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Jun 23, 2009 03:27 PM

Food-Themed Board Games

Curious if Hounds have tried some of the growing number of food-themed games on the market. Foodie Fight's pretty good, we've played that a number of times, though part of the fun can be arguing about the answers we don't exactly agree with. Subject matter has broad coverage from the practical kitchen facts to the very trivial (something about the fairytale Rapunzel and rutabegas....).

Not shooting to overload our game collection with culinary selections. Balderdash, Tripoly, dominoes and Scrabble will remain stalwart favorites. Just wondered if it might be worth adding any others beyond Foodie Fight to the mix.

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  1. There's a number of interesting food-related games on the market, some more widely available than others. One of the newest is Wasabi! from Z-Man Games ( in which 2-4 players try to complete specific sushi recipes by placing tiles in order on the chopping block. Special action cards let you attack others with wasabi and mix up the playing area.

    Mamma Mia! from Rio Grande Games ( has players making pizzas by stacking ingredients in a single pile with the occasional order thrown into the stack. You need a good memory to track which ingredients have been used by others and which you can mooch for pies of your own.

    In The Great Chili Cookoff from Jolly Roger Games, which I reviewed on my site in 2006 (, each player tries to complete a secret recipe by drafting the ingredients that he needs – but to nab valuable ingredients, he'll have to give up something of value himself, thereby helping others.

    Hundreds of new games enter the market each year, so this is a rich field for game designers to explore.

    1. The "Stir Crazy" line from Decipher make great cooking parties. They're out of print, but you can still find them on Amazon and in many eBay stores -- search for "stir crazy game" in either place. They come in three flavors: Mexican, Italian, and Oriental. Imagine the Iron Chef show but with different random ingredients assigned to each team.

      The same company released the "How to Host a Murder" line of themed mystery party games. Most of them include suggested menus that match the game's theme.

      There's a new word/party game called The Chain Game ( that would adapt very easily to a food theme. It's a free-form phrase game -- if a player starts by saying "swordfish", the next player can use either "sword" or "fish" in their answer... for example, "swordfish" could go to "catfish", which becomes "fish market", and goes to "supermarket." You keep score with links of plastic chain. Very fun, very fast, and very friendly to new players -- and very hilarious after some wine!