Most of what follows is a lie.
In 1909, French chef Jacques de Flandres created a game called "Claude Hubert la Criée." It was the first in a series of board games about cooking. After inspiring several variations in the mid-century, the game was republished (some would say stolen) by Japanese publisher Shimizu-Leifan (SLHC) and released as "Yum Yum Super Fish Delicious." Cheapass Games is pleased to bring you the English edition under license from SLHC, "Fish Cook."
And now the truth:
Fish Cook is a new game by James Ernest, slated for release as a low-price Cheapass Game in the Spring of 2013. For the month of October, this beta test version will be available at cheapass.com. Please print, play, and comment.
Update: We have updated the rules, cards, and board as of 10/22:
- Four recipes (not six) in the cooking school;
- End-game bonuses are $1 for the 1's, $2 for the 2's, and so on (not 5 each);
- Price for a face-down recipe is reduced to $2 (was $3 and was #5 before that);
- Updates to artwork on both boards (prices are still the same);
- Slight changes to the number of days based on the number of players;
- Reduced all recipe main values by 1, but increased bonus values by 1;
- To keep stealing odds the same, you must now roll the bonus value or higher (not strictly higher);
- Alternate morning ending: compltetely empty fish market. Yes, it happened once.
Summary: Fish Cook is a simple "Euro-style" board game in which players take the role of chefs. The game is divided into several "days," which have two parts, Morning and Evening. In the Morning, players buy ingredients from the Fish Market and Farmer's Market. In the evening, they cook recipes and earn money. The strategy revolves around buying ingredients as cheaply and efficiently as possible, and also around stealing the good ideas of your fellow chefs.
- Players: 2 to 6
- Playing Time: 30 to 60 Minutes
- Complexity: Simple (Ages 10 and up)
- Strategy: High!
How to Build the Game: You will need the following elements to make a playable copy of Fish Cook:
- 1: Downloads:
- Fish Cook Rules (PDF, 867 kb): A four-page rule book (Updated to final version, 3/10/13)
- Fish Cook Cards (PDF, 8.2 MB): 36 color cards (no backs)
- Fish Cook Boards (PDF, 7.3 MB): two half-sheet boards, in color.
- Fish Cook Counters (PDF, 289 kb): NEW!
- 2: Generic Components:
- Counters: 15 counters in six colors, to represent ingredients. Ideally White, Yellow, Red, Green, Brown, and Purple. (Or use the new counter sheets above!)
- Money: Paper money or poker chips in denominations from 1 to 25 or so, roughly $250 per player
- Fish Dice: 12 6-sided dice to represent fish
- Market Dice (Optional): 6 dice in colors matching the counters (you can do without these, just rolling one of the fish dice)
- Pawns: Two master pawns to track the leader and the day: ideally, a chef and a cat.
Please send your feedback to James Ernest, who is cheapassjames (and then there is an "at" symbol, and then after that) gmail.com. Or post your thoughts and playtest reports to our Facebook page. We'll be taking your feedback until at least the first of November, and we have been posting updates as this beta goes along.
Thanks for your feedback, and for helping us make this game as good as it can be!
A Note About the Bits: Since this will be a Cheapass Game, it will ship without the generic components, which is actually a lot of stuff. But fear not: We will be bringing back the Ultimate Cheapass Bits Pack at the same time as Fish Cook, and it will contain all the required parts for the game (including the 12 6-sided dice). Just like before, most of our new games will use components from within this pack. Buy it once, and you're fixed for life. In the meantime, we expect our valiant beta testers to be resourceful.
How to Print the Cards and Boards: The easiest way to make a playable deck of cards is just to print the card files on plain paper, cut them to 2.5 x 3.5 with a paper cutter or scissors, and then insert them in a trading card game sleeve with a backing card, such as a playing card, for support. For the boards, just print them on a thick paper (if you have it) and trim away the white parts. You can get more advice on prototyping from some of our free games.