Note: This preview uses pre-release components and rules. What you see here may be different from the final, published game. This post was a paid preview, you can find out more information here.
Welcome to Scoffton, the proud local all-you-can-eat diner that’s been open since the 80s. Mix and match to make your ultimate feast, but keep in mind that it’s one price whether you have coffee or lobster. From soup to nuts, try to get the best value for your money while scoffing down the best meal.
Scoffton is a worker placement and set collection game for two to four players.
The object of Scoffton is simple – eat a huge meal that represents the best value for the money (VFM) and fill your stomach. Each player receives a play mat representing their table and stomach. The restaurant is placed on the table with the decks for the manager, lost and found, and claw machine near their respective spaces. 4 menu cards are placed nearby as well. Play consists of 3 phases per round.
In the placement phase, you’ll put workers out to collect food, eat meals you’ve collected, or potentially gain items to help with your meal or inhibit another player. On the restaurant floor, you’ll vie to be the first to collect tasty treats from the soup, salad, dessert, or buffet bars. At the lost and found, you’ll choose a card that will give you a benefit. At your table, you can choose to eat (move items from the table to your stomach), have the waiter clear your table, or rearrange food items you’ve placed on the table (potentially increasing the value of some dishes by combining them.) You can also make a complaint to gain a bonus (first player or a free coffee) or visit the restroom to make more room in your stomach.
Careful attention to food collection is key. Some items reward more points, and items that can be combined to form a recipe from a menu card will give extra points. But be wary of the bad shrimp – it will cause you to lose some of your stomach contents!
During the management phase, you’ll flip a card from the management deck. The manager’s job is to twist the game state. They may clean spills, change all the food in the buffet, bring bread to your table (whether you want it or not), or restock the restaurant.
Activation involves using the spaces you’re placed your workers on, either in the restaurant or at your table. At the buffet or any other food station bar, this involves taking a food token and adding it to your table. At the claw machine, you can turn over a card to see if you won a prize (VFM points). At the Lost and Found, you’ll perform the action on your chosen card – these can range from creating spills to blocking other players, to extra turns at the claw machine. Finally, at Reception, you’ll lodge a complaint and either begin the next round as the first player or activate cleaning (the entire restaurant will be cleaned and restocked) and you’ll be rewarded a coffee for your troubles.
Back at your table, activation includes four actions. Eating moves food from your table to your stomach. Settling rearranges your stomach contents. Calling the waiter allows you to send back unwanted food from your table. And rearranging the table gives you an opportunity to combine some food items like bread and soup or ice cream and dessert.
Are you a sucker for all you can eat? Do you plan your meal to be sure you can get a delicious plate of surf and turf followed by coffee and a couple (or three) sweet desserts? Have you constructed buttresses of vegetables to get more into your Mongolian barbecue bowl or calculated the area of a plate to come up with the most efficient loading practice from the buffet?
Scoffton turns the art of all you can eat into a competitive wonder, pitting diners against each other and the capacity of their own stomachs. Scoffton looks and plays like a 24 hour Vegas buffet – it’s satisfying without being flashy and you get almost everything you expect without a lot of over the top flair.
There are several ways to gather points – you can focus on constructing balanced meals from the point board, pick out the choicest morsels from the bar before anyone else does, or play the claw machine. But beware of the manager – a flip of the card and you can suddenly find yourself with yet another basket of ‘free’ bread to consume or your plate cleared early. I went for menu completion and (not surprisingly) ordered blocks of area completion while my opponent indulged in a little point salad – both methods worked surprisingly well.
The more players the merrier. Scoffton’s basic mechanics are enhanced by competitiveness for every morsel. Fight for first place, create spills, or block other players from adding the best to their table before you can get your hands on them. Only one winner will walk away completely full and satisfied!
Fans of cruise ships or Vegas 24 hour buffet are sure to enjoy this take on all you can eat. A competitive worker placement with some interesting little twists, Scoffton serves up a fun theme and cute art with a cherry on top (if you’ve got room for just one more bite.)
Scoffton is launching soon on Kickstarter, so head over to the campaign page for more information or to become a backer.
As always, we don’t post ratings for preview copies as the components and rules may change from the final game. Check back with us after the game is produced for a full review. This post was a paid preview, you can find out more information here.