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Unpub Preview: Mithral Chef

Unpub Previews allow designers the opportunity to talk more in depth about the development of their games in the Unpub Network.

In Mithral Chef, the dwarven king has captured a dragon and plans to use it as an oven for his new cavernous palace! The greatest chefs in the land – you – have been summoned to prepare the celebratory feast. With your right-hand Meeple and your left-hand Meeple, you must hunt game, raid the pantry, cook with dragon flame, and present with a flourish to win the title of best chef in this quick 2-4 player dexterity game inspired by Food Network cooking competition shows.

Let’s hear what John has to say about Mithral Chef, which will be showing up on tables soon…

What was your inspiration for the game?

I’d been wanting to try to do a cooking-themed dexterity game for a while, and when Jon Gilmour and I started talking about it, he suggested the fantasy theme to set it apart from the other games trying to capture the feel of Food Network shows like Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen. The dragon oven idea just seemed to follow after that.

What is your favorite part of the game?
I’m having lots of fun with the “ambidexterity game” aspect of Mithral Chef – that you can be doing two things simultaneously, but you have to dedicate one hand to each task.

To your knowledge, What do other people find most interesting about the game?
Playtesters have gotten into the “right hand man” and “left hand man” aspect as well – the motor planning required to pull it off in real time is something people aren’t used to in the hobby market. Yet.

What has been the most challenging part of designing the game?
This game has always had difficulty with its ending. Getting the game to last under 15 minutes, but not end too abruptly, has been difficult.

What advice would you give to players attempting the game for the first time?
On the first play, playtesters don’t always do well at keeping their options open, going after one particular recipe to the exclusion of others. I’ve seen players who’ve played more often grab a couple recipes early, letting them make use of a larger variety of ingredients in the other areas of the board

What has surprised you most in play-tests of the game?
The game works better with less structure. It started out as a turn-based game where your turn lasted until the player to your right finished their action, but in early playtests, the players discovered that everyone going after everything all at once was much more fun.

People who like_____will like this game. Why?
This game will appeal to players who liked Escape: Curse of the Temple, but want to be competitive. It’ll also appeal to fans of episode-contained cooking competition TV shows like Chopped or Cutthroat Kitchen, as it captures the shows’ frenetic nature in board game form.

Tell us anything else you want to say about your game that I haven’t asked or you haven’t said already.
This is a great game for attendees who want to see a game in an earlier stage of playtesting – the core mechanisms feel solid, but where many of the games at UnPub are trying to put the final polish on a game, all the details in Mithral Chef are still pretty flexible.

For more information, photos and to find out where you can try Mithral Chef, please visit the game’s Page!

Author: Brad Smoley

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