Like many of you, my very first job was in fast food. If I recall correctly, I began working when I was 15 as Illinois had a special wage for those younger than sixteen. I think my hourly pay was $2.85 and then upped to the minimum wage of $3.35 on my birthday. The job was more than just flipping burgers at our local Tastee Freez. We also made fries, manned the cash register, served ice cream, breaded and cooked fried chicken, prepared fresh cole slaw, and waited on customers. And lets not forget the sweeping, mopping, stocking and cleaning that was all part of our daily routine. Such is the life of fast food in a small town.
It was actually a great learning experience that helped prepare me for my next college jobs, again in fast food. During the school year I worked part time at a local Wendy’s and had stints at Taco Bell over the summers. Both of these had us focused on just a few tasks to keep the assembly line process moving along. But the basics were the same. Assemble the customer’s order in as little time as possible, 100% correct and move on to the next one.
So when we demo’ed Fast Food Fear by Devir Games at Gen Con this year, I had flashbacks to those good (and bad) times. Some days went smooth, others were full of customers that weren’t happy no matter what. Fast Food Fear brought both of those into a quick-playing card game, depicting customers as the true monsters they are.
Fast Food Fear is a cooperative game, meaning everyone wins or loses together. Supporting up to six players, each person is dealt a hand of six cards that contain either courses of a meal or a type of event that takes place immediately. A number of customer cards are dealt to the center of the table, face down, equal to the number of players plus one (5 customers in a 4-player game).
One player is assigned the role of Monster Chef and takes the included sand timer, turning it over to start. They also turn over half (rounded up) of the customer cards, revealing what each person is ordering. Every monster is looking to purchase between three and five courses, and they must be supplied by only one chef. On your turn you can do one of three things.
First, you can play cards matching the courses on a customer card, satisfying the monster and removing him from the line. You can also play an event card instead, resolving immediately its effects. Some of the event cards allow you to trade cards with another player, others have you flipping over the timer and giving you more time to fill all the orders.
Lastly you may simply discard one card from your hand and pass your turn. Regardless of which action you choose, you will always draw new cards at the end of your turn until you have six cards in total. If you run out of cards to draw, simply turn over the discard pile without shuffling and begin drawing from this new stack. BUT…you must also turn over a new customer card and add it to the line! Now you have another monster to appease!
The goal is simple – fill all the customer’s orders before the sand timer ever runs out. During the game everyone may freely talk about what they have in their hand, plan future turns and time when to flip the timer over. You must coordinate getting the right courses into a player’s hand so they may serve the customer while still paying attention to the clock. If the timer runs out, everyone loses and the game is over. Fill all customer card’s orders and everyone wins!
As you might imagine, Fast Food Fear is a quick-playing game that can get loud and frantic as the timer runs short. Expect a game to last only 10-15 minutes (if you’re lucky). Cute artwork and a quick learning curve makes this game appropriate for almost any age as young as six or seven. And while it does support two players, it really is best played with 4+.
This has been a very popular game this year and is nearly sold out on Amazon at under $15! We selected Fast Food Fear to appear in our recommend family games gift guide and will be giving away a copy to one lucky reader during Day 79 of this year’s 150+ Days of Giveaways!
If you don’t want to chance missing out on your copy, pick yours up on Amazon or learn more about Fast Food Fear from Devir Games on their website. I hope you’re already following them on Facebook or Twitter as they regularly make new product announcements!
Have you ever worked a fast food job?