à la carte
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Average Rating: 4 in 1 review
You can't imagine how much fun it can be to try to shake a red-colored cork out of a bottle--and that's about 1/3 of what 'a la carte' is about. You have 'recipe' chips that tell you how much of each ingredient you need, and you take up a plastic bottle of the correct color and turn it upside-down over your 'cooking pot' (actual metal pots come with the game) hoping to shake out just what you need. There are white 'salt' corks in each bottle as well, and three of any ingredient ruins the recipe. Shake carefully, especially when a bottle is nearly empty!
Another third of the game is heating up your stove. Rolling a die, you add 1-3 to your temperature, do nothing, or get a chance to make all players add 1... or a chance to shake spices into someone else's recipe, potentially ruining it. And the heat is important, because each recipe has a minimum heat requirement and a maximum at which it burns and is ruined.
The final 1/3 involves the 'coffee klatsch', wherein you attempt to trigger a clockwise or counterclockwise switch of play fields... handing off your nearly-ruined fiasco to the player on your right, while receiving the nearly-done masterpiece of the player on your left.
For such a silly premise and luck-dependent ingredients, the game feels surprisingly strategic and is a great deal of fun. Absolutely a winning recipe for anyone looking for the ultimate light family-game-night closer!