A golden opportunity has arisen. After the opening of a new pedestrian square in a very popular Parisian district, the restaurant industry is on fire. Now is the time to capitalise on this opportunity. Open up new restaurants, offer a diverse range of culinary experiences, expand your terraces and gain the majority to gain the reputation that you deserve. However, the square is limited for space and you are not the only one with this idea.
Dinner in Paris is a two to a four player game designed by The Trolls and published by FunnyFox Games with a playtime of around 40 - 60 minutes. Dinner in Paris is an area majority, hand management, tile placement and set collection game all about constructing new restaurants, expanding your terraces and gaining income.
Over the course of a number of rounds, players will start by drawing a resource card from those available. Players will then perform two out of four possible actions which include:
-Drawing a resource card
-Opening a restaurant (by discarding the relevant resource cards needed)
-Building terraces (by paying the indicated costs and placing a terrace tile on the mainboard)
-Completing a Personal or Common Objective
There are some placement rules that must be adhered to for building both the restaurants and the terraces. Players also gain a set income each round, which can be increased by building certain restaurants and reaching certain thresholds when building terraces.
On the mainboard, there are spots with pigeons depicted. If a player covers one of these up with a terrace tile, they immediately draw a pigeon card and resolve it. Some of these are immediate bonuses and some can be saved for future rounds.
Play will continue until the end game is triggered and the player with the most points is the winner. Points are awarded for restaurants built, terraces built, majorities in certain areas depending on the majority card selected and completed objectives. The player with the most points is the winner
I think Dinner in Paris is a very underrated game. I hardly see anyone talking or playing this game and that is a shame because this game is fantastic. There are some component issues that I have but will talk about these in more detail later on.
Dinner in Paris is an area majority game for the most part. You will be vying for space on the relatively small board. You don’t kick people off their space once they have occupied it but there is potential for cutting people off and blocking their expansion. Will also be vying for the majority in three different aspects which are displayed on the majority card at the beginning of the game. This interaction is a great aspect of the game as it adds player interaction without knocking down your opponent’s stuff.
Building Your Path
There are different paths you can go down with respect to the buildings. Do you go for the cheap, easy to build but low reward buildings or save up and spend a bit more time getting a better building? Each route seems to be viable and you sometimes end up doing a mix of both. You can construct the cheaper ones relatively quickly and start expanding your terraces easily. This will give you some income which will be useful later on for the terraces of the bigger restaurants.
You are at the mercy of the resource deck though and you may get stuck searching for the one ingredient that you need to build a specific restaurant. It happens infrequently though and you can cycle through the resource deck at a reasonable speed. There are also various resource cards that have multiple ingredients on them. I like the choice and variety of the buildings you can build.
The game scales well with different player counts by using a smaller board for fewer players. This works well as it creates a tight board and limited space offering tense gameplay. The tightness of the board and the placement restrictions are straightforward and easy to understand but really fun.
The restaurants themselves are nice looking, if somewhat generic, plastic buildings but they do create table presence. The terrace tiles are functional square tokens However, the resource cards are not the best. They are made of a plastic material that often sticks together and makes shuffling difficult. This may affect some more than others but for me, it was a minor issue.
Minor component issues aside (and they are very minor), Dinner in Paris is a brilliant mix of mechanisms. The gameplay is smooth and flows nicely. Actions are straightforward and easy to understand and I think this is a very underrated game that deserves more love.