Updated: Mar 5
Food Coma is a light-hearted push-your-luck 'take that' family game for 2-6 players where you're trying to overfeed your opponents so that, we assume, they plotz like Mr Creosote in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.
There are three draw piles. These represent the grocery store, farmers' market and butcher shop. The cards in each store represent various food types: Protein, Egg, Sugar, Flour and Vegetable. All types are in the grocery store but the farmers' market only stocks Flour, Sugar and Vegetables, and the butcher shop only stocks Egg and Protein. On each turn you decide which one store to draw from. You can draw three cards from the grocery store, two from the farmers' market or one card from the butcher shop. Cards from the farmers' market each add a bonus 100 calories to any recipe; those from the butcher shop add 200 calories. In each store there are also some cards that can be used for a special effect, including to block the delivery of meals.
You'll be using the cards you draw in combination with each other to create meals from the game's Menu which you serve up to an opponent. You're trying to overload other players with calories before they overload you. Any two or more cards can be combined to create a meal, tho' some combos dish out more calories than others. The more ingredients that are combined, the higher the calorific content, and if you can build a Coma Burger combining the five different ingredient types, it will hit an opponent with 1000 calories (plus any bonuses from the farmers' market and butcher shop) and will be unblockable (ie: immune to any special effect cards).
There are character cards that give each player a special ability - tho' we weren't convinced these were entirely balanced (some seem to deliver more benefit than others) - and there is a separate deck of special effect cards that players draw from when they hit 500, 1000 and 1500 calorie milestones. Shown here on Board's Eye View is a preview prototype of Food Coma, and the calories are tracked using paper clips, but it's expected that the finished version of the game will use plastic sliders.
We've had a lot of fun playing Food Coma, both as a filler-length gamers' game and as a light family game that can be played by children certainly younger than the 13+ recommended on the box. There are push-your-luck decisions to be taken over which store to draw from and whether to hit opponents with successive snacks or to collect cards so you can serve them up a hearty high-calorie feast. You can only feed each opponent one meal per turn, so, there may also be strategic decisions to be be made about targeting as you increase the player count. And we've found that Food Coma's jocular food theme somehow makes its 'take that' mechanism acceptable to players who otherwise baulk at such games. Players who dislike games where you're attacking each other seem much happier with this game where you are serving up meals to the other players; no matter that the net effect is exactly the same as if this had been re-themed as a war game.
Food Coma is launching on Kickstarter on 7 March. Click here to check out the campaign.