I love coffee.
I love coffee so, so much.
There are few things I love more than coffee. I’m like Lorelai Gilmore without all the crazy blue eyeliner that was super popular circa 2002. If I get a chance to incorporate coffee into other non-coffee parts of my life, that’s a huge win-win for me. Luckily, R&R Games knows people like me exist in this world, and introduce a fun new game, Caffeine Rush, which turns players into battling baristas.
In Caffeine Rush, each player (or team of baristas) takes a colored deck of Ingredient Cards, shuffles it, and then places it face down. Then, players can place Order Cards in the center of the play area, leaving space for their Prep Area. At the same time, players flip over the Order Cards, and then flip their Ingredient Cards one by one, trying to match the ingredients to what is needed on the order.
The life of a barista (I imagine) is a stressful one, and the fast-paced gameplay of Caffeine Rush gives you a taste of that stress. Players race to flip over their Ingredient Cards and make matches for drink orders, while attempting to be the first to finish an order and yell “Order up!.” Each Order Card features a guest name, which are delightfully clever and add a little burst of fun to the game. Featured patrons include “Gandalf,” “Yoda,” and “Forrest.”
Another great detail is the handwriting font printed on the order cards, which adds a touch of authenticity to the game. Fortunately, none of them are spelled incorrectly, so you don’t have the added task of trying to decipher a jumble letters and figure out what name they were even trying to spell in the first place.
But wait! There’s more. In addition to the already challenging gameplay, players are only allowed to use one hand to flip cards and match the ingredients. I imagine that’s the equivalent of when you see everyone behind the Starbucks counter bumping into each other trying to get from the flavor pumps to the latte machine while customers just hover and stare intently at what they believe to be their drink.
Then there are also special cards in the deck, including the Supervisor Card—which players can play to force others to stop gameplay and clean up their Prep Area so they don’t get in trouble with the supervisor—or the Latte Art Card, which doubles the points you receive on top of an already finished order. That might be my favorite card in the game, because honestly, nothing brings me more joy than when people do art on top of my latte. (My Instagram and I both thank you, Gregory’s Coffee.)
So whether you’re looking for an afternoon pick-me-up, or looking to add a new flavor to family game night, Caffeine Rush will have your heart pumping in the best way.