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Since I work in an open space office, reading and writing reviews is not actually a thing I like to do if there is any pictures involved so I usually avoid reviews that have any pictures. That's why I prefer to write a quick and straight to the point reviews.
This was one of my shoppings from Essen 2017. Although I mainly targeted Ex Libris from the Renegade booth, this caught my eye and I bought it.
Artwork is one of the main reasons why I got this game and it's a good theme. Box is sturdy and small for its content. When I bought it in its wraps it was already above its capacity with the lid halfway up. When I got home from Essen one of the struggles I had was this game. Whatever I did I could not fit everything nicely so I improvised and cut half of it. That wasn't enough so I just threw it away.
The bag for the common and special ingredients is amazing. Its beautifully done and has the game logo sewed upon it. Worker dice are also awesome, heavy and finely done. The cardboard tokens are tick as are the game boards. Everything is shiny and one of the things that could be better would be if the tokens for upgrade in players kitchens are wooden instead of cardboard. They are small and kinda easy to lose. Also the boxes for the secret ingredients are pretty bad, I did not like them at all. Although I guess they have a good purpose I see them soon to be replaced with any little boxes I can get. I just don't like how flimsy and weak they look. The pens and the tabs for writing are a neat way to keep track of the secret ingredients. One pen and one tab for each player.
First setup and every consequent one will be easy and the game is easy to grasp. Place the boards and the dice, correctly position the tokens and pick your secret ingredients.
First on the basics, it is a worker placement game and the dice are just your workers, you will not roll them. At all. When I saw those chunky, beefy dice I kinda expected some rolls to be had, like in Seasons. But in reality they are only our workers. We use them to get our basic and special ingredients from the Orchard, upgrade our Kitchen or Warehouse, bake Pies, sell Pies, spy on other players secret ingredients, take the first player role or change a secret ingredient and get more workers. Also anytime you use your workers you will either upgrade your worker die or downgrade it. Pretty simple and fun. Game takes over 9 rounds and then the final bake off begins in which players guess each other players secret ingredients. The game is fast and the special thing about this game is the secret recipe part. Every player starts with three ingredients in their boxes and afterwards during the game they can bake their special pie which awards most prestige. You can also try to bake any other players special pie if you guess correctly their ingredients. The winner is the player with the most prestige.
I didn't have any expectations for this game and the game surprised me in a nice way. There are few things I disliked in the game and there are some which I really liked. The game play is nice, fluid and easy. I like the secret part but if only it awarded more points for the correct guesses because I have a feeling that game literally runs through so fast I did not really get to enjoy the secret ingredients as much as I could and more often I just focused on the baking part and how to get more points. This game offers a nice memory and deduction game as a mini game through which you can profit and the little tabs are life saviors. Overall it's a good blind buy. I am quite happy with the game and how it differentiates from my other games. If you want to try and combine a euro game with a little touch of social deduction and memory you have to play this game. One little nod, first time I played this game we had a blast since we didn't use the tabs or the pens to remember other people secret ingredients and we just memorized them. It's a fun variant to flex your brain power
Glad you had a good time with it! Thanks for making the first review such a nice one