Base price: $24.
3 – 5 players.
Play time: 10 – 20 minutes.
BGG | Board Game Atlas
Buy on Amazon (via What’s Eric Playing?)
Logged plays: 2
Full disclosure: A review copy of Mickey and Friends: Food Fight was provided by The Op.
We’re just kind of hopping between things, at this point. Usually, towards the end of the year, my priority becomes Finish As Many Reviews As Possible To Get Off To A Good Start With Next Year. I haven’t decided what my next reviews are going to be, but I’m aware this review numbering system is ticking ever-closer to that coveted #1000. What will happen then? Who knows, but might as well try to get five weeks ahead or so before 2022 draws to a close, just in case. This makes these weeks kind of a grab bag; I never know what’s going to come out or when. So lucky you! You’re reading about Mickey and Friends: Food Fight, so let’s check it out.
In Mickey and Friends: Food Fight, one thing led to another, and here you are. You’ve decided that decorum is long out the window and now, only violence remains. Violence for violence is the rule of beasts, and there are no kings or masters here, anymore. So, uh, grab a hot dog and throw it at your friend’s face and just see what happens, I suppose? It’s a messy business, but food fights usually are. Clear your board to gain a medal, and score three medals to win! Will you be able to emerge unscathed from this lunchtime battle?
Not a ton to set up. Give each player a player board:
Set the serving tray in the center of the table:
Give each player one each of the three types of dice:
And then distribute the food items!
- 3 players: Give every player 20 random pieces of food.
- 4 players: Give every player 15 random pieces of food.
- 5 players: Give every player 12 random pieces of food.
Set aside the Mickey Medals for later:
You should be ready to start!
Over the course of several rounds, players vie to win a food fight! Do this by emptying your tray while “helpfully” passing food to your opponents!
Rounds are played in real-time with no turns. As soon as the round starts, every player rolls their three dice as fast as they can. The dice will tell you which item to move, how many of that item to move, and where to move it. The Mickey symbol refers to the serving tray, and the crossed diagonal arrows allow you to move food anywhere, including the serving tray. You may always move fewer items than the number shown, but you can’t move more!
As soon as you finish moving food, roll again! Continue until any player has emptied their food tray; that player should yell “Done!” and take a Mickey Medal. The first player to get three Mickey Medals wins!
For younger players, try letting them start with fewer food items (and remove one food item each time another player wins a round). You can also just remove the food die and let them pass whatever they want each time.
Food Feast Competition
This variant has players trying to fill their food trays instead of emptying them! To start, place one food of each type on your food tray. Place the remaining food on the center serving tray. Then, start a round! Roll dice to indicate where you can take food from, rather than passing it there. A round ends as soon as the center tray is depleted. Players earn 1 Mickey Medal for each complete set of five different food items they have on their tray. First player to earn 3 Mickey Medals wins!
A Silly Potluck Picnic
This variant plays about the same as the base game, with one major difference. Whenever a 3 is rolled with an R or an L, instead of passing food, all players pass their trays in that direction! Even more chaotic. As usual, the first player to end up with an empty tray wins the round and earns a Mickey Medal. The first player to earn 2 Mickey Medals wins!
Player Count Differences
There aren’t a ton of differences, in terms of practical gameplay. At lower player counts, you have three potential places you can throw food: left, right, center. At higher player counts, you still can mostly do that, though you have the non-adjacent players if you roll an “Anywhere”. Since your goal is largely just to get to an empty tray, it doesn’t always matter exactly where you throw things. With more players, it probably benefits you to do a quick skim of other players’ boards if you roll an “Anywhere”, just so that you can go after the player with the fewest remaining items. The challenge with player count comes in how it affects round length. The player count changes the number of items each player gets, be it 20, 15, or 12. I tend to think that 20 is a lot to start with, and the rounds consequently take a bit longer. For a speed game, there’s just a point where you get tired (at least, I do). With more players and fewer tokens, the game still takes about the same amount of time (since there are more players who need to win three rounds in order to win), but the rounds themselves are shorter. I tend to prefer that; gives me a bit of a break between rounds to catch my breath. That means I’m most likely to recommend Mickey and Friends: Food Fight at four or five, but, that said, I still had a great time at three.
- Gotta go fast. Speed game! This means you should be rolling, chucking, and generally moving as quickly as possible. There’s not much more strategically that you can do about this other than be quick. So do that.
- Keep an eye on other players’ trays; you want to try and make sure someone close to winning gets blocked. This is pretty critical as you approach the end of the round. There’s always a player with very few tokens on their tray (since we’re all trying to get to 0), so you will almost certainly want to find that person and dump all your tokens on them when you can.
- Dumping food towards the central tray is a net positive for everyone, which is still helpful for you. A net benefit for everyone is a net benefit for you, as well, but yes, I can understand the desire to just dump tokens on another player’s tray. The thing is, taking them out of circulation also makes it a bit less likely that they’ll get dumped on you. I’d say it probably makes it less likely that other players will want revenge, but it’s hard to have too much control over who you want to dump tokens on. Even when you do get a choice, it’s almost always best to dump tokens on whichever player has the fewest.
- Using two hands can be a good way to deal out tokens as quickly as possible. I usually just drop the dice as quickly as possible and then try to send the tokens where they’re going, but you also will need to organize what you need before you can chuck it at another player.
- It’s probably not worth keeping your tray organized. It makes the tokens easier to find, granted, but it’s not like any other player is going to respect that.
Pros, Mehs, and Cons
- High chaos, which is always the right move if you’re making a speed game. The game’s got a lot of good energy since you’re both picking on other players and also mostly beholden to the dice you roll. This means you end up in a place where you might be completely messing up another player and simultaneously have no control over this. That’s funny on its own, but since it’s all happening as quickly as possible, there’s also a lot of yelling and emotion about it. I think it’s hilarious.
- The art style is very fun! Probably perfect for the Disney fan. It’s using the newer style, but I showed this to my very Disney-inclined housemate and she was a big fan of the art style, so I’m assuming the more Disney-focused of y’all will probably like this as well. In general, I like the cartoony art style and the different player boards, so, it’s a good-looking game, all things considered.
- Very quick to teach and set up. I particularly appreciate this for a game that’s targeting younger players and more causal gaming. The extra variants, even, don’t add a ton of additional rules, but the game really boils down to take some random items, roll dice, pass them around, and ultimately, try to get rid of all of yours. I think that’s a nice, compact ruleset, and it makes the game easier to play as a result.
- I appreciate that there are some variants included to change things up. The variants add some nice spins on gameplay, like trying to get complete sets of items (instead of clearing your tray) or passing the trays around. Just nice to have a few different ways to approach the core gameplay elements.
- I would like it if the rulebook cleared up a few potential areas of confusion. It’s mostly that “Player’s Choice” doesn’t explicitly confirm that you can pass tokens to the central Serving Tray or nonadjacent players. There aren’t really any examples of this in the rulebook, so we mostly just assumed what made the game work.
- Given that a big chunk of the game is chucking around various pieces, it would be nice if the player boards had some kind of rim or double-layering so that pieces weren’t falling off, all the time. I’m also a sucker for double-layered boards, granted, but we had to deal with the occasional piece getting thrown off the table by mistake. Having some level of a rim on the player trays would do an okay job of keeping the pieces where they need to be.
- Having played Astro Trash, I really prefer the plastic tokens to the cardboard ones; since they’re all flat, it can sometimes be difficult to tell which token is which. These tokens are just all flat. It’s probably cheaper and a bit more sustainable from a production standpoint, but there was something about the 3D tokens that Astro Trash had that I really liked. The tokens for this one just feel less interesting (and since they’re all flat, they kind of feel the same). It slows us down when we’re trying to differentiate which tokens we’re grabbing so that we can fling them.
Overall: 8 / 10
Overall, I thought Mickey and Friends: Food Fight was pretty great! It’s hard not to laugh when I’m playing; the core of the game is just super silly. You’re just throwing food tokens back and forth between players, trying to clear your board first. Not literally throwing, usually; that would actually make a pretty big mess. It’s kind of why I wish the player boards had a lip or a rim or something to mostly keep tokens inside. But beyond that, it’s a very light and approachable game, which makes it fun for a variety of groups of all ages. Simple enough that your younger players can pick it up without too many rules, but goofy enough that it might even get your Serious Gamer Friends to break the slightest hint of a smile while you play. This is very much my part of town, so, always glad to have more games that make their homes around here. My biggest gripe is that while the art style is delightful, the actual physical construction of the tokens is pretty samey, so it can be a bit challenging to check what you have when you’re moving quickly; I wish the tokens had different textures or heights or something to give them a way to differentiate between them in 3D, rather than just the 2D shape itself. But even with that, I’ve had a great time with this game. The rounds are a bit long at three, but that’s only because we’re moving at top speed and shouting and laughing and wheezing by the time the whole thing is done. If you’re looking for a quick and simple game for the whole spectrum of gamers, you enjoy a real-time game, or you’re just keeping an eye on Mickey-themed games, Mickey and Friends: Food Fight might be a fun one to check out! I’ve certainly enjoyed it.
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