Rocky Road à la Mode: Hand Management, Turn Order, and Ice Cream Trucks | Casual Game Revolution

Rocky Road à la Mode: Hand Management, Turn Order, and Ice Cream Trucks

Rocky Road à la Mode

In Rocky Road à la Mode you get behind the wheel of an ice cream truck and roll on down the road, collecting treats and fulfilling orders.

Green Couch Games specializes in packing a lot of game into a small box. We’ve enjoyed many of the previous games from Fidelitas to Wok on Fire, but how does this one stack up?


Each player selects an ice cream truck token and places it on the board. The board is a road that loops around. There are three pothole spaces on which you place one wild pop token on each. The location cards are placed above the board — there are two for each location, both worth a different number of points and the higher point value ones are placed on top. Every player is then dealt three cards, another three are placed face up near the table, the draw deck placed beside it, and the game begins.

On each card, the top left corner shows a treat that can be used to fulfill an order. The top right shows a number, which represents how many spaces your truck moves forward on the board if you turn this card into a customer order.  If you turn a card into an order, you hide the top half of it underneath your ice cream truck card and the bottom half shows the two orders you must fulfill. If you successfully fulfill both orders on a card, the final piece of information on the card is what rewards you receive for it. These can be loyalty points which help you win the game, or permanent treats which you never have to discard and which you can use to fulfil more orders. If you collect enough permanent treats of a single type, you can take the matching location card which awards you loyalty points.

Turn order in Rocky Road à la Mode is determined by which player is farthest back on the board. If you take a turn and are still behind everyone else, you may take another turn, and keep taking turns until you catch up with the closest player. If you land on a wild token, you retrieve it and you may play it as any treat when fulfilling an order, returning it to the board once you’ve done so.

On your turn you may take one of three actions. You may draw up to five cards, moving forward one space for each card you draw and drawing either from the draw deck or the three face up cards on the table. You may play a card as a customer order, moving forward the number listed in the top right of that card. Or, if you have the treats to fulfil an order, you may move forward one space and discard the appropriate cards. You fulfill the orders on a card one at a time, starting with the one highest on the card.

Once a player has collected nine loyalty points, all other players may take turns until their truck tokens pass that player on the board and then the game ends. The player with the most loyalty points wins the game.

Rocky Road à la Mode Components


Rocky Road à la Mode is bright and colorful. From the artwork to the theme of selling ice cream, the game has a whimsical and delightful feel to it.

While the color and brightness of the artwork fits the nature of the game, some of the cards get quite busy and we never could figure out why there are people with orange, purple, and green faces in the game.

The turn order system is clever and leaves you with some unique choices. You must balance what you want to do with how many turns other players will have before you move again if you move too far ahead on the board. But the wild pop tokens might give you that extra little incentive to take a big step forward.

As you play and slowly fulfill more and more orders, collecting more rewards, you start to build up more and more permanent treats which allows you to fulfill orders more quickly. The closer you get to the end of the game, the faster things progress and the more exciting it becomes. Building up a supply of rewards feels satisfying, and actually gives you the feeling of creating a successful ice cream selling business.

Green Couch Games always knows how to make the most out of a few components and Rocky Road à la Mode is no different. It is a light, portable game that still manages to introduce multiple layers to the gameplay with little more than a deck of cards. Besides, who can say no to ice cream?

Pros: Building up rewards is satisfying, turn order offers some interesting strategic choices

Cons: While some of the artwork is effective, other aspects of it get busy or thematically confusing

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.