Burger Up

First Sushi, now burgers. We’re pretty hungry here at Intrigue Inn. Put down your chopsticks and pick up your spatula because it’s time to serve up some mouthwatering burgers to your customers. Can you complete the pending orders before your opponent?

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Burger Up is game for 2-4 chefs who want to ensure they have the correct ingredients in their kitchens for their delicious creations. You’ll start the game with two bottom buns and must pile up the ingredients according to the dockets. Need to complete an order for a Garden Delight burger? Hopefully you have a variety of fresh salad in stock, otherwise you’ll need to spend money at the local market to secure the produce you need. If you’ve worked in a restaurant before then you’ll know what it’s like – a particular dish will have a spike in popularity and suddenly you’re out of a vital ingredient. It’s up to one staff member to make a quick dash to the supermarket while the orders pile up.

Players begin with a starting hand of four ingredient cards. You’ll flip three cards over from the order deck and these will be your pending orders. If you have Swiss cheese, egg, chicken breast and cheddar in your hand then The Vegan is not going to be option, but you could definitely get to work on an Extra Cheesy. On your turn, place up to three ingredients on either of your burgers. Ingredients cannot be placed in any random order, however. Burger Up has a puzzle mechanic in which each ingredient card indicates the type of ingredient that must come next, e.g. a sauce, a salad, a patty and so on. As a result, you must think about how your burger will fit together before you begin building it up.

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Some customers may ask for a specific size, but usually the bigger the better. A gourmet creation with 4-6 ingredients will get you 3 points, but construct a colossal sized meal with 10+ ingredients and you’ll receive 10 points, or if you’d prefer, a restaurant upgrade where you can now place up to 4 ingredients on your turn. Once you’ve completed an order, snatch up the corresponding card and add it your score pile.

Each turn, coins will be added to all pending orders still in play. The longer an order remains pending, the more valuable it becomes and you’ll be taking all the coins on top of that card when you complete it. More cash for those market runs!

Sometimes, things get a little chaotic back of house and orders get mixed up. If you’ve let the heat of the kitchen get to you by placing the wrong ingredients on your burger, don’t fret. Pick up your spatula and transfer those ingredients over to your other burger. Phew. This move is only possible twice in the game and a clean, unused spatula will look more professional at the end of service, so you’ll receive bonus points if you avoid using it.

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After an exhausting day, you’ll hopefully have completed the fanciest and most intricate orders as well as accumulating some profits for your hard work. Who is the burger king with the highest overall score? (I read this back as Anne Robinson from The Weakest Link.)

Burger Up is a fun, easy to learn game with some eye catching artwork. While there is a significant amount of luck involved in having the right ingredients in your hand at the right time, the puzzle matching element of the ingredient cards requires a level of hand management and tactical thought process. Completing an order feels quite satisfying, whether it’s a well constructed burger or a bizarre mixture of ingredients that creates a few laughs around the table. I’ve tried Burger Up with several non-gamers and it’s been a success every time, although most agree that a shorter playing time would be better. Now, excuse me while I scroll through Uber Eats for a nearby burger joint. I really shouldn’t have written this on an empty stomach.

Burger Up gets eight spatulas out of ten

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