Saturday, October 1, 2016

What's for dinner? Raid the Pantry!


Calling all food lovers!  Grab your Ginsu and hilarious-sayings apron; it’s time to get busy in the kitchen!  Raid the Pantry is a delightful, family friendly, card game that is not only fun to play, but leaves you with a deep yearning to pull everything out of the refrigerator and cook up an amazing meal.  Cheeky Parrot, flying all the way in from Auckland, New Zealand, did a wonderful job with this one.  My only upfront complaint about this game is that every time I play it, I’m hungry within the first few turns.




Right from the start I knew this game was going to be fun.  The packaging is wonderful.  It has a fold-over box top with a magnetic clasp, wrapped in my grandmother’s dinning room wallpaper. Ah, Nostalgia!  The top has a delightful, mid 20th century family engaged in a hilarious mess.  The title reads “ It’s a food fight without the mess,” and so it is.

The first time my family played this game, it was an instant hit.  There are action cards that allow you to take ingredients from other players, and pass around new ingredients and dish cards.  If someone plays a wild card in place of an ingredient, another player that has the actual ingredient can substitute their card for the wild card; allowing them to possibly play new dishes on their turn.  The player interaction is constant, making it perfect for family game night or friendly social events. 

The Dish and Ingredient cards boast high quality photos of the item, making them very visually appealing, and very appetizing.  Every time I play, I feel the need to cook an amazing meal as soon as the game is over.  If you have a love for cooking, this game hits a sweet spot; and who doesn’t love food anyways?
 
The game play is simple, yet strategic.  There are high point dish cards that require an ingredient that there is only one of in the deck.  Knowing when to pass certain dishes, and ingredients, is key to being able to create meals quickly, and obtain bonus points.  Everyone in the family felt that the game play was even, and that there was no unfair advantage.

The game is won once a player reaches a certain number of points.  I always enjoyed games with this win scenario because it allows for players to set their own length of play.  You can play to just a few points for a short experience or as my wife and I frequently play, keep an ongoing score card for years worth of points with no real planned end.

Whether you have a mid-afternoon tea gathering, or looking for something to play during family game night, Raid the Pantry is perfect for that casual get together.  The instructions are simple, game play is smooth, and it’s as much fun as a spoonful of sugar!  For casual, family games, I give Raid the Pantry a 7/10.