Micro games are cool. The idea of having a game small enough to fit in your wallet that you can play almost anywhere, but with enough re-playability and / or complexity to keep you coming back for more, is very appealing for us boardgame addicts.
You play as a café owner trying to serve your demanding customers sandwiches before they get fed up with waiting. If you ever fail to serve a sandwich within 5 actions you lose the game and must start again (did you think they would wait all day?).
Please read on to find out if this is the sandwich game of your dreams or has the tomato already soaked through the bread and your lunch is ruined.
So Many Customers, So Many Sandwiches
Like many 18 card games multiple use of the cards is required. Crumbs deals with the issue of very few components by having the bread cards toasted on the other side and the ingredient cards having customer orders on the reverse.
The game provides just 3 different action types that you can use as many times as you like as long as you complete a sandwich within 5 turns (a round). These actions are Assemble, Toast and Restock.
Assemble allows you to take 1 or more of the same ingredient and place it in your preparation area (where you will make your sandwiches). Toast does exactly what you expect and allows you to toast your bread / sandwich. Restock allows you to bring back ingredients from the pantry to your counter (ingredients used to complete sandwiches are placed in the pantry and need to be restocked).
Each time you complete a sandwich you are given one free restock action and your actions are reset. Clever planning and completion of your sandwiches is the order of the day, as when you complete 2 or more sandwiches on the same turn you receive multiple free restock actions.
When you complete 3 customer cards you win the game and score according to the difficulty of the customers preferences.
Let’s Run This Shop Together
Cooperative mode really shakes the game up. Now you only have access to 3 ingredients (with your partner having the other 3), and you must both complete a sandwich within 5 actions. The Assemble action is modified so that you may place one of the chosen ingredients on your partners counter. Thankfully bread is shared.
Due to the difficulty of the cooperative mode, you receive a free restock of a chosen ingredient as well as the bread every time you complete a sandwich. To finish the game you need to complete 2 customer cards each.
Everything about Crumbs! The Sandwich Filler Game has been perfected and tested to such a high level you would be surprised to know this is the first game designed by J.Antscherl and only Minerva’s second published game. It really feels like a game that has been made by one of the big hitters, like if Reiner Knizia had teamed up with Button Shy to have a go at an 18 card game. This is testament to the original design as well as the care and attention provided during the testing and development stage.
The rule book (is it still a book if it is that small?) is so well written and laid out that anyone can be up and running making sandwiches in just a few minutes.
The art work and colour scheme chosen are perfect for this game. Rory Muldoon has taken the designers original vision and turned it into these wonderful cartoon ingredients and characters who are so adorable that they seem to smile when you complete their orders.
The game difficulty is really well balanced and can make you have a false sense of security as you complete sandwiches at ease only to find the next customer wants a horrendous order of complicated toasted sandwiches all using the same ingredients. Even if you manage to combat these tall orders you will still find a real challenge with the cooperative mode. There is no room for an alpha gamer with this mode as each player will be concentrating on their own sandwiches so much they wont have time to even look at the other side of the counter.
I really like everything about this game and can’t wait to see what the designer comes up with next.