“Hasty Baker” Card Game Review

hasty baker board game boxImagine running a bakery and it’s crazy complicated. The employees want to unionize, the city health regulations mean that you have to redo all your recipes, your oven’s not working correctly and that guy you just hired to deliver to the local coffee shops seems more than a bit flakey. You’re also trying to master 78 different recipes while keeping your kitchen nut, dairy and gluten free. Fun? No. And that’s why it’s not the premise of the fun and entertaining new family card game Hasty Baker.

Hasty Baker is much less complex and is a great choice for family, young and old. I think an 8yo would have great fun with this, and it’s also engaging enough for your adult group if you want a quick and easy game for during a lunch break or at a restaurant while waiting for the food to show up. The game’s all about trying to complete recipes faster than anyone else, while also dropping “Strategy” cards on your opponents to slow them down, steal ingredients from their kitchen or even designate a particular ingredient spoiled.

Here’s a recipe for cupcakes and all four ingredients to make it: eggs, frosting, flour and sugar:

hasty baker - recipe and ingredients

As you can see, the artwork is terrific, very clear, legible and functional even for a child who isn’t yet able to read or a gamer who doesn’t speak English. Just match the pictures!

Each player has a single recipe they’re trying to complete (all face up) and a hand of seven ingredient cards. In addition to the ingredients, however, there are also a number of different strategy cards. Here are a few examples:

hasty baker - ingredient - strategy cards

Gameplay goes fast once players figure out the basics, and while the goal of completing five recipes might seem easy, it can take a while to finish up a game if players are aggressively spoiling, stealing and dropping other calamities on you!

Here’s a game in process:

hasty baker - game in process

On the left, the player is trying to bake chocolate cake and has placed flour and butter down, but still needs frosting and chocolate to complete the recipe. Player two, on the right, has just those two ingredients as they try to also make chocolate cake.

Further along in the game, player one is still trying to complete that chocolate cake, but player two has moved to chocolate chip cookies and has already placed three of the four ingredients. The last ingredient needed is butter, but there’s none in the player hand. Bummer.

hasty baker - player hand

Players alternate and each turn consists of twice taking one of three possible actions: play an ingredient, play a strategy card or replace a card in your hand with another card from the draw deck. Draw up or down to 7 cards in your hand at the end of each turn, first player to get five recipe points wins. It’s that easy.

My friend and I really enjoyed playing this quick and easy game. It’s not complicated, and while there’s a bit of strategy revolving around disrupting your opponent or opponents versus just trying to finish up your own recipes, it’s definitely a family friendly game. I give it a thumbs up and suggest you might want some baked goods available to snack on while playing too!

Hasty Baker card game, from GoChuckle. 2-6 players, $20 on Kickstarter, then check hastybaker.com for a copy.

Disclosure: GoChuckle sent me a copy of this game for the purposes of this review!

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