Review: What the Food ?! – throwing away your hunger

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I have a backpack full of food. My parents thought, I was crazy, when I left home. I stuffed my backpack to the brim with fruits, vegetables, tossed in some yogurt, juice bottle and side pockets stuffed with a few bananas. Now, I am finally ready for anything.

Training can not be overestimated, when you go to a food battle. And that’s exactly, what will teach us in the board game ?! You’ve probably never heard about it yet, because it went through quietly with a gain of $22,000 (twice the required, with 431 fans and future owners) in mid . Finally, it was published at the end of the same year under flag of Games with illustrations by Jean-SebastienDuclos, and designer himself. And we received it for testing because of his kindness.

All the food ready for battle is hiding in longitudinal, vertically oriented, box. On its lid, there are all the greatest friends and heroes of past battles. Inside its brown wrapping await us white rulebook and cards neatly arranged into two piles. Neighboring compartments contain red round tokens and one plastic hamburger (not so tasty) serving as a starting player token.

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These cards make quite a pile of over a hundred and ten pieces. There are characters, each with its special actions, but also events and action cards. And then there has to be the food. Each card has a number of points of humiliation, that it brings to target, that is hit by it.

At the beginning of the game, each participant chooses one identity and gets set of starting action cards. He will use also additional special card for aiming. Together with other players, he gets two food cards from shuffled deck and five other are revealed in the middle as open offer. Starting player gets a burger and can start first food throw of honor.

But it is not entirely certain, that food will fly, because player selection is wider, than only throwing and involves other activities. Players actually do not alternate. Everyone can choose his own target for the round (points aim card at him), three cards of actions (grab, throw, crouch) ranked according to the order, in which they will be performed and places it all face down in front of him.

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Everyone reveals his top card and carries (in order from the first player) its action. When someone throws, he chooses one food card from his hand (it may be flavoured with frosting and property) and sends his shot towards the intended target. If the attacked player did not duck in that particular turn, projectile composed of various goodies has hit him, splattered and assigned him few points of humiliation. Player takes appropriate number of red tokens.

To be able to prepare for the next round, players can also schedule picking up as one of three actions. This allows them to get one of the cards in offer. After performing an action by all players, it is time to assess second and then third scheduled card. This al lis followed by a new round, where starting player changes. Food flies until someone succeeds in collecting ten points overall. That player is not winner, but the loser. Person, who was humiliated the least, can rejoice.

What the Food ?! is a cruel card game of humiliation. Just like it would be in reality, even here, players are trying to anticipate their intentions. It’s a game hints and nerves. And estimates. Many players do not like this type of game, but then there are many, who do. We certainly have filtered our audience, that will read following lines, but never mind. You will not get far without a bit of peeking into the head and luck.

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But that’s okay, because this game is being designed as a relaxing pastime. Full of fun and ridicule directed towards others. New actions are waiting for players in the drawing deck, which may then be included in their action hand, improve their capabilities, while their intentions become less transparent.

Cards are constantly spinning on the menu, so there is plenty to choose from. Players should never get into a situation, that they have a shortage of food in their hand. Selection is crucial, because players can then with toppings and properties generate combos, which can then give target players truly smashing time.

Children like this game thanks to its storyline and progression. Throwing food on each other, although only cartoon, is just another childhood dreams come true. So get ready to volleys of laughter. It’s easily done with young players of six years of age, because there is nothing complicated in there. Just a little English text can make it more difficult in our country. Fortunately, there is virtually no need for it (except for actions and events), with which can adults help. But otherwise the images are clear enough.

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Overall, the game is better in a larger number of players, but can be enjoyed even in minimal trio. There will not be that much craziness involved then. Game time depends on how much players will plan and discuss alliances within rounds. In this case, game can also stretch slightly over 45 minutes or towards an hour. But if you do not hesitate too much, you can get close to indicated half-hour.

What the Food ?!  has a surprisingly tactical tone. Not just because of card programming, which ensures tension, but also for choice of targets. It can tell many things ahead and players can learn important information for their own decisions. Arrows are chosen in order from the first player, so someone will always be at a slight disadvantage, but the cards will soon turn. And precisely because of it, What the Food?! Is a fun and enjoyable entertainment, which will be appreciated by many (especially younger and playful) players.

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DesignerPeter Vaughan
ArtistJean-Sebastien Duclos, Janelle Tibbetts-Vaughan, Peter Vaughan
PublisherSquirmy Beast
Year Published2013
# of Players3 - 8
User Suggested # of Players Best with 8 players
Recommended with 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 8+ players
(4 voters)
Playing Time30
Mfg Suggested Ages8 and up
User Suggested Ages8 and up
(2 voters)
Language DependenceExtensive use of text - massive conversion needed to be playable
(2 voters)
CategoryCard Game, Fighting, Humor
MechanicAction Queue, Hand Management, Simultaneous Action Selection, Variable Player Powers
ExpansionWhat the Food?! Bonus Players, What the Food?! Special Edition Expansion, What the Food?! Winter Promo Pack, What the Food?! Zombie Edition, What the Food?! “O Canada!”
FamilyCrowdfunding: Kickstarter, Theme: Food / Cooking
Primary NameWhat the Food?!

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

Review: What the Food ?! – throwing away your hunger
Final word
What the Food ?! is a terrific game for a certain audience. Specifically, it attracts families, children, and then larger groups of adults, who like to have a laugh. Everyone finds something fun in there, if he does not mind estimating intentions of others. Kids enjoy it, because of the them and have a lot of fun. But older players can find surprising tactical options inside this match. And everyone will be delighted by its simplicity and replayability, thanks to which we will happily return to get hit by more food in What the Food?!
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
great family fun
kids enjoy it
theme
secret planning and choice of targets
clear and simple rules
entertains with all numbers
Cons
not for players, who do not like to estimate, what opponent thinks (
plays)
4.5
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