Wednesday, January 25, 2017

They'll Make Anything Into a Card Game (Tetris: The Card Game)

Ah, the famous Tetromino.  A source of pride for many.  It can create feelings of accomplishment and wonder, or anger and frustration, depending on the shape.  Except that backwards Z one, no one likes you Back-Z.  We trained our minds to twist and turn these shapes, letting them fall where they may, hoping to get that one long one, and claim a victory.  Now, we shall dwelve past the digital realm of the Tetromino, and see the Card Game that is Tetris.

GAME DESCRIPTION:  Tetris: The Card Game is designed for 1-4 players.  The goal is to clear the most lines and have all your cards face-down before anyone else does.

SET-UP:  Once the deck is shuffled, each player gets 10 random cards, with the single Tetromino (or Tetris piece) all face-up, in 2 rows of 5, called Score cards.  Then, each player is dealt 1 card into their hand, with the Tetromino side hidden from the other players.  The deck is then placed with the single Tetromino face down, so the Matrix is face up.

PLAYING:  When it is a players turn, they draw so they have 2 cards in their hand.  The current Matrix on the deck shows that players board.  Their goal is to play one of their cards so that it would clear 1 or more lines on that card.  Then, the player flips over an amount of their score face-down equal to the amount of lines that would have been cleared, and the turn passes to the next player.

PENALTY:  If a player cannot clear any lines, then they instead discard a card, and flip 1 of their score cards face-up.  If all their cards are face-up, then nothing else happens, and the turn passes to the next player.

SPECIAL:  There are also special cards which can be played instead of playing a Tetromino or discarding a card.

  • ROTATE:  Each player passes their hand to the next player
  • POWER-UP:  Replace this card from your hand with any players Score card, and play or discard 1 more card from your hand.
  • DROP 2/4:  Any player targeted by one of these cards flips either 2 or 4 cards, according to the number.
  • BOMB:  All other players flip a Score card face-up.
WINNING:  Once a player flips all 10 of their Score cards Tetromino side face-down

CONCLUSION:  Tetris: The Card Game isn't really Tetris.  Sure, it looks and feels like Tetris, but where planning and luck went hand and hand in the Video Game, the Card Game is more reliant on chance then careful maneuvering and playing 10 turns in advanced.  Still, the speed and relatively low price make up for the "lack of Tetris" in the game.  This is the kind of game easily played on a long trip, or during a short break.  Don't expect to sink hours into this game like most have in its original form, but I do recommend checking it out if it seems interesting.

AFTERTHOUGHTS:  There is also a "Single Player mode". which I haven't had the chance to play.  It appears to be more of how quickly you can win, rather than competing with another player.  I don't feel that playing it is necessary, or even as enjoyable as with other people.  But take that with a grain of salt.  I do like the idea of including a way to play without other people, but it is hard to make a game that is enjoyable both on an individual level and with friends, so I appreciate Tetris trying to pull that off.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

NSFW Cyanide and Happiness: The Card Game (Joking Hazard)

Have you ever wanted a game that was a bit more adult than Apples to Apples, but more challenging than Cards Against Humanity?  Are you a fan of Cyanide and Happiness?  Got some friends? You should try in Joking Hazard, the random comic generator turned card game.  Joking Hazard is not liable for damages, floods, or the summoning of C'thulhu.  If games last more than four hours, consult your physician.

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GAME DESCRIPTION:  Joking Hazard is a card game for 3 or more players.  Each turn, players attempt to finish a 3 panel comic in the funniest way possible.

SET-UP:  Each player is dealt a set of 7 cards.  One player is takes the role of Judge for this round.  The Judge flips the top card from the deck.  There are two colored borders, red and black.  If the border is black, then the Judge plays a card from their hand, on either side of the first card.  Each player plays 1 card in a pile face-down to finish the comic.

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RED BORDER:  If the first card has a red border, the judge will not play this turn.  This is a Bonus Round, and players may now replace unwanted cards from their hand.  The red bordered card is now played at the end, and players must play their cards before the red bordered card.  Every other player plays 2 cards instead of just 1, with the bottom card being the first panel.  Note that players may not play a red bordered card from their hand during a Bonus Round.

WINNING:  Once all cards are gathered, the judge rewards a point to the player who made either the best or funniest comic. The first player to get 3 points wins, but continuous play is encouraged.  The fewer players, the more points you may want required to win.

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CONCLUSION:  If you've followed this blog for any amount of time, you'll notice that I am not a big fan of "adult games", seeing them as easy, unfunny, and gross.  I've yet to review Cards Against Humanity because I don't see the fun in it.  Joking Hazard, however, manages to do something most NSFW games have failed to accomplish: It made me laugh, and laugh hard.  True, most of that is from the dark humor of the game, rather than the adult, but that still proves that it made a strong connection with me.  The comic aspect of Joking Hazard makes it a bit more of a challenge to make it funny instead of just "insert strange/dirty joke here", which most of these games rely on.   The jokes don't just work because a cheap laugh, they work because the players actually had to think about the layout of the jokes.  This is not a game for family members, but it has a lot more merit than most Adult party games I've played.

AFTERTHOUGHTS:  I didn't have a chance or a place to discuss this, but the game also comes with a set "house rules" to change up how to play.  A lot of the house rules don't really change much, or just make the game more bizarre.  I never got a chance to play the house rules, but just an inclusion of them makes me realize how aware the creators are to how most people play.  Well done, Explosm, I tip my hat to you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Riddle Me This (Crack the Case)

2 men are found in a cabin in the woods.  There are no signs of a struggle or murder.  The both are resting on chairs.  The cabin is made of metal, but there is no sign of any burns or lightning damage on the cabin or the 2 men.  How did they die?
The solution:  They died in an airplane crash.

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GAME DESCRIPTION: Crack the Case is a puzzle game for 2 or more players.  Players attempts to solve a mystery from a given scenario, by asking Yes/No questions and applying deductive reasoning.

SET-UP:  The cards are split into 3 difficulty levels, and 1 player is chosen to be the Moderator.  Players split up into 2 teams, and choose the difficulty of their Cases.  Each team takes turns solving a Case.  The Moderator reads each Case and Mystery aloud, reads the Solution and Story silently to themselves, and answers all questions given by the other players, or Investigators.

QUESTIONS:  Investigators may only ask Yes/No questions.  The Moderator may respond with 1 of 7 responses:

  • YES:  Answer is clearly yes.
  • NO:  Answer is clearly no.
  • YES AND NO:  Answer might be Yes or No, but not in a way most people would see it.
  • IRRELEVANT:  The question doesn't affect the Case or give any helpful information.
  • I DON'T KNOW:  The question may give information, but the answer isn't in the story or solution.
  • REPHRASE YOUR QUESTION:  Used if there are two questions in one, or a false assumption was made
  • DEFINE WHAT YOU MEAN BY:  Used to clarify a term or question, and help
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CLUES:  If the Investigators are at any point stuck, they may take a time penalty, and are given one of the clues located at the top of the card.  If they are still stuck, they can take the other clue for another penalty.  Each penalty is different, and specified according to the clue.  But, if an Investigator can prove they knew the information given before the clue was read, the time penalty doesn't apply.

CASE SOLVED:  At the end of each Case, the Moderator stops the clock, adds up any penalties, and awards the appropriate amount of points shown on the card to the team that played this case.  The game ends when each team has finished 3 Cases, with the winners being the team with the most points.  

CONCLUSION:  This is a fairly hard game, even if you only play the easy cases.  A lot of the Cases that are given are word-play, such as a mint and a plate being not a sugar mint and dinner plate, but a bank mint and money plate.  It requires a mind that likes to be challenged with difficult riddles and puns.  If you are that type of person, and can find some like minded friends, then this is a great, solid game.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Mine is Brand New (What's Yours Like?)

Happy 2017 everyone, and welcome to a brand new year of gaming, both wonderous and not.  This year, we're starting off the whole shebang by asking 1 simple question: What's yours like?  Is it wet? is it huge?  Is it filled with pirahnas?  Then it might be the Amazon river...

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GAME DESCRIPTION:  What's Yours Like is a social party game for 4 or more players where all players attempt to guess a word given with vague, but clever clues given that describe the word.

SET-UP:  Each turn, 1 player is in the "Hot Seat".  The player left of the one in the Hot Seat takes a card with a word, places it in the Concealing Folder, and passes it until every player except the one in the Hot Seat has seen the word.

ANSWERS:  The player in the Hot Seat then asks "What's Yours Like?" to the next player on their left.  They respond by giving a clue. E.g. if the word is Ice Cream, one might say "Mine is synonymous with Summer."  Then, the player in the Hot Seat guesses.  If they get it right, they get 1 point, and the next player on the left is now in the Hot Seat.  If they get it wrong, the next player who read the card is asked "What's Yours Like?" and answers.  One round consists of having all players be in the Hot Seat.

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CHALLENGE:  If the player in the Hot Seat is given a Challenge Card, they may play against another player.  This time, the player in the Hot Seat, as well as the Challenged player don't read the clue.  Each player is given a chance to answer.  The first player to give the correct answer subtracts 2 points from their total, and play continues to the next player as previously noted.  If the next player also draws a Challenge card, it is discarded.  You can never play 2 Challenges in a row.

WINNING:  The player who has the least amount of points after a predetermined number of rounds is the winner.  Any ties can be resolved by having the tied players attempting to guess one final word as a Challenge.

CONCLUSION:  This is an enjoyable game, but only with a small select group of those who enjoy wordplay.  The biggest problem is that this is hindered by its attempt to break into this market of innuendous, if not outright dirty games that have come out recently.  The idea for the game is neat, but I feel it's marketed to the wrong audience.  This is a game meant for small parties of older audiences, who appreciate clever games and wordplay.  It's not the same style of game as Cards Against Humanity or Never Have I Ever, or any other NSFW game.  These games are usually played by college students and people who find base "adult humor" funny.  This requires a little more creative thinking, a little more...finesse than these kind of games typically enjoy.