Updated: Jul 12, 2020
There aren’t many games that are supplied with a frying pan, so Yummy Yummy Pancake certainly stands out. When you unbox this game, you can be pretty much guaranteed that a linguistic wit will look at the components and cry out “This is crêpe!”
This is fair comment on the type of pancakes but it shouldn’t be treated as a valid one-line review of the game or of the components. The components are good: there is, of course, the plastic frying pan, but the pancakes too are moulded plastic: they aren’t just flat tokens.
Yummy Yummy Pancake is actually a simple but fun memory, bluff and push-your-luck game. In addition to the frying pan, the game comes with 36 tokens representing pancakes with five different toppings. In a player’s turn, they select eight of the face-down pancakes and place them face up in the pan. At this point, all the players can see how many of each flavour there are in the pan. The active player (chef) then tosses the pancakes one or more times so that at least two are face down. He takes one of these and asks any other player “what’s the topping?” If the player guesses correctly, he wins the pancake; if he guesses wrong, the chef takes the pancake. The chef can continue to offer up as many of the face-down pancakes as he wants, or he can end his turn. When his turn ends, all the pancakes remaining in the pan are again turned face up and more pancakes are added to bring the number in the pan back up to eight for the next chef. Play continues in this way until a player wins by collecting 12 pancakes.
Given that pancakes are being tossed in a pan, most people who play this game expect there to be a dexterity element. The rules don’t allow for this, other than providing a bonus pancake for a chef that successfully flips five or more pancakes. You will inevitably find some players’ exuberance results in pancakes flying out of the pan but the rules just say these are placed back in (face up). An obvious variant is to penalise chefs who lose pancakes from their pan: an option would be to take a pancake from those they have already won.
With or without a dexterity penalty, Yummy Yummy Pancake works successfully as a light-hearted party game. It can be played as a family game, allowing children to compete with adults on even terms, and it can be played at a more cutthroat level by competitive games players working the odds and pressing their luck…
PS: A Board's Eye View reader in Korea tells me that the name on the Korean box actually translates as 'Flying Pancake'. The Yummy Yummy Pancake name is the one that's been adopted for the English version of the game which is being released at Essen Spiel.