Game Bites: Fry Thief

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 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!

The most delicious fries are always the ones you steal from your friend’s plate…

You know the dilemma – you’re at a restaurant and you ordered a salad, while one of your friend ordered fries. And now those crispy, warm, starchy beauties are calling you from across the table with their fatty, salty goodness.

Now on Kickstarter, Fry Thief is an asymmetric game for two players that lasts about 10 minutes. The object is simple – eat the most fries. Playing as either the fry order-er or the salad eater, each person will take turns playing cards (like Chow Down or Look over There) to steal, sauce, or eat fries. The game ends when the last fry is eaten and the player with the most wins!

Jacob’s Double dipped Fries

4 or 5 russet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
2 quarts vegetable oil (or to fill counter fryer if you have one)
1 tbsp salt
Salt and Pepper to taste

Peel potatoes and chop into thin lengths. Cover in water and soak for about 30 minutes to an hour. Heat fryer or a heavy stock pot filled with oil to 325. Remove potatoes from water and dry THOROUGHLY. Add about half the potatoes to the oil and fry for 4 mins. Remove and drain on a rack or towel covered bowl while to fry the other half.
Increase the temperature of the oil to 375. Fry again in halves for another 4 mins. As fries are removed, drain and toss in a bowl with the tbsp of salt. Once all fries have been cooked add salt and pepper to taste.

Deep frying may seem intimidating but it doesn’t have to be if you remember a few things for safety. Dry potatoes thoroughly after they’ve been in water before they go in the oil to avoid splatters. Always use a basket or tongs to remove food from the fryer. Be sure to use a pot with high sides and not to overfill whatever you’re frying in.
Double frying helps produce a crispier fry. (It has to do with the way the moisture is leeched out of the potato as it cooks.)

Jacob’s Take

Fries are my favorite food, so I’ve been looking forward to trying Fry Thief. The game is a very simple 2 player game meant to be played quickly – mom and I finished within 5-10 minutes. Coupled with the few pieces and cards it contained this game could be good for when you’re going out or waiting. Also, there’s not much set up time. I was fine with the competitiveness of it, but it might be hard for some non-nuerotypical folks to understand the give and take. The instructions were easy to understand for the most part, and I did appreciate that the illustrations helped in a small way to show what actions meant. Larger print would be helpful. The art showing the different ways you could ‘steal’ fries was funny, and added to making it seem more friendly instead of cutthroat. I would recommend this as a good on the go game – quick, small, and not too intense.

AMJ’s Take

Fry Thief is a laugh-inducing, lighthearted two player that will definitely have you craving some deep fried spuds. While the entire game is about rampant fry theft, its hard to be angry as the fries travel rapid fire back and forth between plates. The checkered box looks just like the paper at the bottom of a fry basket and everything is in bright, primary colors. Characters on the cards illustrate the reactions to the actions well, though these might be difficult to read for someone that struggles with body language and expressions. With a rule book only about a page long, its light enough to play while waiting for a batch to fry and simple enough not to require a long explanation or teaching time. I particularly liked that the fries are long skinny tokens and not just cards or cubes – it really adds to the tactile nature of ‘stealing’ the fries. As the competitiveness is very light hearted, there’s less of a chance of bruised feelings than something that seemed more intensely directed (sort of, ‘I’m not out to get you, I just want your yummy fries’). Our prototype had a small font, so I was please to hear it will be more clear in the actual print. Overall, Fry Thief is easy to learn and quick with a small foot print that should be a hit for folks that like lighter games – and hot fries.

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