02 October 2017
Try to play this delectable dice-roller without licking your lips, we dare you
Joining Sushi Go in the internet-primed ‘delicious food with cute faces’ genre is Doughnut Drive-Thru, a tiny game about rolling dice to cook smiling baked goods and deliver them for consumption. Which is actually kind of dark, when you think about it.
Players use dinky wooden doughnuts to perform up to three actions a turn, rolling dice to prepare and serve a variety of confections by achieving the required result. Spending extra actions grants bonuses to rolls, as does using the ‘recognition’ of previously baked goods. The first to five served meals ends the game, with recipes worth varying amounts so others have the chance to swipe the victory.
Despite the gameplay being as light as pastry, there’s enough happening in the background to happily fill 15 minutes or so. Bad rolls (dice, not bread) can prove as exasperating as ever, but the ability to bump up results using extra doughnuts or recognition helps to counterbalance a lot of the luck and adds an extra layer to the denser-than-you’d-expect mechanics.
There’s the option for players to choose a baker during setup and use their unique talent for added variety – we’d advise it, as it helps keep things fresher for longer, but we also felt that Gerdt’s ability to draw and keep extra recipe cards was far and away the most beneficial skill.
Of course, the irresistible theme does most of the work, cashing in on both the adorable imagery and twee naming to great effect. It doesn’t quite have the lasting charm of Sushi Go, and some of the foods aren’t nearly as amusing as others, but it’s still hilarious to cook up ‘Cinnamoan’, ‘Coated Baby’ and ‘General Custard’.
Doughnut Drive-Thru is a sweet treat: a little messy, and you know you could be eating something better with lasting appeal, but that doesn’t stop you licking every last bit of sugar left on your lips.
Publisher: Grail Games
Time: 25 minutes
This review originally appeared in the August/September 2017 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here – or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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