In just a little over a week, Gateway Games is going to launch their first game title on Kickstarter. “How to Serve Man” is a light worker placement game where the players are alien chefs competing in an intergalactic cooking competition, trying to impress a panel of Celebrity Judges, along the same lines of a television show you may have heard of. (Tungsten Cooks or something like that. Details.) And what is the featured ingredient? Human beings!
Each player will start with a Master Chef worker and an accompanying number of Sous Chefs. They function identically, save for a few perks that only the Master Chef has access to. At the start of the game, each player will be given a small number of recipes to start with, though more can be acquired over the course of the game.
Space Kitchen Arena (TM) consists of 3 spaces to procure ingredients. These spaces can hold any number of workers, insuring you will never be restricted from getting the raw materials to complete your cosmic delicacies, “raw” being the key term here. Other spaces provide ways to cook the ingredients into what the recipes actually call for, and these spaces can only be occupied by one chef at a time. There will probably be a line to the Fryer of the Gamma Ray Oven, so you’ll need to plan around these obstacles to get your courses accomplished in a timely fashion, the judges are waiting!
When you do complete a recipe, you’ll choose a specific Celebrity Judge to serve it to, but they are a capricious and finicky lot that demand that you cater specifically to their tastes. Some will reward you bonus points for using ingredients that they like and penalties for ingredients they don’t, while others may favor specific courses (Appetizers, Entrees and Desserts), etc. Once you have served a Judge, it will advocate for you the rest of the game, giving you additional bonus points for other courses you complete…provided that you continue to cook what they like.
Sounds pretty easy at this point, but every time a course is completed and served, a card is drawn from the Event deck, representing the strange happenings that are inevitable when hosting a cooking competition in Ouuuuuuuuuter Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaace!
The game ends after all players have placed all of their chefs on a turn when a player crosses 50 points, regardless of if s/he ends her/his turn still over that point. You can race the clock and try to close the game down before other people can fully implement their strategies, but a careful tree of Judges rooting for an opponent can make for a late game point rush, so don’t count on your win being in the bag just because you ran the clock out.
We feel that How to Serve Man is a great intro to the worker placement genre, a fun place to wet your feet before taking on heavier games like Agricola, but that’s not to say that it is not without depth or strategy, but it’s a lot more forgiving.
A game typically takes around an hour, and supports 2-4 players.
The base game will retail for $40 and provide everything that you need, but getting on board with us during the campaign will save you $5. Some of our Stretch Goals include customized meeples, and mini-expansions to spice up the game for when you think you’ve mastered the perils of Space Kitchen Arena…it’s a big universe out there.
“How To Serve Man” will launch on Sunday, February 8th, and we hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we have.
Gateway Games (of which I am a part) is comprised of 4 lifelong game enthusiasts throwing our hat into the ring years after we probably should have. Two of our number work in the hobby industry already, giving us a bit of insight that we hope will help your confidence in our ability to deliver you a quality product in a timely fashion. All we need is your support (and American Dollars) to make this happen.