Filling pastries is a craft and an art form. With a steady hand and years of training, you too could become a master of culinary delights. If you don’t have time fore all this, you could just pretend you’re a pastry master with Green Couch Games latest card game Filler.
Grab Your Piping Bag!
Filler places up to 5 players in the role of pastry chefs with the goal of creating the most tasty desserts around. Chefs start with a hand of 3 cards that are all pretty equal. The cards in the game contain some combination of a “start time”, “ingredients” and victory points (awards, money or reviews).
Each round there will be a recipe book in the center of the table that contains a number of delicious pastry creations. Players then submit a card facedown to represent their “start time”. You may submit a start time of 6:52 while the person to your left has a start time of 7:05. Players then take turns from the earliest start time to the latest time.
Players can choose to create a pastry in the recipe book by discarding the required ingredients on the card; or they can choose to restock their pantry by picking up their individual discard pile back into their hand.
The game ends when the recipe book cannot be filled with new cards. The players count the accolades on their cards and get bonuses for each set of 3 different icons. The player with the largest score wins.
Are You the Top Chef?
Filler has been an absolute blast to play. We’ve really been impressed with how this card game had been balanced. Just because you have the ingredients to fill a pastry doesn’t mean that you should. The game honestly feels a little like a deck building game as you acquire new cards and cycle through your discard pile to refill your pantry.
As the cards are presented, you start to realize that no one card is perfect. The cards with the great start time may only give you a single new ingredient and no points. Another card with a super late start time might give you 2 or 3 points but limit your ability to compete with the rest of the table when starting a new round.
Filler is not a complex game but it forces players to make hard choices as you gather the right items from the recipe book to add to your hand. Each player has to diversify their hand to be able to compete during the game and at the end of the game when scoring points.
Our daughter who is 10 absolutely loved being able to play a card game that connected to her passion for baking (and eating) sweets. The whole family caught onto the game pretty quickly. You could always tell by the groans at the table when another player took a card someone else wanted from the recipe book.
Some cards give you a special bonus when you fill their recipe. One bonus allows you to restock your pantry immediately without wasting a turn. Another bonus allows you to fill another recipe immediately before the next player takes their turn. When these icons show up on the table, it’s like a battle to see who gets these cards first.
My only real issue with Filler happens early on in every game I’ve played. The second round of the game almost always requires players to perform the restock action. You can get around this if there’s a card available with the restock bonus in the middle of the table. This is a minor complaint but it does make the beginning of the game feel slower than the rest of the game.
Filler is an absolute treat to play with friends and family. The game is refreshing, feels original and doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. Every player is engaged because they’re always trying to get the perfect card for their pantry. I knew that Filler was a hit when my coworkers asked what date the Kickstarter launched after playing just a couple rounds.
If you’re looking for a fantastic family-friendly filler game, this pastry themed card game is sure to hit the spot. Head over to the Filler Kickstarter project and back this project today.
Green Couch Games provided us with a prototype copy of Filler prior to the Kickstarter campaign. This in no way influenced our opinion on the game. Previews are a glimpse into an upcoming game with the pros and cons that we experienced prior to production of the game.