Restauratours is a deck building game where your deck is a menu. Each player has a different menu because they are a chef of a different ethnicity. The core game will ship as a 4 player game with 4 ethnic chefs - American, Italian, French and Greek. The game does support up to 8 players, however we recommend 3 - 6 players. Additional players are added to the game by way of expansion packs, which bring a variety of new ethnicities to the table.
The goal of the game is to become the most successful restaurateur. At the beginning of the game each chef chooses 9 recipes to complete 3 meals from their recipe deck. Each meal must include an Appetizer, an Entre and a Sweet. That task begins with the acquisition of ingredients required to complete your recipes. As the game progresses you can increase your profits three ways: by making more elaborate recipes that sell for higher prices; acquiring culinary chef skills at the Academy; and adding new locations to increase diner traffic. You may choose to focus on skills, improving from a Line Chef to Sous Chef doubles the base price of your dishes. Improving further to become Chef de Cuisine (Executive Chef) triples the base price and finally, by attaining Master Chef status the prices quadruple. If culinary school is not for you, the counter-strategy is to expand the number of locations and compete on volume by stealing customers from the other restaurateurs.
Players takes turns playing one of eight cards in their Action Card hand and completing the task enabled. When a card is played each player keeps their used cards in a discard pile and cannot use the card again until they replenish their hand.
The Action Card hand consists of:
- 3 Shopping cards
- 1 Dining card
- 1 Cooking card
- 1 Academy card
- 1 Realtor card
- 1 Repair card
The three shopping cards are used to purchase items in the market. When played, three rolls of three shopping dice control a shopping turn enabling the chef to pick up some of the items they need to complete their recipes. They may also pick up items for later use that are stored in their pantry.
The pantry holds six items - three perishable and three non-perishable food stuffs. Your pantry however, is hidden from your opponents allowing you to hold an extra ingredient and/or store perishable items in the non-perishable cupboard. This is of course against safety code regulations, but you can do so for as long as you like provided the health inspector does not pay you a visit.
The one dining card triggers a very important mechanic in the game. Using a turn to dine at a competitors restaurant is the only way to pickup your discard pile and replenish your Action Hand. Think of it as health points - we all need sustenance to do our best work, and it never hurts to know what your competition is cooking up.
Upon completion of a meal (Appetizer, Entre and Sweet), a Food Critic is summoned to the restaurant and the chef cooks to receive a critical review. The chef draws a Critic card which reveals the critics level of influence. They range from local social media critics with small followings to major international critics whose reviews can provide restauranteurs with an opportunity to score more victory points. I say opportunity because the critics review rewards the chef with a number of customers that are placed on the game board outside the restaurant in a line up, waiting for a table and their turn to be served. These patrons brought to the restaurant by the critics review do not score any immediate points in the game - they must be served on subsequent turns in the game to convert the people to victory points.
Playing the cooking card enables the chef to cook for the patrons waiting outside their restaurant, converting them into victory points.
The cooking dice are used to prepare meals in all three serving scenarios - when other restaurateurs dine at your establishment, when a Food Critic dines and when the chef plays their Cooking Card to serve the patrons waiting in line. Cooking is an over/under dice game using three dice, each having sides with between 0 and 3 flames. The object of the game is to match the total flame count on recipe cards for the dishes being served. The chef gets 3 rolls and can re-roll as many of the 3 dice as they choose on each roll. If the chef decides to not re-roll a dice on their second roll, they have chosen to stick with that particular die and may not re-roll that die on their third roll.
The 3 Cooking Scenarios:
• Food Critic - the consequences of rolling the perfect flame count, under cooking with fewer flames or over cooking with too many flames, is indicated on each Critic card.
• Restaurateurs - when cooking for opponents if the chef stops rolling or finishes rolling with fewer flames than the recipe card indicates, they are paid the face value on their menu. If they match the flame count perfectly, they are awarded a gratuity equivalent to the price of the Entre, but if they roll over the designated flame count, they have burnt the meal and receive no payment at all.
• Patrons - cooking for the line up of people is the same as cooking for other restaurateurs with one big difference - the chef must roll for each grouping of people in the line and can only continue rolling for as long as they cook perfect meals by matching the flame count exactly.
By playing the Academy card, the chef attends the nearest of two campus locations* and can purchase a tuition for the skill they wish to acquire. The cost of the tuition is shown on the board under each skill token. When a skill is taken from the Academy it is replaced on the board with another of the same skill token, however it is placed on the right side of the row in the highest cost position (6 silver), while each of the other skills slide to the left one space depreciating in cost by one silver each. The value of each skill set is a multiplier on the cost of your menu items. The skills can be earned in any order, however to achieve the chef status level multipliers, the levels must be achieved in order. ie. you cannot become an
- Line Chef = 1x multiplier [ the starting point - no skills, menu prices are face value ]
- Sous Chef = 2x multiplier [ requires 2 copper skills - Safety and Knife Skills ]
- Chef de Cuisine = 3x multiplier [ requires 2 silver skills - Saucier and Pastry Chef ]
- Master Chef = 4x multiplier [ requires 2 gold skills - Presentation and Sommelier ]
The Realtor card is used to expand your restaurant operation to new locations on the board and compete with competitors for the traffic on their corner. Playing this card requires the chef to make a silver deposit and enables them to place an expansion tile on the board covering half of any double store. The expansion tile must be laid down with the "Coming Soon" side face up. This location remains in renovation mode, unopened until the chef plays another Realtor Card and pays two more silver to open the location for business.
The Health Inspector
The Inspector travels quickly and randomly around the board, moved by a separate dice that is rolled on the first roll of every shopping turn. In addition to rolling the Inspector's movement, the die has two faces that also forces the player to take an Inspection card. These cards bring all kinds of calamities to their operation, from broken pipes and broken refrigeration to rat infestation.
These problems can be fixed by playing the Repair action card on a turn and paying the repair cost. If the Inspector comes to your establishment before you repair the calamity, you will be fined at a much higher cost than the repair. You may hold as many of these calamities at once as you choose and pay them all off on the same Repair card turn.
... more to come
* For games with less than four players it is more interesting to only use one campus location to give the depreciation of skills more significance.