Gap Closer’s Indie Board Game Rival Restaurants Is Back For Seconds!

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Rival Restaurants Expansion Kickstarter: Back for Seconds

Rival Restaurants: Back for Seconds is the new expansion for an indie board game we first played at IndieCade. Once the game arrived a year later, we eagerly cracked it open and figured out how to play it better. It is truly fun and gorgeous to look at. The components are creative and of very high quality. So it was amazing that shortly after we received it, developers Gap Closer had already launched a new Kickstarter for the expansion “Back for Seconds.” Wow.

Like in Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?!, we love the eclecticism of the many foods you can create, and the expansion promises to add even more.

Rival Restaurants recipes

Even despite manufacturing setbacks and more, they killed it on the first run, still delivered in reasonable time and came back for more.

We sat down with design operations manager Gary Alaka to talk about how they pulled this off, and what they have learned from their experience.

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Interview With Gap Closer’s Gary Alaka

1. The base game must have sold quite briskly to justify expansion so soon after. Is this the case? Or was there another reason you chose to do another Kickstarter so soon?

We were blown away by the success of the first campaign and started designing and illustrating the expansion as soon as production began! We’re also nearly sold out of the base game, so a new print run was much needed. We’re glad timing lined up so smoothly.

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2. Talk about how you extend a game: how do you decide what mechanics will work without changing what was successful about the original while adding enough novelty to make it a must-have upgrade?

There’s always a fine balance of adding more of the old and something new. We wanted to create an expansion that you can just throw into the base game without having to learn too many new rules (more chefs, more restaurants, more recipes, more action cards) but also provide new mechanics that would enhance the experience. As the adage goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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3. How do you set yourself apart in an ocean of new board game releases?

We built a game with a familiar theme (everyone loves food!) and paired it with a mechanic that isn’t very common (real-time trading and negotiations). Our game has often been described as a perfect blend of strategy and party – without sacrificing the best of both.

But at its core, Rival Restaurants was always designed around the theme of running a restaurant, shopping for ingredients, competing with others and cooking exciting dishes. It’s not a role-playing game, but we want players to be immersed in the world when they play.

We are also extremely blessed to have such a talented artist like Audrey Jung on the team that puts hours of work into every piece of art.

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4. Any sage advice for upcoming board game developers you’d like to share based on your experience thus far?

Don’t do it alone! Between design, development, illustration and play-testing, it can be unrewarding work.

Surround yourself with people who share your passion, are fun to work with, and have skill sets you lack. This project has been a team effort from the start, and we could never have gotten where we are on our own.

Also: listen to your community! Not every idea is a good idea, but gamers usually know what works well, and their input is invaluable.

Expansion features:

6 New Restaurants
Up to 50 New Recipes (depending on Stretch Goals)
8 New Chefs
9 New Action Cards
12 New Event Deck Cards

The Event Deck is an exciting new mechanic that brings a new layer of depth and strategy to Rival Restaurants. At the beginning of every other day, an event card is revealed that players have one day to prepare for. Some are global buffs, helping everyone, while others require some unorthodox strategy to take advantage of.

Gap Closer’s “Back for Seconds” Kickstarter campaign runs from February 18th to March 17th, 2020. The expansion is already fully funded, with $90K Raised to date from 2,000 Backers. They have just started unlocking stretch goals, with plenty more to come.

Full disclosure: IGR is not paid for the this article; however, we may receive a review copy when available.