next mode of transport, it is really fun to try and deduce where he plans to go. Playing the villian is exciting as well as the player will have to try and shake off the detectives that are hot on his heels.


I think Scotland Yard is a real classic. The game mechanics are interesting and it is a pretty easy game to pick up. There are lots of interactions as well as excitement as detectives anticipate the revealing of the location of Mr X. There are many interesting strategies that both sides can use such as Mr X giving a glance at a particular location of the board to mislead detectives about his current location.

The only drawback of the game is that the game experience is heavily dependent on the players themselves. The player that acts as Mr X got to be good enough to give the detective team a good challenge. Similary the detective team has to be good enough to make the hunt exciting and rewarding. A off balance in either side can make the game experience less than ideal.

The experience of playing as a detective or Mr X is also very different. In the role of detective, the emphasis is more on coooperation and deduction while playing Mr X involves more of planning your movement so that you don't get trap into corners.

Scotland Yard is a great game with great game mechanics. Perhaps it is a bit old which is why most people would not have noticed it. That is a pity considering that Scotland Yard is the recipient of the 1983 Spiel des Jahres game of year award. If deduction and cooperation game is your cup of tea, you definitely do not want to give Scotland Yard a miss!

Pitstop Cafe, be part of the fun!

P.S On the side note, I think someone should come out with a Singapore version for this game considering we have a great theme for it....


April PMS

Well well, it is that time of the month again for PMS. PMS is a fun event where board games lovers get to know new friends and enjoy board games together. This month Pitstoppers Meetup Session (PMS) will be on Tuesday (28th April 2009).

Date: Tuesday 28th April 2009
Time: 7.00pm to 10.30pm
Venue: Pitstop Cafe
Charges: Free gaming and free flow of drinks as well!
Promotion: Only $7 for main course and $4 for finger food.
Number: 30 pax (By registration only) Register for the event.

Hope to see you then!

Pitstop Cafe, be part of the fun!



Board Game Review - Relapse

This review is about a simple abstract strategy game given by Jeffery A. Krueger that I got to know on Facebook. The game arrive via air mail to Pitstop Cafe. It is one of those rare games that you don't find in other cafes.

Relapse is a 2 player abstract strategy game that has certain similarity to checkers. The objective of the games is to get your 4 out of 6 of your own pieces into your opponent's area, vice versa.

Game Components
The game component is pretty basic. It consist of a board and 2 set of plastic pieces that come in 3 different shapes. The rulebook is simple but isn't detailed enough. Illustrations would definitely be better but thankfully there is a video clip on the game play that is available on Youtube.

Game Play
The game play shares some characteristic of chess, with each piece having a different type of movement. The game pieces consist of 3 different type of shape, square, triangle and circle. The square can move one step at a time in horizontal or vertical direction. Triangle can only move one step diagonally and the circle is the most flexible having one step movement in any of the eight directions.

Moving the pieces across the board into the opponent's area. It is harder than it seem!

This configuration results in some interesting game play. Each player will need to move their pieces to a same zone across the board. During the movement, you can capture opponent pieces by moving into their occupied space. When this happen, they have to go all the way back to the home base and try again.

Hence a good strategy that utilizes the different movement of the pieces are necessary to advance your pieces into the opponent's base without being capture and send back to base.

I think it is a pity that the game designer did not incorporate a theme into the game, making the game play a really abstract experience that a limited group of people would enjoy. Instead of just shapes and a plain board, why not change them into military units in which they have to advance though the terrains to capture the enemy base? That would definitely make the game more interesting to the causal crowd.

This is a abstract strategy game that some would like while others would find it dry. The concept is interesting and it can be interesting trying to figure out a way to utilize the different movement characteristic of the pieces to win your opponent. However I find the pace slow due to the small movement step. A piece that got capture will have to start from the base again, making the game play a bit repetitive.

Nevertheless, the game is easy to pick up and suitable for folks who like games like chess and checkers. A good theme with a faster pace would make this game more appealing to the causal gamers.

This game is available at Pitstop Cafe, special thanks to Jeffery for giving us the game. Do give it a try and let me know what you think. 

Pitstop Cafe, be part of the fun!



March PMS

Well well, it is that time of the month again for PMS. PMS is a fun event where board games lovers get to know new friends and enjoy board games together. This month Pitstoppers Meetup Session (PMS) will be on next Tuesday (31st March 2009).

Date: Tuesday 31st March 2009
Time: 7.00pm to 10.30pm
Venue: Pitstop Cafe
Charges: Free gaming and free flow of drinks as well!
Promotion: Only $7 for main course and $4 for finger food.
Number: 30 pax (By registration only) Register for the event.

Hope to see you then!

Pitstop Cafe, be part of the fun!



What is mum up to?

Mum loves cooking. Every now and then she likes to try new stuff. It is always fun to look at how she studied the recipes and actively took down the notes. So what is she up to?

Well for this week she is trying out paper wrapped chicken chop! I had tested the prototype and it taste great! So for those who are dropping by on Friday and Saturday, do ask for it if you want to try something new.

I think you would love it.

Pitstop Cafe, be part of the fun!



Monopoly Challenge 2009

Monopoly isn't really my favourite game but for fans of this game, you would definitely like to take part in the upcoming Monopoly National Championship.

Registration cost only $4 per participant and winner gets an all expense paid trip for 2 person to Las Vegas!

Event Information

Venue: Plaza Singapura Open Plaza Level 1
Date: Saturday 4th April (Heats) and Sunday 5th April (Quarter, Semi & Finals)
Registration: Register by 29th March

Do note that there are also some changes to the game play to make it more strategic compared to the normal version. For more details, visit http://www.monopoly2009.com.sg 

Pitstop Cafe, be part of the fun!



An unlucky week

Last week was a really unlucky week. The cafe was broken into by somebody and we lost quite a bit of money which really matters for a small business like us. I was damn pissed off at the evil doer and ready to curse the culprit to death.

I opened my death note, wanting to write that the culprit will choke to death while eating fishball noodles. I did not do that. It wasn't that i was kind hearted but rather I realise i did not have a name.

Despite the losses, we really gotta be thankful that no one was hurt in the incident. The penguins and board games were safe from harm as well. Things could have been worse.

We are still not very sure when the crime was committed. Upon noticing that things were amiss in the cafe by the crew, a police report was filed. By the time I reached the cafe, there were already a few policemen at the scene taking down the statements from the crew.

I was expecting that the police would be doing some high tech stuff like scanning the place with high tech UV light to pick up suspicious footprints or something exciting. However no such stuff happened.

The policemen were mainly taking down statements and investigating for any signs of suspicious activities the vicinity. Photographs were taken and some useful clues were found. Hopefully the security cameras in the Boat Quay area would help in cracking the case too.

It has been an important lesson for us not to get careless especially now that times are bad. We really need to be more vigilant and take more care with our belongings. My mum was mentioning that her friend who is working as a cashier, ended up paying $100 out of her own pocket because some evil doer passed off 100 Thai Baht as Singapore dollars during the peak hour!

We are sharing our bad experience so that it would be a useful lesson to remind everyone to be more mindful and take good care of your personal belongings wherever you go especially during this period of economic uncertainties.

But no matter what lies ahead, do remember to treasure the love ones around you and smile. And if you are looking for a fun time to chase away the gloom, Pitstop Cafe is here for you!

Pitstop Cafe, be part of the fun!



Board Game Review, Pandemic

This is a review on a pretty recent game called Pandemic. The fact that this is a cooperative game makes it worth the effort to check it out. After all you don't get to find many board games in this genre.


Pandemic is a game by Matt Leacock. In this game, players cooperate to find the cure for 4 different diseases that is currently infecting the world. It is challenging as players have to find the cure and at the same time prevent the diseases from spreading out of control. 

It is a pure cooperative game in the sense that either the whole team wins or they lose which makes for an interesting gaming experience compared to most games where you are competing with each other.

Game Components

The components are pretty nice and I like the artwork for the cards and the game board. The rulebook is nicely formatted with clear examples which makes it easy to learn the game.

The individual action guide is useful and certainly makes it easier when you are teaching the game to first time players. My only gripe is the game board is rather small. It is not that it makes it difficult to play but I would definitely prefer a bigger game board. 

Game Play

The thing about Pandemic that catches my attention is the game mechanics.  It is well-designed and elegant design in the game play. The game is simple to learn and at the same time it provides an intense gaming experience. 

Like most cooperative games, it adopts the "bad guy good guy" approach. Players get to do something good during their turn. The board then gets it turn and throws in some chaos into the game. 

Pandemic is a game for  4 players where each player assumes one of the five possible roles (scientist, medic, operations, dispatcher and researcher). Each role gives the player an advantage when performing certain actions.

Players starting their adventure from the research center in Atlanta

Players have to work together to find the cures for 4 different diseases to win the game. This is done through the collection of player cards. To find a cure for a disease, a player need to collect 5 cards that have the same symbol as the disease. 

However, if a player is a scientist, only 4 cards is needed. Hence you can see that an important aspect of the the game is to be able to effectively make use of the different abilities provided by players with different roles.

Apart from using these cards to find a cure, they are also allow you to travel to different parts of the world. This makes the gameplay interesting because players have to decide between using the cards to travel or keeping them to find the cure, not to mention that players only get to keep up to 7 cards in their hand.

In the process of finding the cures for the diseases, players would still need to treat regions that are currently infected with different diseases. 

At the end of every turn, a number of new regions will be infected as players draw a certain number of infection cards from the infection cards deck.

The first type of card you learn to hate

Now you might be wondering what is the big deal? After all, you can go to these regions and treat the diseases. This is where the importance of making effective decisions as a team comes into play. If you are not able to treat the diseases fast enough, a region can get over infected causing an outbreak and spreading the disease to other regions.

Not to forget that the outbreak in one region can cascade into multiple outbreaks!

To many outbreaks and your whole team loses the game. The team also loses the game by running out of player cards or the disease cubes. This means that to win the game, the players got to act fast and efficient!

Before you think that the challenge can get any worse, let me introduce to you another set of cards that you will hate. They are the epidemic cards. They appear every now and then throughout the game, creating more chaos. 

When this a card is drawn, a new region will become super infected (with 3 disease cubes). At the same time regions that were previously infected get a higher chance of getting infected again as the infection cards are shuffled and put back to the top of the infection deck.

The second type of card that you hate.

The infection rate also gets a notch higer which means that from now onwards, more regions will be infected at the end of every player turn. Hence the intensity of the game can escalate quickly as things get out of control and more regions become infected.

That basically sum up the game play. The game is pretty easy to learn once players become familar with the importance of the various roles. The challenge would then be how to cooperate as a team and beat the game.


I think the theme is perfect. With the epidemic and outbreak mechanism, players can really get into the game as they try to control the diseases from spreading further. The theme is that good and it is also the reason why it make me gripe on the size of the board. Finding cures and treating diseases around the globe makes for a grand experience. Yet all the intense actions are squeezed into one small board! A bigger board definitely makes the adventure grander and provides a better gaming experience.

Won't you have prefer a bigger board too?


Pandemic is a really good game with simple yet well-designed mechanics. The game starts slow but become more and more intense as the epidemic cards and increase in infection rate starts to impact the game. 

Players can also set the level of difficulty by playing with different number of epidemic cards which make this game good for beginning players as well as more experience players. However I am disappointed that this game is only for 4 players. It would definitely be more exciting if it can play up to 6 players.

Some people had commented that sometimes a more "experience" player tends to be the only one making the decisions while others follow. I think it is not a common issue and happens only when some players have yet to grasp the concept of the game. As the game progress and players become more familiar with the game play, the interaction between the players also increases.

One key problem that I would foresee is that the game might lack replayabilty. Though the use of different number of epidemic cards can increase the challenge of the game, the game play can feel repetitive after a couple of plays.

My suggestion to this issue is not to be too focus on beating the game but rather enjoy the intense game experience that Pandemic provides. After all, it isn't everyday that you get to work together with your friends to save the world from horrible diseases and that alone make Pandemic one of best cooperative games around.

Pitstop Cafe, be part of the fun!


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