Fantasy Board Games Mythology Board Games

Bitoku: Resutoran Game Review

Festival of Fights

Justin reviews the expansion to the popular 2021 strategy game Bitoku: Resutoran! Find out if this is a food fight you want to enjoy or not.

Disclosure: Meeple Mountain received a free copy of this product in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. This review is not intended to be an endorsement.

The best thing about working with the team here at Meeple Mountain: respectful disagreement is quite healthy.

My colleague Andrew Lynch wrote a very balanced review of Bitoku (2021, Devir) a couple years ago, and there are a few elements of his commentary that I agree with. It’s a bear to teach—so much so that I insisted players watch the Game in a Nutshell teach video, which is about 38 minutes long and led by a professional—and the setup is “not nothing”, in the words of the folks at So Very Wrong About Games.

One thing we disagree on: play surfaces. The idea of playing a three-hour board game on my floor is out of the question, not because of the playing, but because of the standing up. I can’t imagine trying to stand up from the floor after sitting cross-legged on the floor for that long!

If you have a dedicated group of Bitoku fans who you can count on to regularly play the game, the turn elements here have the kinds of tension and decision-making I love in heavier Euros. That will also lead to less downtime in a game that can really spike AP (“analysis paralysis”) in the wrong hands. As someone who plays games like Voidfall a dozen times or more if I can find a group willing to try them, Bitoku checks most of the boxes for me as a lover of great strategy games.

And I would now say I’m a fan of designer Germán P. Milián’s work. Milián designed Bitoku and Sabika, and both games have mechanisms I really enjoy—none more so than the rondel at the full player count in Sabika—even though both games suffer mightily from being heavier versions of point salad affairs. (I had a recent game of base Bitoku where I literally forgot to score all the points I should have earned from buying Mitama Spirit tiles. There are so many ways to score!!)

When I met with the team at Devir during SPIEL 2023, I had the chance to grab the new Bitoku expansion, Resutoran. Let’s talk about the new bits to see if this is right for you!

Come Hungry

For a rundown of how Bitoku plays, I would advise watching the Game in a Nutshell teach video, because to cover the base game rules would take thousands of words, like Andrew jokes in his original review. We’ll talk here about the three new additions to the game.


This first module is an easy addition to the base game—more Yokai cards and more Iwakura Rock tiles. There are only six new Yokai cards (known here as Yokai Alliance cards), but five of them come with not one, but two Yokai symbols to help with Iwakura Rock end-game scoring conditions. They also score a little differently if burned during the Winter phase.

The new Rock tiles? Just different ways to score points. I like that one of them is tied to Crystals acquired during the game, while another scores for successfully completed Vision cards.


The Hodamas module adds 15 new Lake Treasure tiles, the tiles set beneath each region of the map where Kodama tokens move along a track. These new tiles are fantastic ways to spice up those races, because some of these tracks only score big end-game bonuses. Others give you a chance to score a few times during play or provide one-time bonuses while also scoring points for whoever leads that track at the end of the game.

Only three of these tiles are supposed to be used in a game until players get more comfortable changing things around, but these can be used in any combination for experienced players. (There are five Lake Treasure tiles in Bitoku, regardless of player count.) I would personally dump the base game’s Lake Treasure tiles in favor of these tracks, because that really changes the dynamic of where buildings get placed during the game (which is the easiest way to get a boost on each Kodama track).


Lots of games have a side deck of cards that give you a little boost throughout play (Dwellings of Eldervale is one of my favorites), and Festival gives players a chance to get a small but meaningful drip of cards that boost a wide assortment of actions during the game.

Also, each Festival card has a picture of a food item, which made me hungrier each time I pulled a new card!

The full deck of Festival cards numbers 65 unique ways to attack, defend, steal, copy, and score various game elements. About a third of these cards are known as Brawling cards and have a red border to remind players that those are going to hurt someone just a little. I think experienced players should always use the full deck, including the Brawling cards, because one thing Bitoku lacks are enough ways to take down a runaway leader, and the Brawling cards help there.

But no matter which cards you end up using, the bottom line is that the Festival cards are a must. While this represents a classic example of “more for the sake of more”, Festival cards spice things up nicely and became an automatic addition even after my first use.

Yes and Yes

The first question: if you have Bitoku and play it regularly, do you need the expansion?


The Festival cards are the reason to buy this expansion. All 65 cards are unique and all of them situationally break the game. One of the cards lets its owner take a bonus turn immediately following their normal turn, huge for a player going fourth in a four-player game. Instead of  breaking the game, it gives that player a onetime bonus that can turn the tide in their favor. That makes play significantly more dynamic.

Conversations and Hodamas come down to simply having extra stuff, and for those who get Bitoku to the table regularly, that’s key. The new Lake Treasure tiles are more interesting than the base game’s scoring tiles and give players a reason to lean into Kodama tracks a little more.

All the new content works, although the Hodamas are the only element that can be added to solo play. That means Resutoran is a “no” if you are ONLY playing Bitoku solo…but I never thought of Bitoku’s solo mode (designed by—you guessed it—David Turczi) as the main reason to play Bitoku anyway.

Second question: can you get the expansion content into the base game box, which was already “Devir Tight”? (No publisher tries to stuff more into a box than Devir, in my opinion and the opinion of the team.)

The answer is maybe more shocking than anything I will tell you, dear reader, all year: the expansion content fits into the base game box, with maybe an inch to spare.


Here’s the thing—Resutoran is a mini expansion. Sure, 65 Festival cards, but otherwise very small bits and pieces. If you put the instructions, main board, and player boards in first, then tuck all the cards along the bottom of the box, it can be done. In fact, after my third and final Bitoku play, I packed, unpacked, then packed again the complete set of base and expansion components and giggled as the box cover’s whoosh of a soft close completed the process.

And I’m a guy who is still angry at Devir for The Red Cathedral: Contractors expansion content coming with a box full of additional stuff, for a game that should only have one box. (I’ve cheated since then, only keeping the extra Guild cards along with the base game and shoving all of that into the base game box.)

But it can be done—chuck that Resutoran expansion box, and all the Spanish-language duplicate rules and Festival cards. It all fits!

And you’ll need the space. Bitoku: Resutoran is a perfect expansion to a solid base game. If you table Bitoku often, run out and get the expansion right away!

  • Perfect - Will play every chance I get.

Bitoku details

About the author

Justin Bell

Love my family, love games, love food, love naps. If you're in Chicago, let's meet up and roll some dice!

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Subscribe to Meeple Mountain!

Crowdfunding Roundup

Crowdfunding Roundup header

Resources for Board Gamers

Board Game Categories