Designer: Dan Manfredini
Publisher: Gizmet Gameworks
Date Released: 2014
Number of Players: 2-5
Age Range: 8 and up (10 and up on the box)
Setup Time: less than 5 minutes
Play Time: 20 minutes or less
Game flow and Review:
We played this game for the first time in the thirty minutes between tournaments at Nuke-con, and it only took that long to learn it, but it’s more difficult to master.
Now a Burgoo is a communal stew usually prepared by a group of people, and this game mimics a Burgoo by having the players get rid of all their ingredients on the table by adding their ingredients to the Burgoo while having the most ingredients in their hand at the end. The first player to get rid of all their ingredients wins. The number of ingredients in your hand acts as the tie-breaker.
Each player in Burgoo starts the game with a line (or batch) of twelve ingredients (two of each of the six types) and one ingredient of each type in his hand. During your turn you have three options: split a batch, add to the stew, or sample the stew.
You can split a batch or line by simply making two smaller lines out of one line. This causes other ingredients to show up at the top and bottom of each of your batches which is advantageous because of the second option on a turn, adding to the stew.
When you choose to add ingredients to the stew, you declare the color of ingredient and whether the ingredient is on the top or bottom of every batch. The player whose turn it is discards the matching color ingredient from their hand, and all players with that color type and location combo move their ingredients into the stew.
So you have to be able to get rid of all your ingredients of a certain type while remaining aware of what kinds of batches your opponents have. You don’t want to help an opponent get rid of their ingredients without paying for them. If a batch is only one ingredient, you can choose to declare that it’s either on the top or bottom, but it isn’t a good idea to split all your ingredients into one tile batches. If your opponent declares an ingredient to add to the stew on their turn and you have a one ingredient batch of that type in front of you, you don’t add your ingredient to the Burgoo; you add it to your opponent’s hand.
But let’s say you messed up and got rid of an ingredient from your hand without getting rid of all the matching ingredients in front of you. You can sample the stew by taking an ingredient from the communal pot to your hand. This wastes a turn, slowing how quickly you can get rid of all your ingredients, but you may be able to get rid of a certain ingredient type before your opponent which can work to your favor.
No one at the table used the sample the stew option on their turn because we were just learning the rules and playing the game straightforward. I can see many strategies you can use in Burgoo, and that makes an abstract strategy game work.
Verdict: A fun, quick game that should be on your radar if you’re looking for a party, strategy game that doesn’t take long to play.