SNAP Review – Bon Appetit!
What’s the fanciest food you’ve ever eaten?
Only the finest dishes are worthy of the gourmet diners in Bon Appetit!, a game for 2-4 players from Strawberry Studio. Bon Appetit! was designed by Gilad Yarnitzky. It plays in less than 20 minutes, and is suitable for ages 8 and up.
Listen as we describe this extravagant but light game, or read on below.
How to Play
Each player starts with a hand of randomly-chosen gems. (Either 4 or 5 depending on player count). In the center of the table is a “gem value” card, which assigns a value between 1-4 for each gem color.
Set three cards out to be the “Menu”, and then pull out the right-most card to be the first Dish.
All players choose some number of gems from their hand as a secret bid for the Dish. Once everyone has chosen, reveal! The bidder with the highest value gets the Dish, and returns their bid to the bag of gems. All other players get their bids back to use in other bids later.
Value change – After a player has won the current Dish, the values of the gems change. Colors that WERE used in the winning bid go down in value, and colors that were missing from the winning bid go up in value.
Refill the Menu, and bid again until 12 Dishes have been played. Then each player adds up the score on their own Dishes. The player with the highest score wins.
Ties require you to do a tie-breaker bid.
Many Dish cards give bonuses to future bids.
If you make an “empty” bid (no gems), you can draw one gem from the bag into your hand. This is the only way to get more gems.
Bon Appetit! is a lovely game, but there’s not much there. We have mixed feelings about it.
The art is a little weird, but really cool. It definitely fits the theme of ultra-fancy food.
The adjustable-value bidding is a neat touch, and means no one is stuck with a low-value hand (at least not for long).
But there’s no motivation to keep going! We’re bidding on food, and then we’re bidding on more food, until it’s gone. There’s a little bit of strategy to decide if you want to go for this Dish or the next one. You can’t look very far ahead, which is a good thing.
More often than not, special bidding abilities on the cards were useless – either for gems you don’t have, or Dishes that had already passed through to someone’s win pile. It would be a lot less frustrating if the special abilities were reciprocal.
We played this a lot with our pre-teen, who is a bit of a foodie. She disliked the ultra-fancy food pictured (and the presence of caviar or mushrooms on seemingly every Dish). Apparently, pretentious food isn’t attractive to everyone.
We also found the text surprisingly hard to read. The Dish names are in a fancy cursive font, but even the special abilities (in a standard serif font) were hard to read because the text was quite small and the contrast against the golden background was not great.
We liked the central bidding and valuing mechanic, but there’s just not enough there to keep us coming back. We would only recommend Bon Appetit! as a lightly ironic gift for the foodie in your life. Find it at Strawberry Studio or on Amazon.
We rate Bon Appetit! 2 ostentatious courses out of 5.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
The Family Gamers received a copy of Bon Appetit! from Strawberry Studio for this review.
Number of Players: 2-4
Age Range: 8+
Playtime: 20 minutes or less