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License to Grill Board Game Review


One of the first "complex" board games I was ever introduced to was Sentinels of the Multiverse, way way way back in 2016 when I started teaching. So when Greater Than Games says they are doing a Kickstarter, it's no hesitation from me. License to Grill is exactly what it advertises as, a fun grilling based game. It is a placement game where you need to pick a recipe, place it on the grill, then remove it and prepare it before it burns or spoils. Lets dig in. Dig in? Because grill/food. Classic comedy.

The game came with some simple components, a list of recipe cards, cubes to track how long they are on the grill for, and a pretty cool cloth napkin to keep track of food that has been "served", with little bonus circles on it that grant different rewards. The grill itself didn't really feel like the best material, but that's definitely because we were playing with it on the table instead of on the box like it was designed for. I don't remember seeing a section in the rulebook saying how to assemble the grill but I might have overlooked it with my excitement to start the game. The concept is pretty simple, on your turn you can take a recipe (and the corresponding piece for the food), grill it, rest it (remove from grill), or serve it to the napkin area to get points. The game is over once someone has served/prepared four meals, then everyone takes a turn and you count points to see who has the most.


As I mentioned earlier, once you grab a recipe card you get the little cutout of the recipe, as you can see above with my game winning Quiche.  I also had to google what quiche is because I'm on a meet meat diet. The recipe cards themselves are interesting, each turn you don't grill the food you move the cube on the green track to the right, and when it reaches the trash can square the food goes bad and you lose the recipe. The same applies to the grilling (red) track, once you leave it on for too long it burns and then you get zero points. But if you cook the quiche just right (which is very well done apparently) you get five points when you prepare it. You also lose points for letting the food rest (blue bar) for too many turns after you remove it from the grill, which leads to a fun balancing game of trying to prepare, grill, rest, and serve as many foods as you can for as many points as you can.



The trick to all of that being there is only so much room on the grill and serving napkin. So eventually you need to be very careful/strategic about where you place your food tiles. Once we figured that out it became a came of strategically placing foods so your opponents ran out of room on the cloth or on the grill. To counter that, there is a warming rack on the grill board too, but everything cooks slower on there, so yeah you can put your delicious meats there, but they aren't going to cook as fast as you might want them to. Another way to mess with players is the concept of turning the grill up. When you place something on the grill you may turn the heat up or down one knob, which means when it's another player's turn you might have just made their food overcooked, or made them wait another full turn to get the food cooked to the perfect level. So while messing with players isn't the focus of the game, there's definitely enough of it to make the game fun and to lose some friends while you are at it.


This is what the grill looked like in progress. You have to find a space for your food on the grill, and it has to either be touching someone else's recipe or the walls of the grill grid. So while this game was relatively easy to pick up and play, there is still some complexity/strategy to it. It really is a game all about timing, and there's enough player interaction for you to mess with someone else's timing/spoil the person in first place. We We played with three people and that seemed like a fine number, but I'm excited to bust this out with five people to see how chaotic it gets.


Summary

License to Grill is a fun but easy to learn game about grilling. There is enough strategy to keep you engaged, the art style is cute, and the concept itself is pretty great. The replay value might not be there, but the game is fast enough that you can jump into a new one before the concept gets old. It is a fun game that is quick and easy to teach to a new group of players, so I highly recommend it! Bon Appetit!


Score

8/10


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