In Game Bites we talk about fun food themed games and accessibility in gaming. My co-author is my son, Jacob, a non-nuerotypical aspiring chef. Every so often we try a new game, he cooks a delicious related dish and shares the 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!
As a child there were few sounds more magical than the tinny tunes of an approaching ice cream truck, especially on a hot summer afternoon. In Rocky Road a la Mode YOU get to be the ice cream vendor, delivering smiles to the waiting customers. Stock your ingredients and attract the right customers to win this tasty set collector from Green Couch Games.
Each player starts with a truck and 3 treat cards. Treat cars serve two purposes – the are either an ice cream resource (upper left hand corner) or a waiting customer (middle and bottom rows.) On their turn a player can restock their hand, attract customers (place a card in their play area) or serve customers (discard resources to fulfill the customer request on a card in the play area.)
To restock, players may gather up to 5 cards from the resource pile. The number is important because they will also move their truck around the track, and whoever is furthest behind on the track will play next. Attracting customers advances a truck 2 spaces and allows the player to lay down a card that they hope to fulfill in a later round. To serve a customer the player will advance one space on the track and discard treat cards matching an order, starting with the topmost customer. When the bottom order is filled that card will be put into the scoring area to score loyalty points. Advancing around the track will allow players to pick up wild resources, and filling enough of a type of order will earn a supply bonus.
Gameplay ends when on player has 9 loyalty points. The other player continues to play until their truck passes that player. Most loyalty points wins!
Easy Breezy Vanilla Ice Cream
1 quart of milk
1 Tbsp vanilla
3/4 Cup of sugar
1/8 Tsp of salt
Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
20-25 minutes in the ice cream maker
Place in freezer for 3 hours, using a beater to churn up the ice crystals every 45 mins.
This makes a lightning fast ice cream with more of a sorbet texture that’s a snap for anyone to make (especially kids!) To add flavors, try a thin syrup or jam (larger chunks may freeze and not be pleasant to eat.) Also great with toppings!
Rocky Road a la mode is another short, fun filler game. The game was easy to understand after figuring out the ingredients. I think the game benefits from a full set of players – at two players it is kind of repetitive. The ingredient collecting was sometimes tedious, but there was a lot of laughing over needing to collect a particular ingredient then not being able to find it. The cards and board are very bright, colorful, and information filled, which may make it hard to read for some. I particularly liked that the cards were multipurpose, so the game could reuse resources as other things. Mostly, there was a lot of laughing during play and we definitely wanted ice cream afterwards!
I’m obsessed with the little Ice Cream Truck Meeples! The art style is bright and whimsical, exactly like the sideboard of an ice cream truck. I appreciated the style and combination of card uses a lot for efficiency, but those that need things a little less busy might struggle with sorting out the information on the cards. The race around the track makes it somewhat more interesting than just a card game, as does the variable turn order. Placing cards under the truck for orders and scoring is VERY finicky, even for someone without fine motor skills issues – we resorted to playing them to the bottom and sides instead. Game play is relatively simple to grasp and the rule book is very clear with nice illustrations of each step. I definitely recommend having some ice cream sandwiches in the fridge for post-play!