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Okay so there are two variations of the game in the rules. One is the Basic game which you should learn to play first before adding the extra components for the Advanced version.  There are just 7 pages of Basic rules followed by 3 more for the Advanced, therefore this a good game to open and begin to play in a fairly short time, though you have numerous counters to pop out before your very first game.

As the name, RISTORANTE ITALIA, suggests, this game is all about running your own Restaurant, an Italian Restaurant of course. Your job as the proud owner of the Restaurant is to make wonderful delicious dishes and collect loads of wonderful delicious money. This is a game about buying ingredients and making the best possible combination of meals that you can from the recipes available to you. After each round (season) your restaurant is critiqued and you score points accordingly.

If you can put together a meal that fits into a theme, such as the “fish” theme I have made with the Starter, First Course, Second Course and Dessert cards shown here then there are extra points to be earned. You also get prestige points for each recipe as shown in the red scroll on the wine and recipe cards.  There are some unusual mechanics, such as you can buy an ingredient from one store and then empty another store and replace all the goods in it in the hope that when it gets back to your turn the ingredient you want is still there. For us this was where we found we could upset opponents by guessing hat they were going to buy and buying it out from under them.

I quite like this game but my gut tells me that Ristorante Italia is better suited for the mainland European gamers than for the majority of English board-game players. It has that European feel about it that other than regular Euro-board-game players may not understand (quite get) or find as enjoyable as they would more traditional style games.

PS: I told a little fib as there is actually one extra page of rules that makes it 3 games in the box.

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015