TOO MANY COOKS - Reviewed by Mike
Category/Format: Fun/Card Game
Privately-produced card game by Andy Merritt in which players try to collect ingredients to make the various recipes on display. Basically a bidding and set-collecting game but with a novel twist in the scoring. This is due to the fact that if a player does not have a vegetarian option in their final collection of recipes they are penalised 10 points. Secondly the recipes are covering the cuisines of different countries such as French, Italian, Chinese etc and there are bonus points available for having the most recipes in a particular cuisine.
Novel idea and one in which the gamer's influence can be seen to be evident. All the information is available on the cards, which are displayed for all to see, so the need to look at the overall distribution reference card is minimised.
Good components for the cost but we found the beans used for 'money' to be a little fiddly. However the game played well and the bidding was very cagey.
We did reach the stage where we all had the ingredients to make a valuable recipe in our hands but for one which wasn't currently displayed and no new recipes were being made available. So someone had to 'sacrifice' themselves by offering ingredients that the others could use to make those recipes that were on offer, in the hope that they would draw the new recipe cards that they wanted. I don't know if this is a scenario that is likely to be repeated or just the luck of the draw of the cards. There were 2 recipes on display from the start requiring Duck but apparently no player drew the Duck ingredient until much later in the game.
The game should appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike. There's just enough strategy there to keep the former interested whereas those of a less serious nature would find the set collecting not too strenuous.Copies are limited and I got mine directly from Andy via mail order.