Designer: Marcus Finlay, Gavin Vance
Published: Vamoose Games
Playtime: 60-80 Minutes
Play Type: Worker Placement/ Set Collection
You have wandered into an all you can eat buffet. Your goal? Obviously to get the most value for your dollar. You need to race to the buffet to get your fill of grub before the others around you are full. The person who has the most value for money tokens at the end of the game will win.
Scoffton plays similarly to most other worker placement games. Players will begin the game with three diners in their color that can complete various actions. By placing a worker at a specific place, it ensures that only that player is able to take that action. There are a variety of actions that can be taken, so let’s detail them below.
- Buffet Spaces: Take the top piece of food and place it on your table. You may not take food that has been sneezed on or place your worker on a space that has a spill. If there is no space on the table return the plate to the bottom of the appropriate kitchen space.
- Ice Cream Machine: Take an Ice Cream token and either add it to an empty space on your table or add it to a dessert or coffee already on the table.
- Coffee Machine: Add a coffee token to the center of your table. You do not have to drink coffee to score points.
- Lost N Found: Activate the card your worker is placed on and follow the card’s actions. Then discard that card. After all diners have gone, replace all used cards.
- Claw Machine: Take one claw card. If you win take VPM token equal to the value listed. Then shuffle prize back into deck.
- Reception: Players may either say “The service here is terrible” to become the first player, or “This place is disgusting” to have the entire restaurant cleaned of spills/sneezes, replace all unoccupied Lost N Found Cards, and restock the buffet. That player will also receive a free coffee token as a thank you for the feedback given.
- Restroom: Remove dishes from one non-complete stomach section and gain VFM equal to the value of the dishes digested.
- Table: Players may choose two of the following actions: Eat a dish from the table and place it in a stomach section, rearrange contents of incomplete stomach sections, remove any unwanted dishes from the table and return them to the kitchen, or rearrange dishes on the table (place ice cream in desserts or bread in soup). Players may choose to take the same action twice.
- Sneeze: Players place their worker on a sneeze token and place it on a dish. This ensures that no other player may take that dish.
After all workers are placed, players will take the Management Action before activating the workers. The Management Action involves flipping up a manager card and taking the action listed. Some things it may do include cleaning the restaurant, restocking the buffet, giving bread to each table, among other things. Once this has been resolved, all players will begin to activate their workers taking the action listed.
The game ends when the first player has completed all the sections of their stomach by eating food. Players finish the round and then count points. Points or VPM can be gained in the following ways:
- Eating Food: Players gain value equal to the number of dots on the food tile after a stomach section. This happens during game play if the stomach section is full, or at the end of game play if the stomach section is incomplete.
- Having a Full Stomach: If the player has a full stomach at the end of the game, gain 3 points.
- Coffee: Each coffee on the table is worth 1 point.
- Menus: If a player matches their food in stomach to a menu item, they take the top VPM token off the stack of that menu. They gain points equal to that number.
The player with the most VPM at the end wins the game.
It is important to note that I am reviewing a pre-production copy of Scoffton and thus any rules and components are subject to change. The game components are easy to distinguish and the symbols are clear and easy to read. The board and stomach board are bright and thematically fitting. The main board having the spaces clearly labeled without losing aesthetics was something I was happy to see. While the tokens that are given work and are easy to decipher, I wouldn’t be surprised if many people choose to upgrade them into realistic resources or something more 3D.
- Simple Gameplay
- Player Interaction
- Family Friendly
- Long Game Play
- No Player Aid
The one thing I frequently hear complaints of with worker placement games is the lack of theme present throughout game play. Scoffton does a really nice job of making the theme of the game apparent not just in aesthetics but also in game play. Mechanics such as the claw machine or complaints at the reception demonstrate both creativity and attention to theme that many worker placement games miss.
Additionally the game also combats another place that worker placement games often miss by having direct player interaction. This take that element adds something that is often lacking in worker placement games. While it is not seen in every game and can be taken out easily for families who would prefer to play without it, having the option was positive and it forced players to pay more attention to what others at the table were doing.
The simple game play and lighthearted theme make this the perfect game for families. I could easily see it being worked taught to children as young as eight or nine years old. The mechanics are simple, and will feel very familiar to anyone who has played a worker placement in the past. I would however like to see a player aid created and implemented. This would be helpful for those who need a reminder of what each of the stations does, and they could even include the order of play to help groups who frequently forget the management stage of game play.
My only other concern for family game play on this one is the length of the game. While fun and thematic, the game seemed to overstay it’s playing power by a little. It feels thematically as though it should be a shorter game, more along the lines of 45 minutes to 60 minutes max. However, it can take anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours when first learning the game. The turns can feel monotonous when the game goes that long. For that reason, I am not sure that it will hit the table very frequently at our house. I could also see this being a problem for those trying to play the game with children. However, it could probably be modified to have players only fill two sections of the stomach rather than three for shorter game play.
That being said, I would suggest Scoffton, especially for players who enjoy lighter worker placement like Lords of Waterdeep, but would enjoy higher player interaction. The bright colors, humorous theme and simple mechanics make it the perfect gateway game to introduce new players into the hobby. It will be hitting Kickstarter in the beginning of November so keep your eyes out if you are interested!