Because you’re mine, I wok the line – Wok on Fire Preview

Green Couch Games has published games about fighting dinosaurs, building treehouses, and gaining favor and power in a small town. After all that work, it’s time for dinner with Wok on Fire. Is this meal delicious or should it get sent back to the kitchen?

Box Art - Wok on Fire!

Box Art – Wok on Fire

Originally published by Poki Design, Wok on Fire will be the first game published by Jason Kotarski of Green Couch Games that is not an original design for his company. It combines manual dexterity and set collection, pitting players against each other to make the best out of what they get from the wok.

Setting up the game is simple. Players are each given reference cards and a spatula card, then one player takes twenty-six ingredient cards and lays them out face down into a central area on the table within the confines of the reference cards. On each turn, a player will get to Stir-fry, Pick, and Supply. To Stir-fry, a player will use their spatula card to try to flip some of the ingredient cards in the wok face up. They get to do this twice each turn. Then the player will Pick two cards. Each card represents an ingredient with the image on the card in a central circle icon. If any part of that central icon is visible, the ingredient can be taken. Finally, a player will Supply more card to the wok from the unused deck, using a chopping motion to add them to the cards already on the table.

All ingredient cards fall into one of four categories – Meat, Vegetable, Starch, and Condiments. Each card scores differently and some give special abilities when collected. For example, when a player takes a some garlic from the wok, the player has to do another Stir-fry action and take another card from the wok. Garlic is not worth any points on its own, but triples the points of any one piece of meat.

Garlic - Wok on Fire!

Garlic – Wok on Fire

The Starch cards change the collection goals slightly. Having a lot of cards will earn you points, but a complete meal is the best way to strive for first place. If a player has Rice and a meat and a vegetable, those cards are worth fifteen points. Noodles with a meat, vegetable, and condiment is worth twenty-five points. With only twenty-four cards in the deck, each player in a four player game will only get six turns to optimize the ingredients that they get.

Noodles - Wok on Fire!

Noodles – Wok on Fire

Despite being a set collection game, this has a bit more randomness than some players may like, but more strategy than most dexterity games, all while being played in about twenty minutes, so it doesn’t overstay its welcome. The random card setup for the wok is very fitting for the game, but wouldn’t be a great aspect for someone who prefers a pure strategy game. However, if you’re looking for a great filler game that offers a combination of goofy gameplay and light strategy, Wok on Fire would be a great choice. It’s quick, easy to learn and teach, and a game that almost anyone can pick up. With the game being entirely made up of cards and since the players can vary the size of the Wok, it should work well at any table and will fit in any game bag or backpack.

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