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Restaurant Row» Forums » Reviews

Subject: The more I play it, the more I like it!!! rss

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Christopher Halbower
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Vic Mackey
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Restaurant Row is from a small publishing company called Pair-of-Dice Games and designed by Greg Lam. Players assume the roles of restaurant owners who seek to make their restaurants the best in town.

The game board is a restaurant menu.
The inlay has been replaced with the game "board". The board is dual sided so it can accomodate two players on one side and 3 to 4 players on the other.

There are six community areas that players can visit. These are the fish market, meat market, vegetable market, help wanted, renovations and the bank. Each player is given a die and will secretly set that die to the number corresponding to the community area they want to visit. Do you want the best fish? Or the best veggies? Perhaps hiring the hostess would be the right move.

Players simultaneously reveal where they are going. If you are the only player going to an area, you may make your purchase normally. However, if you and an opponent both selected the same area, the two of you must make a close fist bid for who gets first dibs.

Players make three such community trips per turn. Then players set their menu prices. You must weigh the benefits of lower prices(more customers) with the benefits of higher prices (more profit). Players secretly set their prices with their die then reveal their prices simultaneously. Then customers are drawn from the bag.

Some customers are "foodies" and will go to the place with the best food. Did you remember to buy food at the three markets? Some customers like the best ambiance--which is awarded from the renovations. Some customers like service, ie, the most talented help wanted. And some customers are "scenesters" who will go to the place which currently has the most customers already in it. Customers are drawn until one player's restaurant is full. Then the scoring objectives are modified.

Players will score points at the end of the game. Points are scored by having the best in the various areas of competition: ambiance, service, profit, popularity, etc. The amount of points awarded to these categories will vary. When the first restaurant fills up, the objectives are shifted in value based upon the customer make up of the restaurant that first filled. Thus, you need to be competitive in several areas but also need to fill up your restaurant in order to win!

Each player has an aerial view of his own restaurant.

There is an area for you to hire up to three employees, make three renovations and seat up to five customers.

The renovations and the help wanted don't just improve your ambiance and service; they also give you other cool benefits. The bartender will give you the first local customer. The dance hall will give you the first scenester. The hostess lets you seat a customer at the bar, giving you a capacity of 6. The patio gives you two extra tables. Thus, you will need to bid high on some of these areas to get the right goods and people--and to deny those same goods and people to your opponents.

This game is very fun! The more I play it, the more I like it! The quality of the components is the only drawback. I understand this was self published. But this game deserves to be bought up by a major publisher. Congrats to Greg Lam! I look forward to seeing what new games you come up with!
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Gary Pressler
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Quote:
And some customers are "scenesters" who will go to the place which currently has the most customers already in it.

One quick clarification (although I do not have the rules handy to double-check), the scenesters choose a restaurant based on the highest current Popularity rating, not the number of customers.
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Greg Lam
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No, the original poster is correct. It's whoever has the most customers in their restaurant at that time. The tracks are to determine who gets victory points at the end.
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Steve Duff
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Makes sense, the scenesters are "what have you done for me lately" kind of guys. That most popular place in the town over there is sooooo yesterday, today the hotspot is here.

Pretty sure we played this one wrong. I think it was due to the proximity of the tracks to the star markers, so that sort of conditioned us to looking in that area to decide when placing a guy.
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Gary Pressler
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Thanks for the clarification, Greg. I've been playing that incorrectly, then. I (understandably) misunderstood that the "Pop." on a Scenester referred to the Popularity track. (I suppose that is further complicated by Scenesters advancing the Popularity scoring marker.)

I wonder what difference my misplay would make. My initial impression is that it adds another degree to the randomness of the patrons, adding weight to the early draws. The probabilities may be too small to make a real difference, but I am hesitant to increase the randomness.

Still, to get back to the original post, very nice review!
 
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Greg Lam
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Gary, you should see this thread in case you haven't in which I consider a variant or rule change that reduces the role of chance in the customer draw.
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Brian Horstman
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Quite the fun game.
 
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