What's For Dinner?
Strategic Depth: Beginner
Setup Time: 5 mins.
Play Time: 15-20 mins.
Mechanics: Hand Management, Dice Rolling
Production Info: 2019 | A La Carte Games | David Lee
Kickstarter Campaign: Aug 30, 2018 - Sep 27, 2018
What's For Dinner? is a card game where a group of friends is vying to determine what to eat for dinner. In this roughly 20-minute filler game, you will have specific dietary traits you must follow while selecting your meal choices based on your body's cravings. Diets range from Gluten Intolerant to Body Builder! You may be tempted to break your dietary standards and listen to your stomach's cravings during the game in which you will be penalized...but the reward may outweigh the risk in the end. At the conclusion of the game, players will tally their points and determine who most effectively chose their meals. And if the situation calls for it, the winner might actually choose what's for dinner that night!
Both Stephen and I (Chris) were able to play a pre-production copy of What's For Dinner? and were pleasantly surprised with how much we enjoyed our play-through. With us only playing this game once, we don't have enough experience to write an honest review, but below are a few takeaways from our first impressions of the game.
The artwork on the cards are fantastic and are reminiscent of chalkboard menus many coffee shops and delis use in their storefronts. The color palette really works well together and makes the cards really pop while on the table. We both loved the look of the box displaying as a hamburger and also the creative use of turning the bottom lid into one of the game's components.
We were especially impressed with how well thought-out all aspects of the theme were. From individuals starting out with their own dietary preferences to being tempted by those pesky stomach cravings that overtake your mind when you see a slice of delicious cheesecake. The gameplay ends up being very easy to comprehend because the actions you are taking coupled with the theme just make sense!
For some reason, this game reminds me of one of my favorite filler games Monopoly Deal. It's a game with a small footprint that does not have too many components to arrange or explain and after you run through your first game, you get this instant urge to shuffle up the cards and quickly fit in another round of gameplay.
David Lee and A La Carte Games did a great job putting together What's For Dinner? and we wish them all the best in trying to fund this game through their Kickstarter Campaign.
The following summaries are meant to be a high-level reminder of how to play this game. If this is your first time playing, we highly recommend that you read your board game's included rulebook which will go into much more depth. You can download a digital PDF copy of the official rules by clicking the button below. There are also a few video tutorials near the bottom of this section to help all you visual learners out as well.
- Setup Overview -
Place 4 Meal Cards face-down in the Dumpster (box lid)
For 6-player games only place 1 Meal Card in the Dumpster
Place 5 Meal Cards face-up in the center of the table (forming a 3-tier pyramid)
Deal 3 Trait Cards face-down to each player. Players must choose 2 cards, keeping one face-down
Deal 3 Wallet cards face-down to each player
- Game Play/Player Turns -
Roll the Food Die
Carry out one of two actions:
Acquire a matching Meal card from the Food Pyramid containing the same food symbol as rolled or purchase a Meal card with any number of money with your Wallet cards
Discard any Meal card from the Food Pyramid into the Dumpster and draw a Wallet card
Replace any empty space on the Food Pyramid with a new Meal card
- End Of Game -
A game of What's For Dinner ends when the last Meal card is drawn and placed in the Food Pyramid. Play continues until everyone has played one last turn (all players should have equal amounts of turns by the end of the game).
- Winning -
The player with the most Meal Points wins the game. This score includes Meal Points from Meal cards along with any points derived from the face-down Trait card. The visible Trait card scores double its value.
- Tie Breakers -
The player with the most money value of Wallet cards in their hands wins
If still a tie, the player with the most total Meal cards
If still a tie, the first player to roll an uncontested bacon icon on the Food die
The What's For Dinner? Kickstarter campaign begins August 30th, 2018 and runs until September 27th, 2018. A La Carte Games is trying to reach a funding goal of $7,500 USD in order to manufacture the first edition of the board game.
The base game will cost $19, but there is also a print and play option for $9. Additional pledge amounts will net you anything from signed copies of the game all the way to getting your own card added into the game itself!
Below are the additional Stretch Goals that have been announced to date.
We were able to connect with What's For Dinner? game designer David Lee who resides in our home state of Ohio to get the scoop on his latest board game and to find out a little more about him as a gamer. Let's learn a little more about What's For Dinner? and game designer David Lee!
[Q] Tell us a little about yourself and your experience within the board game industry.
I've always been into gaming since being a young boy with the classics, Monopoly, to Stratego, Magic the Gathering , to Risk, to Settlers of Catan. Hobby board games have influenced me a lot, especially, in the past 10 years, and have transitioned my creative artistic pursuits to creating/sharing board games. There's no better feeling than being excited for a game, sharing that game with your friends, and they really enjoy the game with you. That's the great social experience, boiling down to not caring if I won every time, but enjoying the process of playing and the creation.
[Q] What type of person will enjoy playing your game?
This is a light game for casual players and can be enjoyed by the whole family (children would need to be able to read the text on the game cards).
[Q] What sort of gameplay mechanics are used?
Dice rolling, hand management, and a little bit of "take that".
[Q] How did you come up with the idea for this game?
My brother's gaming group, along with most groups and families, had the dilemma of what was going to be for dinner, so the genesis of the game idea was birthed. Much of the game design and development was cultivated over many courses of pizza.
[Q] How long did it take you to develop the game?
To develop, close to a year (not full-time, developed a few games at once).
[Q] Besides this game, what are your top 3 favorite games to play right now?
Vast the Crystal Caverns
Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Legacy Games (Pandemic Legacy 2 & Charterstone)
[Q] Publishing your own game is hard work, what motivated you to pursue this Kickstarter?
Kickstarter has been one of the best marketing tools to get a board game in front of people. People can't buy a game that they don't know about. And it's our company's job to let people know about the game, and try to earn their support.
[Q] What has been the reaction from folks who have played this game already?
They enjoy the easy entry to learn and quickly play the game. We've found this is also a great board game to play with members of the entire family, no matter what age!
[Q] What do you plan to use the Kickstarter funds for?
Mostly manufacturing cost (5 quotes from different manufacturers from around the globe), some costs associated with the incredible artwork and top-notch card design/layout. The art and layout are actually about 95% completed, which is more than the average Kickstarter game.
[Q] If funded, when is your game targeted to be released?
We are targeting to ship by the end of Q1 2019 or early Q2 2019
[Q] Where can people find more about you and your company?
If you like how this board game plays, you'll definitely want to check out these great games which play with a similar "foodie" theme.