Who doesn’t love the Great British Baking Show? Do you dream about getting a Hollywood Handshake and dread soggy bottoms? Never seen the show? Well, you loved baked goods, don’t you? Here’s your chance to try your hand at making the treats without worrying about the work, mess, burns, or soggy bottoms. Ravensburger Games has turned the Great British Baking Show into a game and you’ll love it!
What’s in the box?
First, let’s talk about the box. It is covered with beautiful baking images drawn by Tom Hovey, the food illustrator who transforms the bakers’ proposed creations into the gorgeous animations we see on the show. Hovey has also designed the games’ Recipe Cards, Bake Decks, Wild Bake Cards, Baker Workbenches, tokens, instructions, and even the recipe card stand (it looks like the set of the show, with a field, some sheep, and, of course, the tent). There are three types of tokens: Bin tokens; Timer Score tokens; and Recipe Score tokens.
How to play Ravensburger’s The Great British Bake Off Game:
Ravensburger’s The Great British Baking Show Game is a matching card game. Each player chooses a color then collects their color-coded Baker Workbench (card with three spaces for discards), matching Bake Deck (cards with the ingredients for building bakes), and Bin Token. Like the show, each round is themed. The recipe cards are divided into six categories: Biscuits (cookies); Bread; Cake; Dessert; International; and Pastry. Just like the show, each category has three recipes: Signature; Technical; and Showstopper. Players decide which category to play for each round and put that category’s Recipe Cards on the stand where every player can see it. The Wild! Bake cards are laid out, face up, in the middle of the game space in easy reach of each player, alone with the Timer Score tokens.
Once the game is set, someone says “On your marks, get set, bake!” Players then turn over the cards in their deck one by one to try to find the ingredients to build their bakes. Bakes have to start on the lowest level of the bake and have to be the same shape that you see on the recipe card. The discard piles are essential, because you can only play a new card on your bake if it touches a card already in the bake, AND, you can only take the top card from the discard pile, so build that pile thoughtfully. Some of the bakes might look really easy to build, but if they have a X3 symbol on the card, you have to build three of those bakes to complete the challenge!
In addition to the discard piles, you have two other ways to help your bake along. If you flip your card and it’s a Help! Card, you can swap that for one of the Wild! card ingredients. If you realize you’ve made a mistake with your build, you can “throw out” the wrong cards by putting them in the bin (i.e., set them to the side by the Bin token, which is then turned over. You can only do this once per build, so be careful!
While this may sound simple, you are playing against other people all doing the same thing. You may flip your Help card and find that the Wild ingredient you need has been taken by another player. Play as fast as you can!
Top Tip: Be sure to shuffle your Bake Deck well between bakes!
How to Score and Win Ravensburger’s The Great British Baking Show Game:
Each recipe set ends when all but the last player has finished their bake. As each player finishes their bake, they grab the green Timer token with the highest number (5, 3, 2). Once the green Timer tokens are gone, time is up and the player who hasn’t yet completed their bake (or was too slow to grab the last green Timer token) gets the red 1-point Timer token. The numbers represent the points towards your score.
That’s only the first way to score points, though. Each bake is then assessed against the recipe card to see if any additional points can be scored. Along the side of the recipe card are the requirements for getting a 2-point Soggy Bottom token (just completing the bake will earn this); a 5-point Great Bake token; or a 7-point Hollywood Handshake token! The requirements are comprehensive, so you need to fulfill the requirements for a Great Bake AND the Hollywood Handshake to get the Hollywood Handshake token. If you’ve missed one of the requirements for the Great Bake, but completed the requirements for the Hollywood Handshake, you will receive only the Soggy Bottom token.
Top Tip: If you can keep track of the points throughout the game, you can decide in the final recipe how many points you need to get to win. If you need just 5 points, go for completing the bake the quickest, so you can get the 3-point Timer token and the 2-point Soggy Bottom token. It is really difficult to see what everyone else is doing while you’re creating your bake, so someone else could be going for the Hollywood Handshake, which could push them right past you in the score!
The round ends when you’ve played all three recipe sets: Signature, Technical, and Showstopper. Each player’s token points are added up (or subtracted*) and the player with the most points at the end of the round is the Star Baker!
Ravensburger’s The Great British Bake Off Game is designed for 2-4 players, but because each player plays with their own deck, you could easily add more players by adding additional boxes. Keep in mind, though, that you need quite a bit of space for each player to build their bakes. If you have a really competitive group of players, you could even adapt it to be an elimination-style game, like the show, by eliminating the lowest-scoring player each round. The game is for ages 10 and up, which makes sense. Some of the tokens are small enough that they could be swallowed by little ones and it requires a certain amount of dexterity (furiously flipping cards and building bakes with them could be tough for tiny hands). If you have young ones who are fans of the show and want to be included, you could have them sit in as judges to determine who created the best bakes and to dole out the tokens. Get them to create their own version of the Hollywood handshake! This is a super fun, fast-moving card game that can be played over and over again. Buy yours now with my affiliate link!
On your marks, get set, . . . BAKE!
P.S. Tom Hovey designed a Great British Baking Show Colouring Book, full of his gorgeous bake illustrations, which you can get on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Great-British-Bake-Colouring-Book/dp/1473615623/.
* Subtracting points to get to the winner makes it easy for kids to get to the final score without having to add up a bunch of tokens. They all discard the tokens they have in common until they’re left only with tokens that the others don’t also have. They can add up points, too, to remove additional tokens (e.g., a 3-point Timer token equals a 1-point Timer Token and a 2-point Timer token or Soggy Bottom token). Once all of the matching or point-matching tokens have been subtracted, you count the remaining points to see who wins. And it’s extra math, so everyone wins!