Spatula, a Silly Game Idea People Seem to Like

I was talking over some challenges with a current design with my wife over breakfast. I'm working on Solar Senate and I wanted to avoid any mechanisms that called for players to pick up cards. Picking up cards from a hard flat surface is a pain in the butt and often marks the edges of the card in the process. I try to make the physicality of cards a feature of play, or at least not an obstacle.

Then I got to thinking about this very old game idea I had during a bout of brainstorming dexterity games that could be played with only cards. The game was called "Spatula." It was a real-time dexterity game similar in structure to La Boca. You can see the basic gameplay in the vine above. It goes like this:

  • There is a big pile of food cards in the middle of the table called your grill. Food cards have a raw side and a cooked side.
  • There are plates on the edge of the table awaiting specific combinations of food, like "bacon and eggs."
  • You have one card in your hand; it is your spatula. Your job is to flip a food card with your spatula from the raw side to the cooked side and lift cooked food over to the plates that are on the edge of the table.
  • The faster you can complete a plate, the more cash you get in tips. The player with the most tips after 3 shifts (rounds) wins.

After actually testing this out a bit at home, I was wary of further development. Ten Pen has its fans, but its sales performance tells me that dexterity games might not be the best product for a POD market. Seems like a more of a mass market retail opportunity. But then I saw the response on Twitter to this vine from yesterday and I'm actually considering it now. I've got plenty of stock food art I can use. Might be worth a shot. I'll report back on this soon.
Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.