Review: Sandwich Masters

Indie, food based fun.

PREMISE OF SANDWICH MASTERS

Sandwich Masters is a 2-4 player competitive card game developed by a small Indie developer called Big Punch Studios. In the game the player plays the part of a sandwich artist (as Subway call them) looking to earn money by completing as many orders as possible. This is done by building sandwiches with different ingredients and toxic substances (that probably shouldn’t be in a sandwich) whilst trying to sabotage other players’ creations.

The game comprises of several different forms of cards. These include the orders, good ingredients, bad ingredients, action cards, and health inspectors who will penalise players using toxic goods.

Each turn the player gets to take one action. That could be playing an ingredient into a sandwich (all sandwiches must start and end with bread), playing an action card, move ingredients between sandwiches, or playing an ingredient into an opponent’s sandwich to try and sabotage it. When an order has been complete you can claim it and take money for it.

The game can be played up to any amount of money. We find £50 is a good limit and takes around 30 mins to get to with two players.

dav
Playing Sandwich Masters on a foot stall.

There are a few additional rules, but not many. You can complete a sandwich with rubbish ingredients if you can get away with it. You can’t double up on ingredients; so, for instance, you can’t put two sausages in your sandwich. That being said, you can play sausage and the evil version of a sausage (best supervillain ever – “and here comes THE EVIL SAUSAGE”). That will count as two ingredients. The reason this is important is for cards that say things like “£5 for every dairy product”. Cheese and Eggs are the only non-evil dairy products in the game, but there is also “Hairy Egg” and “Dictator Cheese” (also a supervillain). That could be £20 in ingredients.

Secret Sauce counts as any ingredient and Olives add an additional £5 to the recipe value at the end. That’s about it.

A Hand
A Hand (Ham-ed) in Sandwich Masters

QUALITY AND COMPONENTS OF SANDWICH MASTERS

From the outset, Sandwich Masters is a flimsy game in regards to quality. It feels like a cheap game, which (to be fair) it is. It retails at only £15.99 from the Big Punch Studios website.  The box is thin and not well put together. The expansion we got given (at the 2016 Games Expo) came in a little plastic baggy. The cards do not fit in the box.

Box aside the rest of it is very well made. The cards are lovely to look at and, for those who like sleight of hand, some of the easiest cards to shuffle I’ve ever held. The ingredients feel worthwhile, and the evil ingredients are funny as well as endearing.

What is really cool, and I love random things like this, the expansion had Sandwich Masters as an ingredient in it. I love meta games, and so that made me chuckle – especially as I had just taken the picture of Sandwich Masters on the Sandwich Board used as the header in this article.

I have had this game for over a year, but only noticed that yesterday.

WHAT IS IT LIKE PLAYING SANDWICH MASTERS?

Sandwich Masters is a fun and fast-paced game, or it can be when it is at its best. When it is at its worst, however, it can slow way down. If the right ingredients aren’t coming out then sometimes there is no other option but to discard your entire hand turn after turn, until something good comes out. This is the flaw in all card games; however, it feels more noticeable in Sandwich Masters because so many of the cards need to be bread.

Sandwiches need to open and close with bread, so there are loads of bread cards in the deck. You are allowed seven cards, and at any one time three to four of those would be bread, making your hand look like a Hovis factory. This is a criticism.

When the game is at its best is when it encourages you to mess with other players and spike their sandwiches. You can spike it and then play a health inspector, wrecking their day fairly easily. They then seek revenge and so on. It becomes a game of wits, cunning, and being bold in your sandwich choices. YES, I’M MAKING A SANDWICH WITH ONLY EVIL INGREDIENTS – WHAT OF IT?!?

It is during these games that the gameplay can rival some of the more strategic games out there, offering you a meta experience similar to that of Guillotine or Biblios.

VERDICT FOR SANDWICH MASTERS

It is because of this that Sandwich Masters can be worth it. We haven’t played it all that much, but have broken it out more recently. Now we can’t see why we haven’t played more of it. That being said, is it going to blow minds? Probably not, but it is a fun game set aside for a rainy day.

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