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Restaurante

Designed by Boris Durovic, with art by Aleksandr Lukic, Restaurante isn't just one game - it's three individual and distinct games for 2-5 players that are united by a common theme and which use some overlapping components.


Most striking (literally) and the game that's likely to get the most plays is Food Fight. When you open up the Restaurante box you'll notice that alongside the various decks of cards are five soft plastic burgers. Food Fight is a simple set collection game that makes use of them. In this game, the dealer draws a card each round to add to their hand of three cards. They pass a card to the next player, who does the same until a card is passed back to the dealer, in which case it is discarded. Players are trying to make matching sets of three fast food items. When they have a set, they lay it down and draw three new cards. However, they also grab one of the soft toy burgers from the table. When they complete a second set, they get to throw their burger at another player. If they hit them, the player who is hit takes 1 penalty point but if the player who throws the burger misses, then it is they who take a penalty point. At the end of the game, when there are no more cards left to draw, players all score 1 point for each completed set minus a point for every penalty card they've picked up.



There's more, in that the rules specify that players should play standing up and are not allowed to move one of their legs during the course of the game; if they do, they take a penalty point.


It's all very silly but children will find it fun and the soft Food Fight burgers are unlikely to cause any injury.


Sadly, you don't get to use any of the toy burgers in either of the other games except as a 'first player' marker. Cook and Sell is an economic card game where players are competing to earn the most from the cards they draw into their hand from their individual draw decks. Each round, players each put into their right hand the cards that represent the food they want to sell. They can offer a maximum of two different fast foods (ie: card types) but their offer can be multiple copies of the same food. The amount players are paid depends on the total number of players that offer that same food; so, for example, in a four-player game, if only one player offers pizza then their pizza cards will earn them $3 apiece but if all the players offered hot dogs then the hot dog cards would all be worthless.



After the initial round, players can spend some or all of their income from sales to 'upgrade their kitchen'. They can buy 'advanced food' cards that are the same types as those already in their deck but where each card counts as two items; they can buy pan cards that let them draw additional cards at the start of each turn; and they can buy Action cards that can manipulate the market, including by increasing or reducing the price of a specific food type. Play continues until a player is the first to reach a target amount ($21 in a two-player game, rising by $10 per additional player, so that the target in a five-player game is $51).


Cook and Sell is a relatively easy to play market manipulation game that we particularly enjoyed at higher player counts. Card counters will discover there's scope for deduction and there's certainly plenty of opportunity for bluff and for some 'take that' card play to sabotage other players' sales.


Think and Write is similar to Cook and Sell except that it's played over 10 rounds by marking choices off on a sheet, roll&write-style, rather than using cards. Players mark off the two foods they want to sell on a round and, as in Cook and Sell, the price they get depends on how many other players offered the same foods. Instead of Action cards, players can manipulate prices by circling 'Booster Cells' on their sheet. Again, it's easy to play. Each of the Booster Cell actions is single use, so this becomes a game where good timing is likely to determine the winner.


All in all, Restaurante is a versatile package. All the games play quickly - as befits a game themed around fast food - and all are suitable as family games. We just wish Brave Giant had made more use of the fabulous soft plastic burgers.



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