Cooking is not something I am even remotely good at. Because of that, my wife and I have a standing agreement. She cooks. I clean. It’s a pretty fair trade-off. So what would make me interested in Wok on Fire, a game about cooking? Great art, small footprint, low price, and general fun, of course. Wok on Fire is a dexterity-based, set-collection game for 2-4 players, ages 7+. It takes approximately 20 minutes to play and retails for $15.
Wok on Fire is a very fun little game that is fun for families, because even though it is a card game, you get to do fun, tangible actions with the cards. Kids especially will enjoy flipping the cards over or chopping them out. To a very small degree, the game reminds me of Sushi Go and Go Nuts for Donuts, because it has food elements and you are trying to pair up the food in the best possible way to maximize your points.
The game itself is vastly different as you aren’t drafting cards, but carefully revealing or not revealing cards to make sure you leave your opponents with cards that won’t be as beneficial to them. I especially enjoyed the artwork associated with this game. There is a little bit of personality in each of the ingredients that adds to the visual appeal of this game. If you want even more ingredients/variability with the game, there is a $5 promo pack you can pick up, which adds some beef and snap peas to the game. Green Couch Games does a good job of packing tons of flavor into their little games. Be sure to check out the rest of their catalog and also consider backing their current game, Ladder 29 on Kickstarter.
There are a ton of overused board game themes in the hobby today – Vikings, Zombies, Cthulhu, and even recently the planet Mars. It seems like finding a unique theme grows harder by the day. Therefore, when I heard about the game Tiffin, I was intrigued. A tiffin is a meal in India that is home-cooked, sold, and transported at a rate of nearly a quarter of a million per day. Tiffin is a game for 2-4 players, age 14+. It takes 30-60 minutes to play and retails for $40.
At its core, Tiffin is a game of area control. You want route cards to be completed, but you want to have the majority of cubes on that card so that you score the route fee. (Ideally, you want to be the one who receives both the delivery and route fee.) What I really like about this game is that delivery cards don’t just let you place cubes to the route, they also have powers depending on their rank. The component quality is of high quality, i.e., thick cardboard, good feel of cards and cubes. The game is also easy to grasp and teach, with the biggest thing to explain being the special ability cards, which can help you claim a route and/or prevent your opponent from claiming it.
The game’s biggest strength can also be considered its greatest weakness. Since the boards are double-sided, you don’t know what color routes are going to show up. This creates variability from game to game, but also can really penalize someone who collected a lot of one color, only for it to not show up near as much as other colors. I applaud the theme for being original, but unfortunately, it wasn’t one I could sink my teeth into. That’s not to say it’s not a good game with solid game play value;, it just wasn’t for me.
Copyright 2017 Stuart Dunn