Things of No Interest: Review - Fast Food Fear!

Things of No Interest: Review - Fast Food Fear!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Fast Food Fear! from the publisher as a review copy. I received no other compensation nor consideration and all opinions are my own unless indicated.

From the publisher:

Monsters at the Legoblah! swamp prefer fast food nowadays. It’s quick, convenient and you can eat some of the most disgusting junk in the world. Business is good, but customers are extremely demanding; it is highly recommended you don’t keep them waiting. As soon as the customer’s order is in the kitchen, everyone must hurry to get it ready quickly. Having to explain to a slew of hungry customers why they haven’t got their food yet is no fun at all...

Fast Food Fear! is a cooperative game in real time for a close-knit team of 3-6 cooks: keep an eye on the hourglass and coordinate your teamwork to serve all the customers correctly and in time!

What's in the box?

Fast Food Fear! is a smaller box game that has 110 cards of good quality (euro-game standard, so not as wide as Magic cards), a two-minute sand timer, and rules (a single glossy color sheet folded in half into a booklet). Nothing special here as it is a simpler game and there are not a lot of components. The box also included a couple of small zipper bags for keeping the cards together. 

The cards mirror the box art - bright and humorous monsters and simple foods (hamburger, fries, drinks, tacos, fried chicken leg, etc). The game is in English, though the words are irrelevant on the food cards. On the actions cards, there are only a few types, I suspect that a quick translation and the graphic on the card might be enough to get a group through after a minute or two. 

How do you play?

The setup is fairly simple. Each player gets dealt six cards (food and actions are all shuffled together). Then draw a number of monster (customer) cards equal to the number of players plus one and put them face up in the middle of the table where all the players can see them. In order to win, all players must work together to complete the orders for the monster cards. Each monster card has three or more different food items that that monster has ordered. A player is selected to begin and you start the timer. 

Player turns are very simple - you just take one of the three actions:
  • If you have all the food cards matching the food any monster on the table requires, you can discard all those cards and remove the monster from the table (you are now closer to winning!)
  • You can play an action card and then follow the instructions.
  • You can discard any one card from your hand
After you have taken your action, you draw back up to six cards and the player to your left takes their turn. Play continues until either the timer runs out, or all the monster orders have been finished. Players can (and certainly should) talk about the cards they have and what they should keep, pass (action cards let you pass cards around), when you should play the card that lets you flip the timer to get more time, etc. Teamwork is key. Two minutes will not be enough to get the right cards into your hand, so paying attention to the timer and playing the cards that give you more time at the right moment is important. 

Additionally, the card/food distribution isn't equal. Drink cards are far more common than say the sushi cards. so holding onto one is important if you have monsters that ordered sushi, but everyone holding a chicken legs may not be immortal or ideal at all. The logistics would be really easy if it weren't for the timer constantly draining. 

This is not on the menu
Who is this game for / who will like this?
This is a semi-frantic co-op game. After our first game (which we barely won), my kids and I figured out how to best manage our time and started beating the game without much effort. The beauty of this is - it is super easy to up the difficulty of the game by just adding more customers. Which also mean that it should be really easy to dial things down if you are having family game night and playing with slower players (kids, grandma and grandpa, or just folks that don't like to be rushed). 

If you don't like social co-op games or games that make you feel rushed, this won't be for you. If you enjoy lighter filler games, co-op games, or a quick adrenalin rush, this might be your thing. If you have younger kids (8-10), this could be the game to get and a fun gateway game. This is also exactly the kind of game I see getting played later in the evening at gaming conventions, or right before dinner time when everyone wants to play another game, but don't want to commit to something that might drag on. 

Our thoughts:

It probably isn't a regular gaming thing for us, but may just get a suggestion when we are looking for 10 minutes to kill while waiting for dinner to finish or such.  Both my son (14) and daughter (12) enjoyed it. I enjoyed it for what it was - a quick little family filler. My kids are a mixed bag (like lots of kids) when it comes to working together. Co-op games don't always go over well, but this was well received since the frantic nature of the game didn't lend itself to any one person really getting a chance to become the "Alpha". It is also fairly quick to play, so we ended up playing it a number of times in a row. I don't know if this has a lot of legs with my crew, but if the kids were younger, I could see them asking to play this all the time (or just playing it all the time with their friends). 
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