Dinner’s Ready! Update and Survey

Dinner’s Ready! is now out in the world, available for purchase (here). Perhaps a little bit more jarring, Dinner’s Ready! is out in the world for public scrutiny. It’s necessary to stick your neck out in marketing, so I submitted Dinner’s Ready! to a ton of card game and board game review websites and blogs. Only a couple bit.

tumblr_o3ywr3TaZN1rt7qgbo1_500We boxed them up and sent them out a copy of the deck, equally hesitant and excited about their take on the game. We even sent one to the First Lady, Michelle Obama. She wrote back with this…

Perhaps more importantly, we were looking for any word from these influential websites. Soon enough, I got an e-mail from one of the blogs. They had questions about the game’s instructions.

This is good… right?

I did my best to answer the questions, but even then some of the language was touchy. Did my language leave too much to the imagination? How was this coming through on the gameplay?

Last week, the first review of Dinner’s Ready! went live. It was honest. It was complimentary and condemning all in the same breath. Here were some of the highlights,

  • “Dinner’s Ready is a good educational game that teaches about food groups and creating a balanced meal. It is easy to set up and can be played with the whole family.”
  • “For parents looking to teach their kids about food and nutrition, this is the game for you.”

But the overarching theme of the review was that the game was too highly weighed down in education, so the gameplay is slow. Challenging, yet slow. This slower pace of gameplay could impact the level of “fun” that people have.

These are all truly valid points. Classes aren’t fun. Card games are supposed to be fun.

One of the concepts we played with from the beginning of this whole project was that we wanted to educate kids about healthy eating. How ingredients go together. But unlike actual cooking, Dinner’s Ready! comes with rules. Or rather, had to come with an initial set of rules.

What we perhaps failed to make as clear as we should have, was that these Dinner’s Ready! cards are tools to create your own card games with healthy food. However you want to manipulate the cards is up to you! If you want to play “Go Fish” with ingredient cards, go for it! If you want to play with one recipe and three ingredients, help yourself! Make it fun!

Versatility is not necessarily a benefit of a card game. With all the tools we have in the world to assist us in teaching our kids about food, why is this card game better than all of those? Because it’s tactile? Because it contains an extra fact? Because it’s so beautifully designed? What makes Dinner’s Ready! different?

Dinner’s Ready! is different from all the other teaching tools because it allows players, young and old, to explore the connections between whole ingredients and healthy eating, away from computer screens, interacting and learning with others. Dinner’s Ready! is the

I’m not going to link to the article here. If you want to read it, you can find it yourself. I just don’t find the value to directing people’s attention to one person’s review of our flaws, while we’re already taking steps to make the next versions of the game better. We got what we asked for, and we’re responding accordingly. Speed bumps, am I right?

If you’ve played Dinner’s Ready! and you’d like to help us craft a better version in the future, feel free to fill out this quick survey (and pick up a copy of Dinner’s Ready! for a friend here).

We’d really appreciate it.



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