Ramen Fury — Balance flavor before you eat

Delicious bowls of ramen are something I’ve enjoyed time and time again. Ramen Fury allows you to whip up combinations of the soup through constructing the perfect mix of toppings, all before slurping it down to gain points!

Ramen Fury is a fast-paced card game that sees players attempting to create three bowls of delicious soup, all before someone has finished their entire meal. Each player is given three bowls full of noodles in front of them. These bowls are very, very empty — only showing their plain noodles and watery broth. Each are placed out in front of the player, so everyone else can see them. Next to these bowls you will see two little spoon tokens. The players also get three ingredient cards that go into their hand.

In the middle of the table, the ingredient cards sit face down in a pile, with four cards face up next to it. These ingredient cards that are face up are called ‘The Pantry’ and are very important for loading up your bowl. With the goal in mind of creating the most tasty bowl of ramen as defined by your flavor packet, you will need to think carefully about your turn. Flavor ingredients play a big role in scoring points. These are those little silver packets that add flavor to your instant ramen.

There are lots of different flavors that each go well with specific types of ingredients. Shrimp flavor will give you four points if you add one veggie and one meat, or eight points if you add two meat and two veggies to the bowl. Chicken flavor, on the other hand, will give you six points for adding any pair of ingredients and ten points for adding three of the same ingredients. Beef flavor will give you a set amount of points per unique meat ingredient added. There are a few more flavor packets and all of them list how to score at the bottom of them. You can gain these like any other ingredient, but they do define how many total points you can earn and how your bowl will play out.

You are able to do two actions each turn out of a list of six available actions. You can prep — take any one ingredient card from your hand and put it in your bowl, placing it on top of the other ingredients in your bowl. Ramen bowls cannot have more than give ingredients in them total or more than one flavor packet. You can draw a face up card from the pantry or the top card of the ingredient deck and place it in your hand. If an item is taken from the pantry, a new card needs to be placed in its hand. You can choose to use your spoon, which forces you to discard one of your spoon tokens to take a top ingredient out of any bowl that any player has, including yourself, and place that ingredient into one of your own bowls or hand. If the pantry is looking a bit grim, you can use one of your actions to restock it, discarding all of the cards currently out and placing out new ones. You can eat a finished bowl of ramen that has one flavor ingredient and at least one other ingredient inside of it, flipping it over to it’s empty side. This makes it so that you can not change or add to the bowl. You can also empty all the ingredients from one of your ramen bowls into the discard pile.

Ramen Fury

Though this may seem like a lot of options, the turns go pretty quickly as people plan out their ramen. New ingredients get added to the top of the bowl and before you know it, you’ll have a full stack of food to eat. There are a few special cards to keep things interesting in Ramen Fury — specifically the Chili Peppers card, but also a Nori Garnish card. These ingredients, whenever pulled from the Draw or Restock action, give you a free action to place one of the Chili Peppers or Nori Garnish cards into the bowl of your choice. The chili pepper gives -1 point to the player’s bowl, unless they have a special Fury flavor packet. Nori Garnish added a single point to a bowl, but can take up real estate that might be better for more high scoring cards. When playing Chili Peppers and Nori Garnishes from your hand, it also does not count as one of your two action points.

As the bowls get full and players start to slurp them up, you’ll need to watch out. Once someone has eaten all three of their bowls (or if the ingredients deck empties, though this never happened when I played as we shuffled them back into the game) it will be time to stop and count up your points. Only the bowls that you have eaten will give you points, so hopefully you have eaten a lot.

Ramen Fury is a very easy game to pick up and understand. After a few rounds, it becomes clear in what you need to do and in my case, players started to deploy more chillies and become quite cutthroat over these soups! We found that keeping your hand under five cards, as you are meant to do, is a very challenging ask. The only way to discard, according to the rules, is to place the ingredients within a bowl. Even ingredients removed with your spoon end up back in your hand, so as a house rule, we allowed players to use one action per turn to discard a single card. This added more fun into the game, though I am sure it made it less challenging for us all.

I’d also like to talk about the amazing packaging for Ramen Fury. This game is inside a little plastic zip-locked bag, that looks like an instant ramen packet, but nicer. Once you open that back, you will pull out a cardboard box designed to look like the big, dry noodles you get within instant ramen. Inside that box, you can find and store your cards and spoons, as well as your instructions packet. This is all just clever in it’s theme and makes for a fun, portable game that peaks interest.

Ramen Fury is a really lovely, fast card game that can be picked up and played with almost anyone. Everything about the game is pretty spot on, and apart from that one house rule, we found the gameplay to make sense and be perfect for every group I’ve played it with — from adults to eleven year olds. Even my teenage cousins really enjoyed playing it.

You can pick up a copy of Ramen Fury on Amazon.

Love board games? Check out our list of the top board games we’ve reviewed.

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