Churrascaria by Absurdist Productions

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I love backing new games on Kickstarter, especially ones from new designers, first time publishers, or with a favorite theme. When I saw the KS page for Churrascaria, I was very intrigued. It seemed like it would be a huge hit in my home. The quick game play, wonderful theme, colorful art, and cutthroat element were all very compelling to me. Of all the games I backed, this one had great potential to be a part of every board game night.

When it arrived, I could not wait to begin learning how to play. Unfortunately, I struggled through the copious rules, rich with examples rather than instructions. The wording was not consistent, the paragraphs were too long, and relevance of the examples were not made for someone with a cognitive need for simplification. Even the setup instructions were slightly puzzling. I did find the simple setup illustration to be of great use.

Fortunately, there was a Basic Rules and Turn Actions guide for each player, something I think more games should adopt.

My lovely gaming partner sat across from me, and in less than two minutes I explained the simple turn actions and basic rules. I was not sure why I would want to flip over a Food Request token, nor was this card explained very well in the rules. Nonetheless, we dove into our first game. The simple game play was very evident as we started.

I started by quickly eating the Frango, using its effect to flip over her Food Request token. Take that! Then I discarded an action card, not sure why I would need it in the game, probably a mistake but there is not much to do on the first turn of the game. Since my Food Token was green, I placed a juicy piece of succulent meat on my plate, nom, nom, nom. OH WAIT, I could not eat it. Dratz. A +3 seemed like a great bonus to my stomach.

The turns went quickly. We had more fun preventing each other from eating than trying to accumulate victory points by eating from our own plates. I loved it when I removed my 4 negative cards on my plate for every juicy piece of meat on her plate, which had a potential value of over 20 yummy points.  Action. Reaction. Back and forth the game went.

She would play an action swapping plates, and then I would prevent her from eating what she just acquired. Just when she thought she could eat something, I forced her to eat her lowest ranked card, which was normally a negative card. (Negative is lower than positive.)

Unfortunately, she found a way to keep her plate full, her token green, and her stomach constantly eating the lowest ranked card. I think this is a cheap way to cheat the rules, taking two actions, then getting to eat for free. Taking advantage of the forced eating action by having a plate full is one heck of a strategy.

The game ending was climactic as we fought toe-to -toe for that +9 piece of Aleatra -- a lean, succulent cut of seasoned beef. "No it's mine, back off!" "Take that!" "Ugh! She ate it. Sigh."

I was beaten by a cheater, obviously!!

Churrascaria was an extremely fun cutthroat game. I can't wait to try it with more family members. It is a delightful edition to my game library and will be a huge hit on game night.

4.0 / 5.0