Title: Steam up: A Feast of Dim Sum
Designed By: Pauline Kong, Marie Wong, and Haymen Lee
Art by: Grace Tjahyadi, Tim Cheng, and YDX Art
Published By: Hot Banana Games and Guf Studios
Released: Coming to Kickstarter October 19, 2021
Player Count: 2-5
Time to Play: 45-60 Minutes
Let's talk about a game that thoroughly satisfied our appetites. Steam up: A Feast of Dim Sum (henceforth known as Steam Up) is a set collection game where players take on the role of unique characters visiting a restaurant to enjoy a dim sum feast.
From picky eaters to food critics, to seafood lovers, this game has a character to fit everyone's palette. Collect your patron's favorite type of dim sum and you will earn the most hearty points.
How to Play:
In Steam Up, players will begin by setting up the turntable for the correct number of players. Players should seat themselves so that they are next to two zones at the table. Place the scoreboard and steamer counter near the turntable, setting the steamer counter for your player count. Shuffle the fortune deck. Then shuffle the fate deck and select 18 cards; place them on their indicated spot on the board. Return unused cards to the box. put the floor tokens and lucky die within reach of all players.
Now it's time to pick your animal. Give each player two random boards and have everyone select the character of their choosing. Everyone takes their matching score marker and puts it in the VIP guest area of the scoreboard. Have players take their starting food tokens and fortune cards based on their animal.
Next, it is time to set the feast! For six steamer baskets add two pieces of dim sum, for the net six baskets add three pieces of dim sum, and the final six baskets get four pieces of dim sum. Now mix them up and randomly create stacks of three baskets.
Select a random player to go first, maybe the player who most recently ate dim sum?
You are now ready to play.
Steam Up is played over rounds, where each player gets one turn in that round. Players take turns in clockwise order.
On their turns, players must take two unique actions from those available. Actions can be taken in any order, meaning that sometimes your first action, unlocks a second action that you may not have been able to take at the start of your turn. Actions involve:
Gaining a food token
Drawing a fortune card - which allows you to rotate the turntable if you want
Play a fortune card - again allowing you to rotate the turntable if you choose
Exchange two fortune cards for one food token
Purchase a steamer (must be within your zones)
Fortune cards may be used to help yourself or mess with an opponent. Food tokens get exchanged when you want to buy a steamer and dim sum from purchased steamers will be how you satisfy your animal's appetite!
You will need to collect the right combination of your animal's favorite food in order to score the big points! Each piece of dim sum you collect is worth a set amount of hearty points and will get you one step closer to victory. These points will vary by animal.
During the game players can use their animal unique ability to get bonuses like scoring extra points, rolling the lucky die to rotate the turntable, swap dim sum in steamer baskets, etc.
Once all players have carried out their actions for the round, a fate card is drawn.
The game ends one of two ways, when either the steamer counter reaches zero or the fate deck is empty.
At the end of the game whoever has the most hearty points wins!
What's purr-ty cool:
Steam Up is a delightfully satisfying game with so much love cooked in. With so many unique characters to play as, a super fancy spinning game board, and some of the most unique components we have seen in a game, Steam Up is like our favorite restaurant, we will always want to come back to it again!
We enjoyed how Steam Up has a variety of characters to play as, as well as the fact that easier characters are marked so you can learn to play with those before moving onto more advanced ones. It is cool that the rules of the game do not need to change to make a game more simple or complex. As any combination of animals can be played together, this means that seasoned gamers can take on challenging animals, while playing with new gamer friends who use more straightforward animals. Personally, we loved the Angry Customer (Rooster) and The Silver Spoon (Dragon) a lot.
Regarding gameplay, we like that there are two different conditions that can trigger the end of the game. Having more than one way to end, means that players can try to manipulate the end of the game to their advantage, rather than just having it be a stagnant pre-established ending. This also adds variety between games.
Next, we loved the turntable option. As players can only purchase steamer baskets from the zones they are stationed in, the rotating board worked wonderfully thematically and functionally. When you did not have enough food tokens to purchase a basket and did not wish to or could not cash in your fortune cards for another food token, being able to rotate the turntable meant that you could work to try and set yourself up better for a future turn, or potentially stop a fellow player from getting what they wanted on their upcoming turn.
Steam Up has some of the coolest components we have seen in a game. These photos are just of a prototype and they still have some of the best-looking pieces we have seen. The revolving board is one of our favorites parts. There are also super cool stacking steamer baskets. For people who like to fiddle with game pieces, you are going to LOVE Steam Up!
Lastly, one small detail we liked a lot about Steam Up is the fun facts in the rulebook. You can learn a lot about different aspects of the game came to be by reading these little blurbs. We love the attention to detail that went into making Steam Up.
We have also had the pleasure of getting to see Steam Up grow over the past year and a half and cannot wait until the rest of the world can experience the beauty that is this game. You can find out more about Steam Up by checking out their Kickstarter page!
The cat's meow:
Pudgy Cat throughly enjoyed testing our Steam Up and would like cat owners to know that their cats would also love this game.