One copy of Rival Restaurants: Deluxe Edition (Acrylic Tokens, Up to 8 Players, 6x Kickstarter Exclusive Action Cards) and one copy of Rival Restaurants: Back for Seconds (Expansion) including all unlocked stretch goals. 2-8 Players
Your goal in Rival Restaurants is to be the first restaurant to get 20 popularity points and be crowned “The Wiener!” Players earn popularity points by buying and trading for ingredients and using them to “cook” (complete) recipes. The more advanced the recipe, the more points it’s worth.
Each day, players move through three phases:
1. MONEY and MOVE: Players collect their income for the day and decide where they want to move. Turn economy is crucial as players are not permitted to move for the rest of the day once their location has been chosen.
2) BUY and BARTER: Players have one minute to buy as much as they want but only from the location they’re in. Players can also barter/trade with anyone in the game, not just the people in their location.
3) COOK and COUNTER. Any player who has all the ingredients required for their recipe can cook it and collect popularity points.
In addition, each player controls a chef equipped with their own “chef power”. Chef powers are asymmetrical and allow players to bend the rules in their favor. The base game of Rival Restaurants has twelve chefs, and additionally, at the beginning of the game, each player must choose a restaurant to play, with each restaurant having a unique level-up structure with rewards for reaching 3, 7, and 12 popularity points. Lastly, players can also choose to buy “action cards”, that is, development cards that are typically for one-time use.
Great game. Some components are not top shelf. I have deluxe KS version and the trays could be a bit stronger. Very nice cards, and acrylic game pieces. Rule book is perfect.
Pros: The artwork and theme for this game is fantastic and draws you in. There is definitely a fun factor to collecting ingredients and building your unique recipes. Having to collect garbage for each completed dish is a great risk/reward element. Cons: My initial impressions of this game (after 4-5 plays) is that the Buy and Barter phase is a too chaotic and confusing (full confession I'm not a lover of chaotic party games) and the combination of Chef Abilities, Action Cards, Popularity Level Benefits, Mystery Mart ingredients, Restaurant Upgrades, etc., while providing a lot replayability, creates a lot of unnecessary complexity. Bottom Line: The main mechanics are simple and the idea is good but the all these added elements make the game clunky and zap some of the fun out of the experience. My kids like this game (ages 7 + 9) but we've modified the Buy and Barter phase to be turn-order-based and basically ignore the Action cards. I was pretty excited about this game and hoping for a family favourite but, at this point, I don't see this game staying in my collection very long.
Solid party/group game. I kickstarted the expansion so I have that and the base game. Very little down time for players because everyone is playing at the same time. Make sure everyone knows when actions cards can be played and 1 per turn when teaching people this game.