I saw this game and I had to get it. My wife loves those Cake Mania / Airport and service type video games and it reminded me of that. Well guess what it plays like that and more!!!! This is an Excellent Game More than a filler and a great gateway game! I have played it with 2 and 4 players and it works really well. Additionally I taught this game to real newbies and they loved it! Onto the Review!
First off Components
Got to say I was really upset when I got my copy the box was crush it looked as if someone had step on it and crushed it. ( I contacted Funagain.com and through their customer service (which I may add was excellent they replaced it. A+++ for Fun Again) So for the components
Basic card stock. Wasn't thrilled with the stock Black borders around the cards and thin paper stock. I can see If I play this a bit wear will show. Board is mounted and hinged nice and small. Box is small and compact great for travel. 8 wood pieces for keeping the score track. The customer cards have great artwork and really get the feel that they are modeled after people (Which they are) The cartoon feeling works. The food cards are easy to see and line up for quick counting on big orders. The phone Order cards are nice. The restaurant cards are a bit of problem they are written in greek.I have to check the instructions a bit but once you got it down it's easy. Now for the Unforseen Events cards. They are also written in Greek but there is English as well on the cards Whew!
Components I score it a C+/B- I like the small size or the box and board however it lost points for paperstock.
Game instructions: Once I learned the game which is very quick from the instructions manual and there are some good examples. The object of the game is to get 25 Money and 25 reputation first. The way to do that is to serve you customers in Order on your turn! Sounds easy. Well not so fast. You are given food cards and not always you can serve and remember you can't jump around in line to serve. It's gotta to be in order! Oh yeah if you don't serve after the second turn you get penalized. We are jumping ahead a bit. First everyone chooses a restaurant. There are 4 types The Joint Which gives you a bit more money to start but has a terrible reputation. The second restaurant is the Family Business or Tavern That gives you the lowest amount of money to start and slightly higher reputation. The third is the Fast Food That give you a bit more money and a slightly higher reputation and the Last restaurant is the High Class Restaurant which give you the highest amount of money to start and the highest reputation. However if you get the High class restaurant or the Fast food it cost more to run each round. The Family Business cost 0 and the Joint cost 1 per round. This is a nice balancing system. There are also some benefits by taking the Joint or Fast Food Restaurants the cost for buying food is less and the Family business is that you can buy food twice per round. The benefit for the High Class is that you can look at 4 cards and take 3 which is nice as well. IT AN AWESOME BALANCING SYSTEM!
Instructions grade and Rules: B+ I thought the instructions were very good and examples were well thought out. The greek on the restaurant cards should be in English as well.
The round overview is easy
Restaurant Maintenance (2nd Round on)
Which consist of this order:
Pay Operating Expenses based on you resturaunt card
Gain one Food card and One Unforseen event card
New Supplies Optional (Buying Food Cards) Hand Limit is 7
Advertising (Buying Reputation)
You place 2 cards per player plus one on the table. So for example 2 player game you Place 5 cards out
Each player start with the person with the most reputation starts and one by one each person takes a cards and place it in line. Customers have a value of money they are worth Reputation they are worth and the food they desire.
If you had a customer line prior they go behind the last one in that line not in front. Remember you have to have to look at your food cards to see if you can serve them!
Than you randomly place a phone order at the back of the line and pick that card randomly off the pile.
Unforeseen Events Cards(Also the phase is NOT Mandatory you do not have to play a card if you don't want to)
This changes the game as you can influence certain events on players or yourself before serving the customers (Kinda of a take that or game changer for yourself) This phase can be eliminated if you don't want to play that type of game.
When teaching the game I tend not to play the unforseen event cards
This is where you serve the customer
Any extra food get you One Reputation (NOT PER ITEM! 1 total)
Any customers that were not served turn 90 degrees and they have to be served next round or you get your reputation knock down whatever the customer card said there reputation is time 2. So for example a customer had a 2 reputation you lose 4 reputation. NOTE THE MINIMUM IS 2 REPUTATION KNOCK DOWN even if the card has 0 reputation). This is only if your customer did not get served the first time and is now turned and didn't get served again.If you have two customer on a big order you lose all that reputation on both cards times 2.
There are some more rules that I failed to cover but the instructions does a pretty good job of covering them.
You score all the people served. Then calculate if anyone didn't get served a second time. They you start back to the Maintenance Phase. Until someone gets to 25 money and 25 reputation
Game Play: A
Very straightforward card game, fun, strategic and did I mention fun!
Overall: This is such a well thought out game. I have played it with newbies, serious gamers and the mixed group. I have played it with several women and they love the theme the game play and after repeated plays the serious gamers they seem to really enjoy it. There is some luck the way the cards get drawn out. However with clever planning you can run a successful Greek Restaurant. It does take some strategy to finish and some clever planning. I mean you can buy reputation but you need food to run it and than your customers need to be taken care of. It's a good give and take game. Additionally my last game the newbie had I think 9 or ten customers in line, she was having a bit of time grasping the game. Than lightbulb went off and in one fell swoop she filled them all and went from last to 2nd. Knocking down the serious gamer to 3rd. She went on to win it with careful planning the rest of the way. All I heard was the serious gamer wanted to play again. Which told me something this is a great game. I read on the BGG that people get hungry for Gyros after playing this game. I didn't believe until I was stuffing my mouth a few days later with Gyros, coke and fries. Oh and by the way I ordered an extra fries just to get 1 more reputation.
Final Analysis A- Great gameplay, great replayability, I could see an expansion more customers etc. Worth $25 or under Yes MUST BUY! A must for Filler Plus status!
- Last edited Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:38 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:46 am
Great review, I agree that it's a lovely game to teach non-gamers.
You can find the restaurants in english in the BGG images, maybe you can print them
I personally sleeved the cards on purchase and never had a problem with the cardstock
Very well written review.
I'll just emphasize on how easily it can be played with any mix of experienced/newbie gamers. Great gateway game indeed.