Menu Masters review
From WizKids founder Jordan Weisman and Got 'Em! designer Zach Weisman, this endearing culinary set-collecting and worker placement title casts players as competing chefs trying to create meals by queuing up in line at one of three or four shops (produce store, butcher, baker and the all-around supermarket) and buying the ingredients for either their personal menu cards or shared community dishes.
There’s a neat use of bidding-lite mechanics, as the price of food rises with demand – being at the front of the line means getting first pick, but at a higher price, with cost equal to the number of chef hat makers stacked up on the store, dropping as each player takes their turn.
Players make back their money by choosing instead to own stores – meaning they can’t buy from that shop, but earn all the cash spent by other players. This is contrasted with the ability to place multiple markers on stores, allowing you to potentially price players ahead of you out of the market.
The card components are effective enough, with a sculpted chef miniature as a first player marker – perhaps a little unnecessary, but charming all the same.
With an engaging theme and fast, engaging mechanics that hint at heavier tabletop staples, Menu Masters offers an ideal starter course for younger and inexperienced gamers.
Publisher: Calliope Games
Genre: Set collection
Time: 20-40 mins
This review originally appeared in the April/May 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.