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Food Trumps

Food Trumps

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Food Trumps
Designer: Andrew Ward, with slight changes by Ben Henley
Players: 3 to a whole picnic
Stuff required: A picnic.
Crew required: One.
Preparation: 0 minutes.
Time required: As long as possible.
Place required: A picnic.
Activities: Picnicking
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This is a playable game - it's finished, tested and ready to play.
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This game is made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons licence. (What does this mean?)

It's Top Trumps, but with food.

Sequence of play

1. Go to a picnic.

2. Announce that it is time to play Food Trumps.

3. Everybody must select an item of pre-packaged food with printed nutritional information which they brought to the picnic. The person who organised the picnic or who is celebrating a special occasion then selects one piece of nutritional information (e.g. 'Fat per 100g' or 'grammes of salt').

4. Players compare the values for their designated foods.

5. As a general principle, the highest value wins.

6. The winner of the round collects all the designated foods. Everyone then selects another item which has not yet been in play, and the sequence of play repeats from step 3 with the winner selecting the contested category. If a player has no more unplayed items, the first player to their left who still has unplayed items gets to nominate the category.


Notes on scoring

If the value for a particular nutrient is unlisted, then it counts as zero.

Calculation to derive values is permitted e.g. if the selected category is "per 100g", but only a "per portion" value is listed, it is acceptable to calculate the value per 100g.

"Trace" trumps zero or unlisted.

Endgame

Keep playing until nobody who's participating has any more unplayed food.

Whoever has the most food at the end wins.

Meta-game

Whoever initiates the game must try to keep everybody in the picnic playing for as long as possible, no matter how reluctant they are. Post how long the game lasted to the high scores section below.

Shopping variant

If running it at a non-picnic event, players or small teams could be given a budget to buy a "hand" of food using the local shops.

High scores

Edit this section with your name and how long you kept Food Trumps going before everybody refused to play.

Ben Henley: 3m 20s

Notes on the design

Note that if the guests at a picnic anticipate that Food Trumps is likely to be played, and they care about winning, they will be incentivised to bring many items of food, and to select food items with high levels of fat, protein or carbohydrate, thus making for a tastier picnic.

History of the game

The game was invented by Andrew Ward as "Cheese Trumps". The idea was generalised to Food Trumps by Ben Henley who also contributed minor rules clarifications.