This last weekend after my Pandemic Legacy: Season One session, I played the worst named game I’ve run across. It’s called The Game: Are You Ready to Play The Game from IDW Games. I also played Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt Skullzfyre and Spyfall, both from Cryptozoic Entertainment. I’m sorry for the late posting, but this will get me back on track, and I’ll try not to get behind again.
I had talked about The Game with Cortnie a few times and she wasn’t interested in the slightest. Part of it was the name, for obvious reasons, and the other part was, after hearing what it is, and then looking at the design, she just didn’t understand why someone would make a game with that name that looked like that. I agree with her, and expected to play this as a solo game.
In The Game, players start with four cards in from of them. Two of them have “100” with an arrow pointing down. Two have “1” with an arrow pointing up.
Players take turns playing a minimum of two cards from their hand to the piles in the middle. Each piles must always be ascending or descending based on where they started. The only exception is that a player may play a card that is exactly ten numbers in the wrong direction. For example, if the ascending pile had a current value of 35, someone could play any number greater than 35, or a 25 to the pile. You play until someone cannot play two or more cards to a pile. Once you reach that condition, could the un-played cards from each hand and the deck, and that is your final score. Players may not reveal what cards are in their hand, but may suggest others do not play on a certain pile, or not change the value by too great a gap.
This game was a BIG surprise to us. We played a two player and didn’t remember to score the cards, but it was probably around 30 cards. Before I had even gotten all the cards together again, Cortnie asked to play solo. I happily shuffled and set up a solo game for her. She finished with 19 cards left. The rule book claims that having 10 or less cards is an excellent result. She played a few times in a row, then went to make dinner. I set up another two player game and my brother and I played two games with 22 and 21 cards. I tried a solo game and after a couple of tries, got a score of 9.
The next day Cortnie played while I was at work, and got a score of 8 and 5. Well Done! I tried to take this with me so I could play on lunch, and was offered threatening looks until I put it back on the shelf and walked away. Cortnie was a HUGE fan.
Epic Spell Wars
Epic Spell Wars was a game that Cortnie said no to. She looked at the art and said “absolutely not”. I put it in my car, thinking that if I got a few people interested on lunch I could break it out and play a couple of rounds. The same day it went into my car, I had four of my regular lunchtime game group, including me at the same site when lunch began. One of my crew had played it previously, so he jumped into the teaching of the game.
The very simple version of the rules are these: Players play up to three cards, one of each type to create a spell. There are Source, Quality, and Delivery spell types that are combined for different effects, usually damaging a foe. There are a couple of strategies in this game including making the best combination of effects, matching the glyphs of the spell cards, and, my favorite, making spell with the coolest name. There are also treasures, dead wizard cards, and Wild Magic. Click [here] to watch Wil Weaton play on Table Top.
This is a very high luck game, so wins and loses should not be taken too seriously. In this game, especially if you have four or more players, you could be eliminated before getting to play. We played through a few rounds and had a very good time. There is a sequel to this game, although I would have to play this one quite a few times before I would feel like I needed more content for this. This is a perfect game for sitting around the table making jokes and not actually playing a game.
The last game my lunchtime group has played recently was Spyfall. I had heard really great things about this game from several YouTubers and Podcasters, and loved the premise. Each player gets dealt a card with a location (the same location) except one person only gets a spy card. Players take turns posing one question to one other player. The questions should be designed to let other players with the location card know that you know what the locations is. At the same time not revealing the location to the spy. Answers should also be vague enough to not reveal the location, but give enough info to let people know you’re not the spy. The ultimate goal is to reveal the spy, unless you’re the spy and then you need to identify the location.
I explained the game to the other players, and read through the example round from the rule book. We were all set to play, we drew the first location, shuffled and dealt the cards. Each round is up to eight minutes, however at any time someone can stop the time to accuse a spy, or guess the location.
The first question was asked “um… [silence], uh… [silence], well…” okay, so the first question took a while to get out, but I’m sure things got rolling along soon right? The second question was not much better than the first. I was the spy, and had no idea how to seem like I knew what was going on. It was very uncomfortable, and confusing, because on paper this game looked like so much fun — and it was!
It took about four full rounds before things started to become easier to play for those with the location. The spy was still difficult to play, but by the end of our game it was becoming more understood. This is the first game I’ve played that you cannot be taught. You have to learn. I’ll definitely be playing this one again.