Review: Don’t Tip the Waiter
Publisher: Colorforms
Year: 1979
Tagline: Be Careful, Too many Dishes Tip the Waiter.

Don't Tip the Waiter cover

how we met

If you thrift on a regular basis, you are probably very familiar with the feast or famine nature of the hobby. I found Don’t Tip the Waiter at thrift in a strange feast situation. The store contained all of the usual suspects but then an inordinate number of odd, old games. Some strange person seemed to have dumped their collection.

In addition to Don’t Tip the Waiter I bought Showbiz and another copy of Heavenly Body that I can gift to some lucky gamer. There were also a number of old, unusual games that don’t meet even my threshold of gaming standards. Yes, dear reader, those games do exist. In abundance.

how it plays

Don’t Tip the Waiter is a dexterity game. The waiter is a 3-d cardboard character who pivots at the waist. Each player starts the game with three Colorforms dollars, and your goal is to hang onto your money. Players take turns adding another dish to our hero’s tray in hopes that he remains upright. When the tray spills any food items, the player that caused the spill must tip the waiter one of their Colorforms dollars by sticking it on him anywhere.

Colorforms dollars

Colorforms dollars

Then another round is played until the waiter is tipped over, and then tipped a dollar. Then another round, and so on. A player with no money left is out of the game. The last player to have money remaining is the winner.

how it went

This game was light and fast, and set up is surprisingly easy for a 3-d cardboard character. The game is from 1979 and, while my copy is not mint by any means, it is in surprisingly good shape. I had a wet paper towel so we could wipe down our Colorforms dollars before sticking them to the waiter, and that worked beautifully. There were no sticking problems whatsoever.

The pivot of the waiter is interesting. He frequently seemed to move in counter-intuitive directions so it was difficult to predict how he would handle more dishes or where the best balance would be.

Waiter character


It seems unnecessary to have the huge variety of dishes that the game offers, but it was a really nice touch. We each took our turn picking out the exact right dish to our liking before placing it.

Tokens representing different foods

Pickles and sundaes and pizza oh my

And I love a good pun, so I do have to recognize that the title is nothing less than amazing.

play or pass

I think pass. I don’t have experience with a lot of dexterity games, but I have to believe there is better out there. The cover of the game and the waiter himself are cartoonish and fun, but I’m not sure this one will get played again by our group.

Don’t forget to tip your wait staff. And please don’t knock them over.