I recently discovered a video game that’s a couple years old now called Overcooked, and subsequently got my wife addicted to it. It’s a cooperative game about running a restaurant. You’ve got to run around, grab ingredients, chop, slice, or pound them, fry them and boil them, prep them on a plate, and deliver them to meet the customers orders as fast as you can. The video game is all about coordination, trying to do everything as efficiently as possible, dividing up tasks between players, communicating, and avoiding deadly lava traps (it’s a thing).
Kitchen Rush is basically this in board game form (sans lava traps); a real time game about taking customer orders and prepping them as fast as you can.
A round is 4 minutes long, and each player starts with 2 workers in the form of sand timers. You can move your workers whenever you want, as long as the sand is all run down. You’ll need to first take the role of the waiter, to claim an order (and take the necessary plates to fill). A visit to the storeroom will get you the ingredients, and don’t forget about the spices. Then to the cooking area to heat your food for the time necessary for it to be ready.
Any completed plates will count as “delivered” at the end of the round, but you can deliver food early to earn extra tips, which is important, because you need money.
There are no lava traps in this game, but you will need to pay your workers and buy more food supplies and spices as they run out. One of the places you can send your workers to is the store. You can also visit the office to spend some of that tasty money to unlock more workers, more store rooms, and other special bonuses.
In our demo, we played about 2 rounds, and my first impressions are very solid. Other sand-timer-based games often have you waiting way too long to be able to do anything, and the frantic nature of the real time challenge is undercut by the time spent waiting and unable to do anything. In Kitchen Rush, I never had to wait more than a few seconds for a worker to be ready thanks to the short duration of the timers, access to 2 timers to do different things, and the time it took to resolve each action. The pace of the game stayed high and exciting. We had to communicate with each other to make sure things got done, sending people to the store for ingredients, making sure we’re not taking what other people need, and generally just trying to keep things under control. I look forward to playing this one more to see how a full game pans (get it?) out.