Takeout, from Small Monsters Games, is a set-collecting card game where you are trying to create the most complete Chinese meal before your friends do. But you don’t speak Chinese.
Takeout was provided to me by the publisher for review
In Takeout, players are a group of tourists at a restaurant in China. Even though none of you speak Chinese, you’re determined to try the delicious food. The object of the game is to get one dish of each flavor (sweet, sour, salty, spicy and bitter) and a cold drink into your meal before any of your friends do.
In more detail, each player starts with five cards in hand. There is a Kitchen deck, which is face down, and a Table deck, which is face up. Your turn includes drawing from either of those decks, playing actions and/or food, and then discarding cards. Some foods have multiple flavors on them to help get to a full plate faster, but your opponents can steal dishes from you, return your food to the kitchen, or trade dishes with you to prevent you from winning.
This game is very easy to learn and start playing right away. I barely had to reference the rules again after the first read, which I definitely prefer with games. My favorite part of the simplicity of Takeout is the flavor system being a win indicator. Knowing all you need to aim for is six flavors versus keeping a points system in mind is a nice change for these kinds of games.
Don’t confuse simplicity with boring. You do have to strategize your play of actions to get your six flavors faster than your opponents. It isn’t complex strategy, but it is not all luck and no plan.
There are three times where I think this game would be excellent. First, is with kids, even younger kids. The objective is simple enough to understand and you can build up to the actions easily enough. And the game is quick to play so it will keep their attention. Second, it is great to keep in your bag for spontaneous gaming. Everything in the box is the size of a standard deck of cards, so it can easily fit in a purse, backpack, or even a pocket. So if you are sitting in a coffee shop or during your lunch break, you can easily take it out and play Takeout. Third, it is a good filler game for a quick break between heavier games at your game night. It is simple with some light strategy to nicely transition between other games.
If you are a fan of Sushi Go, I think you will also enjoy Takeout. They have similar theming and gameplay, but Takeout is simpler in objective overall. And at this rate, you could have a whole game night themed around delicious Asian cuisine!
What is your favorite type of cuisine? Let me know in a comment below!