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Subject: Dash of bluffing + a pinch of push-your-luck and you get Cooking Rumble rss

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Kristi Weyland
United States
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Cook the recipes faster than your opponent in Cooking Rumble, a fast playing 2-player card game. Simple enough for kids, fun for adults.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this game for free. I received a prototype version of the game, final components may vary and will be of better quality.

Designer: Emilio Gerardo Estrada Lucero
Artist: Nono-Choise
Publisher: Aether Tower

2 players, 5-10 minutes, ages 6+

My Opinion:
2 players, 5-10 minutes, ages 6+ (or younger, depending on game experience)

Simple, portable, quick little family game. Fun to play, not the greatest art.

In the Box
-8 ingredient cards (4 for each player)
-8 recipe cards
-14 black counters (will be different in final version)
-4 double-sided wild tokens (2 for each player)

Each player gets 4 ingredient cards, 1 each of red, purple, green, and yellow. The wild tokens are double-sided with a different color on each side, representing all 4 colors between a player’s 2 tokens.

I am very much influenced by art and, unfortunately, this game’s art does not do it for me. I found the recipe cards very unappetizing and had a hard time looking at them. The others in my family were not as put off, though no one enjoyed the art style.

The game is quite simple. Three recipe cards are put out in the middle of the table, like in the first picture above. Each recipe has three ingredients and they must be played in the order that they are displayed on the card.

On your turn you decide which ingredient to play, putting that card face down in front of you. The other player will now guess what card you played. If they guess right, they get to place a black token on one of the ingredients on the recipes on their side of the card. If they guess wrong, you get to place a black token on the ingredient you played. When you’ve completed your side of the recipe card with three black tokens, you take that recipe and a new one is put in play. Each recipe has a point value on it. The first to 6 points wins.

Where it gets more complex is the wild tokens. Sometimes you will have recipes where two of the next ingredients are of the same color, meaning your opponent will have a 50/50 chance of guessing correctly. Before you play your ingredient card you may place a wild token over one of the ingredients on a recipe card, changing it. Sometimes you may even want to increase your opponent’s odds of guessing correctly, depending on how you want to play the game.

The more we played this game, the more we liked it. Learning to read the other player, testing out different, more complex strategies, and working on our poker faces were all part of the fun.

It works well with kids, because of its simplicity, but they weren’t the only ones who liked it. There were some “aha!” moments with teens and adults when we thought we figured out better strategies when playing. I continued to be surprised while playing it at how such a simple game could hold my attention for so long.

There is a lot of player interaction, keeping both players engaged. It is very short, so it is easy to get multiple plays in, or round robin a group of players in.

Final Thoughts
Reading the rules it seems overly simple. I was even hesitant to play it. However, I am so glad I gave it a try because we had a great time playing it. I have a decent sized stack of fast, simple games, and I must say this has been among my top five. I think the biggest attraction for me was the player interaction. Bluffing and trying to read the other person was a lot of fun for me.

I do wish, however, that the art was better. I really do not like the art, and that is usually a deal breaker for me. After playing it a bit the art did not bother me as much, but I still would much prefer a different art style. Art is quite subjective, though, so others may not agree.

This would make a great traveling game to keep on you. Waiting in a restaurant, while watching kids at the park, on an airplane are all places where I’ve played short games like this. Anytime you have a spare ten minutes and you want to play a game, you could whip this out.

Really, at an $8 entry point, you can’t go wrong.
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