“What the Food?!” is a card game where players take on the role of one of over a dozen classmates caught in the middle of a classic cafeteria fight. The opportunity to pledge “What The Food?!” is currently available on Kickstarter.com, and the project is fully funded.
This game is major fun! You can pick up food to throw, duck to avoid food thrown at you, grab food from the floor to throw later on, taunt other players into throwing food, or even snitch on other players! While the game is billed as a “cafeteria food fight to the death,” it was actually quite survivable, and a great game to play on a recent rainy Saturday afternoon.
“What the Food?!” is a turn-based card game created by Peter Vaughan and beautifully illustrated by Jean-Sebastien Ducios. The objective of the game is to hurl enough food and food combos (“picked cherry slushie globbed in peanut butter”) at your fellow players, and avoid getting hit with the same until someone accumulates 10 “humiliation points” and runs to get the principal — at which point the game ends. The player with the fewest “humiliation points” (i.e., got smeared with the least food) at that point wins the game.
At the beginning of each round of play, you select three actions – in order – from those available to you in your hand. Each player has access to the same set of random actions from the deck PLUS one special action available only to their randomly selected character. After plotting out your moves for the round ahead of time, you then get to “target” those actions against one of your fellow players. To me, this was one of the key elements of strategy — you need to try to anticipate what someone may be plotting against you while you formulate your own plans. This smacks of classic cafeteria food fight tactics.
The most exciting and hilarious part of the game is then executing those actions. While there are some defensive moves like “Hide” (you can’t be targeted for most attacks, but take one “humiliation point” while hiding) available, the fun is in the offensive moves such as “Throw” or “Lob.” With these actions, other types of cards in your hand (“Food,” “Topping,” and mysterious “Condition” cards) are combined into your culinary missle. Some of our favorites from the game were:
- “Steaming hot large trout brushed in BBQ sauce”
- “Juicy beefsteak tomato smothered in turkey gravy”
- “Suspicious spinach quiche pizza”
- “Double rainbow quintuple fudge brownie oozing semi-melted marshmallows”
Overall, the gameplay was quite balanced with each character’s “special actions” adding to the game play. Would Obese Denise attack you this turn, or would she “Eat” some of her food to reduce her “humiliation point” total? Would Cocky Rocky “Boast” this turn to avoid being targeted by food attacks, or would Smug Doug “Pitch” food from the floor, and smear you with “moldy fish sticks wrapped in bacon” despite the fact you were hiding?
The fully funded (as of 25 May) KickStarter page is still accepting funding until it closes on 09 June, and you can receive a copy of the hottest game since sliced bread was dipped in turkey gravy for only $20. I would, however, recommend the $35 pledge, “CATCH OF THE DAY.” For the difference, you get more cards and several additional characters including the elusive “Undead Fred.”
Disclaimer: I was provided with a prototype copy of the game and rules for review.