Playing with your food is something children are always told off for, but The Noodle Game by Big Potato Games sees you fighting over a giant box of noodles in the middle of the table, in the hopes of having the most noodles on your own plate. Playing with your food is the name of the game, but you also need to be quick, good with chopsticks and able to pay attention to your competitors.
The Noodle Game is a two- to four-player game where each player is trying to get the most points — shown through having noodles on your plate. Everyone gets their own, small, colored plate and matching pair of chopsticks. These plates are very important in The Noodle Game. Once you have the box the game came in (a giant take-out container) in the middle of the table full of noodles, each player takes a turn trying to get a noodle out of the box and safely onto the plate.
When it is your turn, you can put your chopsticks into the box, looking through the various noodles and trying to find the exact one you want. Once you have made a good pick, you can start to take it out of the box. All of the other players need to have their chopsticks touching the plate, until you have lifted a single noodle out of the box completely. Then, the game turns into chaos, as you attempt to get the noodle to your plate and everyone else tries to snatch it from you!
You cannot let the noodle touch the table or be taken by another player, so you must quickly get it to touch your plate. Once any part of the noodle has touched your plate, everyone else needs to back off, while you place it down completely. The noodle must not hang off your plate, so you do need to be careful about placing it down. Then the game moves to the next player.
There are various sizes when it comes to the noodles in this box, from small, one-point noodles to large, ten-point noodles, though these larger noodles are far more challenging to get onto your small plate safely. These noodles are something I had issues with — their sizes do vary a bit, even within noodles of the same category. There isn’t a list of how many noodles of each size there are, and because they are different sizes and can be stretched, it makes counting out points very challenging. I almost wish the noodles were colored coded or something, just to take a needless argument out of the game.
It’s also worth stating that the target age for this game is 6+, so it is a children’s game. Despite that, I totally played The Noodle Game with a bunch of people in their late twenties and early thirties — and it was an intense experience. We are a pretty competitive bunch, so grabbing for each other’s noodles, blocking plates and calling each other out for not having our chopsticks on the plate was a big part of the game. We ended up having a neutral caller (as we have a larger group than the number of plates) to call out anything against the rules.
Even with a big bunch of adults, we had a really good time with The Noodle Game. We are competitive, making it far more serious than what you’d end up playing with kids, but the physicality of the chopsticks and the wait to get noodles out of the box provides for a very nice game to play.