Make your own free website on Tripod.com

CARD GAMES
Back to Walt's Home Page

YOU ARE ON A HOBBY PAGE What's Here:  Introduction THE BLURB   REVIEWS  MY CARD GAME RESOURCES  CARD GAME WEBPAGES 

THE BLURB

I'm nuts about card games, as my family can attest to.  I don't mean straight card games, such as bridge, poker, hearts and the like.  Most of these bore me to tears (though, for some perverse reason, I'm interested in learning Cribbage).  By 'card games', I refer to the explosion of card-based game designs that have been marketed within the last five years; especially by German game publishing companies.  Card games represent a very affordable diversion that you can teach easily and play quickly.  This page reviews some card games that range from excellent to ho-hum; it also present some game aids for card games I think are worth supporting.

Prices  are in US Dollars.  The rating system is explained below under "Key".

WOW! Alan Emrich, Dan Verssen and Rodger MacGowan are GIVING AWAY Modern Naval Battles!  Talk about good Karma!

FAMILY BUSINESS by 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  Mayfair Games

REVIEWS (Status is given at time of review being written.  Prices are all in USD)

KEY: I score games according to this simple formula: Kid Factor, score 1-4 based upon whether my SEVEN YEAR old daughter can quickly grasp the rules and if she enjoys it.  Component Quality, 1-4,  Fun, as in how much, 1-4, and finally General Value for the Money 1-4.  I use the coveted Mr. T head as the scoring graphic.  Mister T Rating

REMORE IMAGE: BANG! Box at Boardgamegeek


BANG! by Mayfair/Da Vinci Games: this is the quintesential "Spaghetti Western Film from the 1960s" card game. The design takes a situation that seems easy to write mechanics for (a gunfight), yet hard to make into an enjoyable game (see "Gunslinger" among others), and turns it on its ear. Players start out with one character (eg. 'Black Jack' or 'Jourdonnais') which is made known publicly, and that character has a special ability no one else has (eg. 'Trade 2 cards to regain a life point' or 'May draw a card everytime he is hit'.) So part of your strategy will be to take advantage of your character's ability to the fullest. But that's only the beginning. Then players are dealt a 'role' and this is kept secret -- and herein the enjoyment of the game. You see, depending on how many players play, the roles are different, but however they are distributed, they are teamed together -- sort of. For example, in a 5 player game, there is 1 Sheriff, 1 Deputy, 1 Renegade, and 2 Outlaws. The roles are be dealt out and kept secret, except for the Sheriff, who declares himself. Now in order to win, the Sheriff and the Deputy need to kill both Outlaws; the Outlaws must kill the Sheriff; the Renegade must kill everyone, but loses if Sheriff dies before the Outlaws do. 'Well,' you say, 'that's not too hard to follow.' Ah yes, but remember that no one knows who anyone else is. The hidden aspect really makes this game. I give it a correspondingly high Mr. T. rating in everything but the Kid Factor.

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister T Rating  Components Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating
Fun:  Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating 


FORMULA ONE RACING by GMT Games: this is an excellent, simple design by Reiner Knizia.  Players assume the roles of  Formula One race car drivers.  Game comes with a deck of cards with attractive card art, 12 little plastic cars used to show the racer's relative position in a race, a twelve sided die, rules and a scoring pad.   F1R is optimized, IMHO, for 4+ players; there are rules for 3 players games, but the game loses a lot of the nuances and backstabbing with fewer players.  Even though F1R has a classic multi-color card suit feel of many Reiner Knizia designs, it does NOT play like a rummy game (Knizia is getting famous for repackaging rummy concepts with fancy theme trimmings (e.g., Battle Line, Vampire etc.).  Games are very fast; my first game took 45 minutes to complete and they went 20 minutes or less thereafter.  I EASILY taught it to my seven year old daughter, who enjoys it, and my wife likes it too-- so, in terms of family play, F1R is a winner, 'hands down'...  SRP: 20 bucks or so, depending on where you buy it.  Status: In Print, GMT Games. 

Click HERE for a coolio Race Track player aid from GMT games.  It really helps. Also as a .JPG file... 

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating  Components Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating
Fun:  Mister T RatingMister T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating 

Remote Image from Boardgamegeek.com, Box Cover, BATTLE LINE

 


BATTLE LINE by GMT Games: Another fun little game I picked up recently.  GMT is truly emerging as the Avalon Hill of the new decade-- and their emphasis on small format family games seals the deal.  Battle Line is a fast playing, easy to pickup game of 'ancients' combat derived strongly from Reiner Knizia's SCHOTTEN-TOTTEN design.  The "Ancients" theme is just a thin veneer for another card grouping/colors-are-suits game from Knizia, but the strength of the design is in the presentation and the special cards that effect game play.  This is a great game for the money.  Box comes with rulebook (1 page foldover), a pack of cards, and little plastic tokens for the "battle line"SRP: 20 bucks or so, depending upon where you buy it.  Status: In Print, GMT Games

Click HERE for a coolio Battle Board for this game, done by yours truly.
Click HERE for a coolio Formations Cheat Sheet from GMT Games.

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister T RatingMister T Rating  Components Mister T RatingMister T Rating
Fun:  Mister T RatingMister T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating 

 

(remote image from Boardgamegeek.com) Box cover of Vampire

 


VAMPIRE by Rio Grande:  A real no brainer in terms of a game concept.  Like many of Knizia's games, not much on the adherence to theme (this game could just as easily be DRAGONS or ELVES or COWBOYS or SPACEMEN...).  However, the simple counting and suit mechanics gives this game an incredible advantage, in my opinion: I can easily teach this game to a child of six or older, and keep them reasonably amused through at least three plays.  Add to that gorgeous card artwork and a low price, and you have a pretty nifty family game that I consider a must-purchase.  Box comes with rulebook, several vampire cards, six "place" cards and some wild cards.  SRP: between 7 and 10 USD.  Status: In Print, Rio Grande/GoldSieber

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating  Components Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating
Fun:  Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating 

Remote Image from Funagain.com.  Box Cover, Munchausen


MUNCHAUSEN by Abacus Spiele: Another game mechanic that won't exactly make you wrinkled and grey before your time.  This is essentially a card-bluff style game where the players attempt to collect score cards by a simple bidding and guessing process.  Has little of the flavor of Hogshead Publishing's Adventures of Baron Munchausen (a RPG I enthusiastically endorse if you are a fan of the fictional character), except that lying (in the form of the bluff) is part of the game.   There are some very nice 'player mats' included with the game as a place to place your cards.  These apparently have famous Munchausen stories on them.  Unfortunately they are in German.  The cards are fairly nice and cartoon-like.  HERE is a graphic of the components, courtesy of Funagain.
SRP:  USD 6.95 to 9.95 or so, depending upon where you buy it.  Status: In Print, Abacus Spiele

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister T Rating  Components Mister T RatingMister T Rating
Fun:  Mister T RatingMister T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T Rating 

Remote Image from Funagain Games: Box Cover, Guillotine


GUILLOTINE by Wizards of the Coast: I found this little gem in the budget bin of the local Wizards of the Coast store in Springfield, VA.   The good news is this is a fantastic and funny card game of hijinks in the execution line during the Reign of Terror.  The bad news is this game is VERY likely to be heading to the knacker's yard.   How unfortunate, because WotC actually has a real winner in this non-collectible card game.   Players line up 12 nobles of varying positive and negative scores in a long  line before the guillotine (yes, the game comes with one).  They they play three rounds (days) of the terror, processing 12 nobles per day, competing for the highest score.  Line placement of the cards is influenced by a separate action deck that is both funny and complex enough to add great replay value to this game.  Funny thing is, if Guillotine had been published by virtually ANYONE else other than WotC, I'd be it would be in print for a long time to come.   As a final compliment to the designer, my 7 year old daughter Annie picked up the basic game within about five minutes and absolutely adores it. 
SRP: USD 10 or less, depending upon where you buy it.  Status: Questionable.  "Out of Stock" at Wizards of the Coast site.

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating  Components Mister T RatingMister T Rating
Fun:  Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating 

 

Remote Image from Funagain.com  Box Cover, ZOMBIES!


ZOMBIES by Journeyman Press.  Another game heading to Palookaville, brought on by the announcement of Journeyman Press' demise shortly after publishing Zombies.  The game rules show some rush to development and could have been greatly improved by another rules scrubbing or two.  However, what is there is choice, to quote Spencer Tracy.  I've never seen another game with quite the components of this one.  You get 100 plastic zombies, 8 plastic player tokens, several terrain tiles, dice and an action deck.  Zombies is a tile laying game akin to, in some ways, Carcassone or pipe-fitting games in that you build a map with the tile cards.  You move tokens around (and confront zombies) on top of the terrain tiles, and can play some Illuminati like backstab moves by playing action cards on other players.  The first player to make it to the last terrain card played (the "chopper out of town") wins the game (or the first player to get a number of dead zombies, whatever comes first).  The artwork on the cards is funny and very well done, the terrain cards perhaps a notch lower in quality.  In any event, at the price being asked, Zombies was one of the best game values of late 2001.  If you can still find it, get this game... you'll be very glad you did.  SRP: USD 20 or less, depending upon where you buy it.  Status: Questionable.  Still in stock at major online distributors, but getting hard to find in stores as of 2/17/2002.  Check out the ZOMBIES Yahoo group, where the designers and hard core players congregate.  There are some nice player aids in the files section.

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister T Rating  Components Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating
Fun:  Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating

Remote Image File from Funagain Games: GROO: The Card Game


GROO: Well, I used to have a review for this game on RPG.NET, but it has magically disappeared.  Here is a shorter version on WEB-GROGNARDS.   I generally liked this one, and think kids would like it and understand it with very little work.  Some of the mechanics reminded me of King of the Elves.  On the down side, it's getting pretty hard to find GROO any more, as Archangel Entertainment, the publisher, has gone out of business. 

In the spirit of fairness, here's a few RPG.NET reviews on the same game, one of which is somewhat negative and one of which is somewhat positive: Steve Darlington's Review and Scott Schafer's Review

In sum, funny game play, easy to teach to kids, lots of fun, but I thought it was pricey compared to other games on the market.  Fans of the comic strip upon which the game is based were either ecstatic or obscurely disappointed.

SRP: 20 + bucks or so, depending upon where you buy it, or if you can.  This covers purchase of the basic game plus expansion. Status: Out of Print, Archangel Entertainment is out of business.  Still shows up on Ebay and back stock is still in stores.

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T Rating  Components Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating
Fun:  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T Rating

Remote image link: Funagain games, box cover, Citadels


CITADELS: This is one of the better multiplayer positioning/building games I've ever played.   Each turn, the players assume different roles... King, Thief, Soldier, Merchant, etc.  Then they draw cards which usually represent a series of buildings that they can erect in order to get more gold.  Certain roles receive certain benefits from different kinds of buildings.   Each player in this game assumes the role of a character, each of which has different abilities which help the player in their attmept to build the best city. Would you be better off being the King or the Architect? The Magician or the Thief? The interesting twist is that players get to pick which character they will be on each turn. Every turn the role changes, which results in a lot of chaotic games.   Plays best with 5-6 players, though it is playable with more or fewer players.

SRP: Approx. 20 USD .  Status: In Print, Fantasy Flight Games.

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T Rating  Components Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating
Fun:  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating

Remote Link to Plagues and Pestilence Box Cover, Boardgame Geek


PLAGUE AND PESTILENCE: This is a Strangely twisted theme for a card game, but it really does work.  Well, for multiple players perhaps, not so much for two.  The basic premise is something of a "World Builder" game-- you're managing a medieval city, trying to increase its infrastructure, prosperity, wealth and population.   Especially the latter, as population score is how you win the game. Such is the Prosperity Phase, when all is hunky dory.  Then someone has to go and play the Plague Ship card.  At this point the game goes into the Plague phase, and man, you had better hope you stockpiled a large population, because all those serfs are going to disappear like water down the drain.   Players are eliminated when they run out of population, and the last kingdom standing is the winner.  Pretty good fun as a party or beer n' pretzels kind of thing, albeit for a group with a macabre sense of humor.  The mechanics are NOT mind boggling at all-- card flips augmented by dice throws... but it might be a tad disturbing for really young children.  The components are very nicely done for the publisher's budget (Hillary's Toy Box, BTW).  Check out the beautiful Card Artwork.  It scores pretty well in terms of the Mr. T rating, although I felt aI got better value out of the only slightly more expensive (and just about as macabre) ZOMBIES!  Both games are fairly low in the kid rating, at least until your kid is 8 or 9 and can understand the concept of the Black Plague.

SRP: 10 bucks or so, depending upon where you buy it.  Funagain has it.  Status: In Print, Hilary's Toybox.

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating  Components Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating
Fun:  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating

 

REMOTE FILE IMAGE FROM FUNAGAIN GAMES: Slamwich Box Cover


SLAMWICH: This is a fairly juvenile game, but a big hit with the under ten set. This is a game of fast response card slapping and counting, with a little bit of memory testing. The game comes with 55 nifty bread-shaped cards with sandwich ingredients on them. The player attempts to build combinations with them. The combinations included with the game are Double-Decker (two identical ingredient cards in a row) or SLAMWICH! (two identical cards with 1 or more cards between them). You can also play thieves (who steal everything in a stack below them) or Munchers (like thieves, but you can challenge a Muncher with card play). Players count up their cards at the end of the game to see who wins.  It can get repetitive, so a child with a limited attention span may not, er... "relish" Slamwich.  SRP:  Not more than 9.95 at most.  I found it for 1.50, used.  Status: In Print, available in many stores like Zany Brainy, as well as with online dealers.  Other: See some variants Annie and I came up with the other day.  Here are THE RULES (publically posted).  Also, check out Gamewright's Slamwich page.

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T Rating  Components Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating
Fun:  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T RatingMister 
            
 
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  T 
  Rating


DRAGON'S GOLD: This is a great little game, anothe Bruno Faidutti classic (see his website below, he also did OHNE FUHRCT UND APFEL (aka "Citadels" in the US), which I will review at a future date.  Bruno likes great artwork and neat little fiddly bits in his games, that much is obvious.  In DRAGON'S GOLD, players take the roles of DragonSlayers, groups of Fantasy heros whose job it is to dispatch dragons and despoil the dragon's horde of all the loot it contains.  Each dragon's 'horde' is represented by nifty painted wooden cubes, drawn blindly from a cloth bag.  In the advanced game you get magic items that help you negotiate better.  The first game took about fifty minutes, then about 20 minutes a piece after that.  More players makes for a better game.   At the end of the game, the player with the biggest pile of loot wins the game.  It's not as easy as it sounds, actually.  I rate this one highly due to the simplicity of the rules (yet good design decisions contained inside it), and the really wonderful game components.  SRP:  Between 9.95 and 16.95 (which is SRP) Status: In Print, available in many mall stores like Wizards of the Coast and the GameKeeper.  Other:  Part of the "BLUE GAMES (pocket, inexpenive) line from Descartes)

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating  Components Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating
Fun:  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T RatingMister 
            
 
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  T 
  Rating

REMOTE IMAGE LINK: Funagain Games


NANOFICTIONARY: Either you can view this one as a one-shot oddity, or as a bold new direction in inexpensive card games.  I prefer the latter definition.   The concept is very simple.  Players are delt cards that are story elements, then try to build a story out of them.  Each player is dealt five cards. Then, to start his turn, each player takes one card from the deck at roughly the same time. Everyone looks at their hands simultaneously, and each person plays a card. Settings, Characters, Problems, and Resolutions go face-up in front of a player, and are considered part of his story. An Action card stops everyone's turn to sort out exactly what happens. Once everyone has played, the players all draw another card to start their next turn.   The players are "judged" during the judgement round and the winner pulls a trophy card.  Most trophies=the winner.   A surprising hit with children, in my experience.  The illustrations are kind of childish, like a lot of the Looney Lab artwork, but that's okay... the game is playable and a fantastic idea to boot!

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating  Components Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating
Fun:  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T RatingMister 
            
 
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  T 
  Rating

IMAGE OF CASTLE Gamebox.  SOURCE: Funagain Games Website.


CASTLE: (really a tile placement game, but very card-like.  Reminded me of M:TG in some ways)

Bruno Faidutti knows how to cater to my taste for fiddly little fantasy games with excellent components, great art and a touch of comedy.   I like DRAGON'S GOLD just a tad more for the artwork and components, but I think CASTLES has the better gameplay.  Essentially you play against the system in this one.  You are all trapped in a castle under siege, and can play against each other inside of the castle by placing tiles that effect both sides of the siege.  Each tile has a different ability and many of them play off of each other.  I like this sort of thing, but kids might find it a tad complex.

SRP:  Between 9.95 and 16.95 (which is SRP) Status: In Print, available in many mall stores like Wizards of the Coast and the GameKeeper.  Other:  Part of the "BLUE GAMES (pocket, inexpenive) line from Descartes)

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T Rating  Components Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T Rating
Fun:  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T RatingMister 
            
 
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  T 
  Rating

Box image of HELLAS game.  Image from FUNAGAIN GAMES site.


HELLAS: (really a tile placement game, but cards drive the system)

I bought HELLAS, a low-priced two player from Rio Grande, because I'm a sucker for tile-driven build-the-world games mixed up with card play, and you get lots of keen little ships and soldier pieces , too.   To play the game, you lay down a centeral water tile (hexagaon shaped) and build the world around it in turns.  Follow on play involves discovery (placing more tiles and trying to claim them), reinforcing (called a "Burst of Energy".. adding more soldiers, boats, and cards), and conquering (attacking enemy held hexes).   "God Cards" (summoning the assistance of Jupiter, Poseidon, or Mars) assist in critical areas like movement and warfare.   The first few plays have been kind of confusing and vague.  I blame this on the somewhat less than definitive rulebook, which I found hard to follow.  I like components a lot, and will have to give a few more tries.  Kids might find it a tad complex-- Annie (aged 8) did not care for it.

SRP:   From  14.95 to 19.95 (which is SRP) Status: In Print

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T Rating  Components Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T RatingMister 
            
 
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  T 
  Rating
Fun:  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating

COVER ART FOR Are you a werewolf? remote image, Funagain Games


ARE YOU A WEREWOLF?  To refer to ARE YOU A WEREWOLF as a "card game" is somewhat disengenious... the cards are really even required to play the game,  but are a very nice addition to a public domain party game called "Werewolf" (sometimes MAFIA).  The link is to a set of rules and a card set I made myself, btw.  The artwork is very good, the cards are useful, and the price makes it cheaper to buy these then to make a set of my own and laminate them.  Besides, it's published by Looney Labs, and they are da Bomb!  Kids would have to be about 11+ to really enjoy this game, as it is really an exercise in mob psychology and group dynamics (requiring 7 people minimum to play). 

SRP:   4.00 Status: In Print

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating  Components Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T Rating
Fun:  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating

Remote Image from Funagain Games: Box cover, BALOON CUP


BALLOON CUP:  This is a simple, highly abstract two-player that really seems to work .  The game has four terrain tiles that are either mountains or lowlands.   Players have to play high cards to get over the mountains and low cards to get over the lowlands.  The player that plays the lowest combination for the lowland or the highest combination for the mountain wins a random combination of color-coded "victory cubes" that are on each card.  The game is played in three rounds and the "balloon cups" for each color goes to the player with the right combinations of victory cubes.  Here's the rub: a player can put a card down on either side of the terrain card, thus either helping himself or screwing over the other player.  Naturally, I'm a sucker for any card game that my children pick up easily and enjoy, and this is one they ask for repeatedly... and that's a five year old and a nine year old.  My daughter can now kick my butt in this game.. I was proud to see her slowly catch on to the idea that she could win by playing NEGATIVE cards on daddy as well as postive cards on her side.  Now she's a shark.

2004 GAMES 100 2004 GAMES 100
Best 2-Player Card Game

SRP:   Approx. 20 USD Status: In Print

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating  Components Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating
Fun:  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating

 

REMOTE IMAGE FOR: WITCH TRIAL (Boardgame geek website)


WITCH TRIAL:  The game WITCH TRIAL is marketed as a "Board Game" by its publisher, CHEAPASS GAMES.  That characterization is somewhat innocuous; the "board" for this boardgame is about the size of a 3 x 5 index card.  The rest of the game is a card deck (though, as in many cheapass games, you WILL need to provide dice, funny money, and markers).  WITCH TRIAL is quirky and complicated, but once you get past the mechanics, the potential is there for Huge Fun.  Every card has an (unabashedly public domain) FW Gibson 19th century era illustration on it; this makes for a hilarious incongruity with the stated subject matter.  The game has little or nothing to do with the Salem Witch Trials; it really is a salutory send-up of our legal system.  WT is played by having the players assume the role of prosecutors and defenders.  They play suspect, evidence and charge cards, ultimately bringing them to trial. One player is the prosecutor, while an opponent is the defense attorney. Charges are changed, witnesses are called, motions are made and the jury's opinions are swayed. Eventually, a vote is taken (a die is rolled) and the verdict is delivered. The winning attorney receives "notoriety", which really equates to money!   I've found Cheapass to be hit and miss-- the last few items I've bought from them have disappointed me.  WITCH TRIAL makes up for them, it could be the best game Cheapass has ever published.


SRP:   7.50 Status: In Print

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating  Components Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating
Fun:  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating

Remote image link: Chrononauts box cover, FUNAGAIN GAMES


CHRONONAUTS: This is somewhat unique.. a game about time travelling and the paradoxes contained therein.  Great concept for a game, somewhat so-so execution.  The game consists of 4 decks of cards- Timeline (which has 3 elements to it- timeline, linchpins, ripple points-- these make up the game board), Your Mission Deck, Your ID, and the Draw deck which has Inverters, Artifacts, Patches, Actions and Timewarps (these are the real meat of the game.. the actions).

Each player starts the game with a mission, an id and a hand of 3 cards. To win they must either change the timline to the reality on their id card, collect the 3 artifacts on their mission card, or get 10 cards in hand. Each id has 3 events on the timeline the player must bring about, 1 of which is already on the "real" timeline. inverters and patches are played to bring about the other two events. Each mission has 3 artifacts you need to collect. This is done by laying an artifact.. To achieve the 10 cards in hand victory a patch must be placed on a paradox in the timeline, for which an extra card is earned.   I like it, but not as much as NANOFICTIONARY.  Innovative, but fiddly-- and not something I'd play with my kids a lot.  I tried, they got confused very quickly.

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating  Components Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating
Fun:  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating

Remote Image Link: Funagain Games, Box Cover, DRACO And Co


DRACO and CO: A solid, dependable BLUE BOX entry.  Not the best Faidutti design-- it doesn't hold a candle to Ohne Fuhrct und Apfel, for instance, but it still can be a lot of fun with the right crowd-- and I do mean crowd.  Draco is sort of a postioning game; you start out around a circle with Draco at the apex of the circle, and play cards to move characters closer to Draco (so you can garner his favor and earn more gold) and move your opponents away from Draco (so they have to give up gold).  It's good fun, and probably a great game to play under the influence of strong drink.. my daughter likes it, my son doesn't.  He's too young to understand some of the nuances yet. 

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating  Components Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating
Fun:  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T Rating

Box image of the Card Game FLUXX.  Image from Funagain Website


FLUXX is one of those games I've seen on the game store shelf for years, and always wondered what it's like to play.  I'm glad I purchased it on whim, recently, and am kicking myself that I didn't do it sooner.  FLUXX has some wonderful, simple and playable concepts-- just take a card and play a card.  Of course, how to win, that's always in a state of flux, since changing the goals of the game changes when you play the appropriate card!  Fun and goofy, my daughter really loves this game, too. Serious gamers will probably decry the heavy luck factor. So it goes. I know that playing FLUXX is fun, and not meant to be taken seriously.

SRP:    9.95 Status: In Print

RATINGS Kid Factor  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating  Components Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating
Fun:  Mister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating  Value Mister T RatingMister T RatingMister T RatingMister 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 T Rating

CARD GAME RESOURCES ON THE WEB, MINE

Tank Commander Support Page
Card Stands for Fog of War (an idea!)


CARD GAME RESOURCES ON THE WEB, OTHERS

Check out Mathew Baldwin's great Aces Up. He no longer maintains the gaming part, but it has a ton of great reviews

Bruno Faidutti's Website     

Bruno, the MAN

Mayfair Games

Brett and Board