Have you ever dreamed of running your own diner? More importantly, have you ever dreamed of running your own diner really badly? If so, then Flip & Find’s Diner is the game for you.
What Is Flip & Find’s Diner?
Flip & Find’s Diner is an easy-to-play memory tile-based game designed by Spontaneously Combustible Games. Playable by 1-4 players, each game lasts about 15 minutes. The game is for ages 8 and up.
The game is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. A $25 pledge will get you a copy of the game once it is published, or you can get a print-and-play version for $5.
Note: GeekDad received a prototype of the game for review purposes, but all opinions are my own.
Flip & Find’s Diner Components
The game is beautiful in its simplicity. The small box contains:
- 56 Ingredient tiles, divided among 8 foods
- 36 Order cards
- 9 Tip cards
Yup, that’s it.
The prototype I tested was still pretty early. However, based on this company’s last game, Pests, I’m confident that the final version will be much nicer.
That said, I found the prototype to be far enough along to still be very usable and enjoyable. The artwork on the tiles is extremely clear–there was never any confusion as to which ingredient we were looking at. The Order cards were a bit less clear, having very similar artwork, but the designer has already stated that these cards do not contain the final art. But still, the important information on the cards was nice and clear and completely playable.
The final version of the game will have cards that are the size and weight of standard playing cards.
How to Play Flip & Find’s Diner
To set up the game, you shuffle all of the ingredient tiles and place them, face down, in a five-by-five grid. Place the rest of the ingredients in a face-down stack. Then, shuffle the order cards and tip cards separately and place each in a face-down deck. Then, deal five order cards face up and place them below one of the rows of the grid.
The first player, who should be the person who last ate at a restaurant, flips over four of the cards in the grid. If they happen to match the ingredients needed for an order, that player gets the order card and the ingredients needed for the order are placed in the discard pile. New ingredients are drawn to replace the ones that were discarded, and a new order card is drawn and added to the row.
When you complete an order, you put it in your hand. Each order card has a special ability that can be used at some future point. Once they use the ability, they place the order card face up on the table in front of them so that they do not accidentally play it again.
Some of the ingredient tiles are actually Tip tiles. If a player completes an order and has also flipped a Tip tile, they will draw one of the Tip cards, which they keep secret. All of the Tip cards have varying amounts of money, which will be added to the player’s total at the end of the game.
Any ingredients not used to fulfill an order–which might be all four–are flipped back over face-down. Play passes to the next player and continues around the table until someone has fulfilled five orders. At that point, you complete the current round and then end the game.
All players count up their total, which will be the amounts of their completed orders plus any tips. The player with the highest total wins.
Why You Should Play Flip & Find’s Diner
I was honestly a bit surprised at just how much fun Flip & Find’s Diner ended up being. At first glance, it appears to be nothing more than the tile-flipping memory games we all probably played when we were 4. And at its core, that’s exactly what this game is.
However, the game adds just enough extra to that old formula to make it a completely new, and quite interesting, game. For starters, you aren’t trying to match any two random tiles. Instead, you need to find the right combination of three or four tiles to match one of the visible orders. This adds to the complexity of the game by requiring that you not simply know where two beef tiles are, but instead, you need to know where the beef, mushrooms, and noodles tiles are, all at the same time.
The classic memory game removes tiles as you play, to the point, as we all know, that it becomes stupidly simple at the end. Not so here: the grid is constantly being refreshed with new tiles. And here again, the difficulty level increases. Several times, the first player to my left would reveal a tile, and then the second player two more, thus giving me what I need for one of my orders. But then, the last player before my turn would go and use one or two of those tiles for another order. Now, not only have I lost the location of some of my ingredients, but there are also new tiles in play that may or may not match what I need.
We also frequently ran into shortages of certain ingredients because of the randomness of the tiles. Thankfully, the game is well enough designed that this didn’t cause us to have to stop the game and shuffle the tiles, as there seemed to always be at least one order that matched ingredients we knew were on the board (if we could only find them), but the special abilities on orders also helped, as some of them allow for tiles to be removed without fulfilling orders, thus ensuring that some tiles would get replaced often enough to bring those hard-to-find ingredients out.
Overall, Flip & Find’s Diner is a very fun game to bring out at the start of game night. You can teach and play it fast enough to be able to play it a few times as people show up–and you will want to play it a few times.
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Disclosure: GeekDad received a copy of this game for review purposes.