Hawker food is a big part of Singapore’s identity and dishes are influenced by a variety of cultures. SYNT Studios’ latest game hopes to celebrate just that with its own tongue-in-cheek spin.
In Hawker Wars, you take on the role of a hawker and compete with other players to cook as many dishes and earn the target points as fast as you can.
A hyper-localized game, Hawker Wars features some of Singapore’s most popular dishes and assigns them to four cuisine types (Malay, Chinese, Indian and International) and a corresponding colour. You then select your hawker and try to complete as many dishes as possible.
The mechanics are very simple and easy to pick up. Complete dishes by trading in the required ingredients to complete each dish. You can cook any of the dishes available, but you score extra points if you complete a dish from your own cuisine. You may choose to complete a dish from another cuisine just so that the other Hawker doesn’t get extra points.
Then there are the Action Cards that add a little more spice to the game. You can use action cards to get extra points, hinder other hawkers, or even take their completed dishes away from them and keep them for yourself. Be prepared for some drama.
Other than Action Cards, Event Cards keep things even more interesting by introducing challenges such as ‘Food Poisoning’ to having a ‘Cockroach Infestation’ that all hawkers will have to face together.
As quick as Hawker Wars is to pick up, and a very easy game to introduce during a gathering, you can only have up to four players which can be limiting.
Retailing at SGD 20, it’s quite accessible and the cards themselves are bright and of good quality. Also, the light-hearted tone is pretty amusing making it a very easy game to go back to every once in a while.
While the hyper-localized nature of the game means that some of the references might be lost on non-Singaporeans, it is still one that probably makes a better gift or souvenir than a “Singapore is a Fine City” T-Shirt.
Hawker Wars retails on Shopee and other retail channels.