Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fast food zombies

Like most games in James Ernest's Cheapass line, Lord of the Fries is a simple game built on a humorous premise: in this case, players are zombies working in a fast food restaurant, doing the best they can to get bizarre meals out the door with limited ingredients.

At the start of the game, players choose a menu from among restaurants such as Ratherbee's Steakhouse (home of the mighty cholesterol onion), Montezuma's Mexi-Deli (ostensibly food, affordably priced) or the original Friedey's, the fast food restaurant of the damned (featured in Give Me the Brain, another early Cheapass game). Once the menu is chosen, the deck of cards representing ingredients is adjusted accordingly, and all the cards are dealt out to the players.

Players then take turns calling out items from the menu that they hope their opponents won't be able to put together with the ingredients they have in their hands. Meals on each menu range in difficulty from simple one- and two-ingredient combos to absurdly difficult meals that require large combinations of cards. 

Once a player calls out a meal, play passes to the left, with each player given an opportunity to either play the cards needed for the meal or pass a card to the next player, with play reaching the player who originally called the meal last. If everyone passes (because they are unable to build the meal), play starts around the table again, but this time the meal can be made minus any one ingredient. The player who is able to make the meal gets to call the next one.

Play proceeds in this manner until any player gets rid of his last card. Scores are totaled based on the cards each player has played to the table, with the values of cards still in their hands subtracted from their score.

It's really just a variation on any number of traditional playing card games where the goal is to play cards in combinations and get rid of all your cards before the other players do, just enhanced by James Ernest's usual sly wit.

Rating: 2 (out of 5) Lord of  the Fries makes for a good warm-up game, but like the fast food it makes fun of, the game gets old quickly.

Date played: March 1, 2014

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