Game Bites: Blue Plate Scramble

In Game Bites we talk about fun food themed games, related recipes, and accessibility in gaming. My co-author is my son, Jacob, a non-nuerotypical aspiring chef. Every other week we try a new game, he cooks a delicious related dish and shares a recipe, and we talk about the pros and cons of what we’ve played. So sit back, tuck your napkin in, and have a bite with us!

Ham and Sushi? Kabob and spaghetti? What will your hungry customers ask for next? In Blue Plate Scramble, you’ll scramble to remember and complete each customer’s order as fast as you can!

Blue Plate Scramble (by Peaceable Kingdom) is a tile memorization and matching puzzle for 2-4 players played over three rounds. There are 36 tiles which each represent a half of a plate, each containing a single food item. In each round, five orders are made by making plates from two of those tiles – sometimes the orders make sense like Bacon and Eggs, but a customer is just as likely to order Lobster and Donuts.

Players have 30 seconds to look at and memorize these orders, at which point the tiles are flipped face down and the scramble begins! Players work together over the next 30 seconds to dig through a pile of food cards, looking to match the order tiles. Order tiles are then turned face up and any mistaken or incomplete plates make customers angry, with the fifth angry customer causing the restaurant to close down.

Each round, the order tiles are completely reshuffled, and you might redraw food items from previous rounds which leads to lightning fast debates about whether a customer ordered Pizza and Peas or was that last round and this time it’s Pizza and Pretzels? To tweak the difficulty for older and/or more experienced players, the game advises that you tune the difficulty by adding more orders but not changing any of the time frames or allowed number of errors. The ultimate challenge is to try to complete 18 full orders in each 30 second round!

Jacob’s Comfortable Americana Ham and Cheese Casserole

A Blue Plate Special is a part of the United States’ culinary heritage. For today’s recipe I wanted to pay homage to American comfort food, and chose the casserole.

1 ½ cups diced cooked ham
1 ½ well drained* fresh or frozen veg (I usually use broccoli or kale)
16 oz package of Egg Noodles
3 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded
½ cup Sour cream
1 cup milk
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
Salt and Pepper

*Vegetables release a lot of water – to drain, place the veg in a colander in the sink and set a heavy pot or pan directly on top of the veg. Leave while making your noodles and roux.

Heat oven to 400.
Cook Egg Noodles according to package direction. In a saucepan, make a roux with the flour and butter. Wisk in the milk, sour cream and two cups of the cheese. Once the sauce and noodles are done, combine all ingrediants in a sprayed 9×13 casserole. Cover and bake for 25 mins. Remove foil and add remaining cup of cheese on top. Return to oven until the cheese Is melted.

Tips – You can sub out so much of this recipe – different proteins, different vegetables, even different noodles. Its a great way to use up leftovers and a quick, cheap way to feed to whole family. Add a salad and you have a balanced meal!

Jacob’s Thoughts

I thought Blue Plate Scramble was a quick and easy family game. The instructions were very clear and I appreciate that it had pictures for easy understanding of how it works. I would say that it was a too easy for just adults, even with just two people we managed to finish with at least five seconds or so left. I also appreciate that the pictures are large and the players don’t have to try to read quickly to identify tiles. As a family game its a lot of goofy fun.

AnnaMaria’s Thoughts

Blue Plate Scramble boasts an interesting twist on the typical memory game. With an added time element and a literal scramble through food cards, its a fun way include everyone and have a lot of laughs. No audio communication in necessary to play. There might be some head butting if one of the group is a vocal memorizer and another needs silence to concentrate. The rules are simple enough that anyone who can read them could be the how to play guide, and bright, colorful food pictures are engaging as well as large enough to be seen across the table. Overall we both thought this was a fun game for players of all abilities.

Got a food related game you’d like Jacob to tackle? Tweet it to me!