Order up your grand meal, flip the bill, and Bon Appetit!
Theme and What is it?
Bon Appetit! is a game that focuses on haute cuisine and indulging in the most exquisite dishes one can eat. Instead of paying for each dish, you pay for each one with precious gems. The goal of the game is to have the fanciest spread not necessarily the largest.
Bon Appetit! offers two main mechanics: first is a bidding mechanic and second is a stock market mechanic. There are four different colored gems (red, yellow, green and blue) each having a different starting value. Players bid with their gems and highest result spends all gems bid for the dish and the remaining players keep their gems.
The stock market mechanic changes the value of the gems each round by lowering the worth of the ones that are spent and increasing the worth of the ones the were not. This allows other players to usually have an increase in worth in their gems. The game ends after twelve rounds and all the dishes for that game are bought.
Bon Appetit! was well balanced for having minimal components. I first thought that the value of gems being randomized and the random gems each player starts with would give a distinct advantage, but with how the stock market for gems work this advantage is only good for 1 round. The other player(s) will gain the advantage in the next round. The game also balanced end game points with in-game bonuses.
Game Build Quality
The gems are just small generic aquarium rocks and are rather durable. The colors are nice and bright and easy to distinguish from one another. The cards are large and sturdy and easy to read the have a slight texture to them making them easy to shuffle.
The food was drawn with an almost cartoony, cel shaded style. Although not photorealistic in picture, the imagery is done extremely well and represents each dish uniquely and as exquisitely as a game focused around the upper echelon of the food world would require.
Quick pace, fun theme, and being a more play the player game I absolutely loved the game. It is definitely a great filler game for groups who may be waiting for that one friend who is running late or a game you can play with kids. Bon Appetit!’s simplicity does mean that a lot of the fun comes from the company you keep but the same can be said about the fine dining world.
Age Range & Weight
8+ is the recommended age and I would say that is a fair rating with reading comprehension being a small but necessary component for any form of strategy. It’s simple to learn and easy to play. The set up, play through, and cleanup all can happen in 20 minutes or less. This allows for just fun with no hassle cleanup.
Bon Appetit! is a game that I am more than happy to play again and again. Gilad Yarnitzky and Strawberry Studio have done a tremendous job on creating a game that is so down to earth with the goal of being exorbitantly pretentious. I will definitely be adding this game to my collection and will find myself bringing it out frequently. So, order up your grand meal, flip the bill, and Bon Appetit!
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