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Go to the The Resistance: 3rd Edition page
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52 out of 58 gamers thought this was helpful

Remember rock paper scissors? How about Simon says?

This quick little filler game basically squeezes the concepts of these games into a card based format. We played this while waiting for pizza to arrive, and this was a great way to pass the 30 minutes.

The gameplay is seriously very simple. Everyone gets two cards. You pick one, and play it by reading the text and making sure you follow the instructions. Most instructions are ridiculous. “Put your hand on the shoulder of the person to the right of you. “Until your next turn, speak like Batman” or “begin everything you say with herp and end it with derp”. If you fail to follow these silly instructions, you usually lose.

There are also cards that require you to either hold up a number of fingers or play rock paper scissors. The twist is that if someone is holding up the wrong number or gesture, they lose. You can wipe out half the table with that kind of thing. In my experience, these cards aren’t as fun because it is essentially a gamble to guess the right thing. The first time it is cool, but after that its just annoying.

There are also cards that can make you automatically win or lose the game. This sounds game breaking…but if you play the game you will realize it is not. I don’t want to give away surprises, but win cards don’t always translate into solid wins.

The cards themselves aren’t fancy, but they really don’t need to be. They have a basic text-based aesthetic that resembles Cards Against Humanity (but without the crude, vulgar kind of humor).

The biggest issue I have is someone usually doesn’t enjoy the game because they get eliminated immediately. As in before they even get their turn. There are other filler games that aren’t quite so brutal and unforgiving on first time players. That being said, it does make people laugh because you get to watch your buds make laughingstocks of themselves, and that makes even ****** experiences all the better.

Go to the Kill Doctor Lucky page

Kill Doctor Lucky

61 out of 68 gamers thought this was helpful

The picture on the box says it all- a gang of unlikely evil-doers crowding around a clueless, carefree, rich guy. This is above all else a satirical prequel to clue. For unclear reasons everyone hates the gentle Dr. Lucky, and instead of solving his murder, your goal as a player is to do him in.

However, the murderers apparently either don’t know that they all share the same goal or simply don’t want to cooperate with one another. You have to kill him before the others can do it, and you have to do it without anyone witnessing it.

Spoiler Alert: most of the players will fail comically. More on that later.

All of the murderer pawns start in the same room (the drawing room I think). Each player draws a card from the deck until someone manages to get a room card, and that card determines what room the good doctor starts in. All of the cards are returned to the deck. After a good shuffle, everyone gets six cards and the lucky person who drew the room card goes first.

You can take one free step, and then play a movement card. Some cards let you move a certain number of steps, and others teleport you to a room. You can also opt to apply those movement cards to Dr. Lucky instead of your character. After that, if the circumstances are right, you can make a murder attempt. If you are in a named room and do nothing, you get to draw another card.

At the end of everyone’s turn, Dr. Lucky moves along a predetermined path of numbered rooms.

Killing this sucker is hard. First of all, you and Dr. Lucky must be in the same room. If any other player has line of sight into your room, you can’t do it. Remember, no witnesses. There are weapons that you can use and most of them work best in a certain room (a broom works best in the servants quarters for example) and if you have no weapons you can try to strangle him with your bare hands. Your opponents will play failure cards to mess you up.

If you do fail, you get a spite token. These represent how mad you are after each botched attempt, and add to your attack score along with your weapons. Eventually, someone will manage to off Doctor Lucky.

Reading the flavor text on the failure cards really adds to the experience. On their own, they are a little funny, but when people pile on the resulting scenarios are hilarious. It can get pretty slapstick-y. If you don’t take the time to enjoy the flavor text, it’ll take alot of the character out of the game.

The whole package has a nice Scooby-Doo feel to it. The teleporting through the mansion reminds me of the chase scenes they had with the hall of doors.

Originally, this game was made with bare bones artwork and looked more like a floor plan. Today, Kill Doctor Lucky is one of the more beautiful board games I’ve played. The board itself is amazing in its detail. In terms of components, the only complaint I have is that the cards look a little bland, but overall this is a great looking game with quality parts.

The length of the game can be a problem. In fact, historically speaking, developers have had to tweak the game quite a bit since its release to make it more playable. We played it twice, and the first time was relatively quick and easy…the second game took around two hours. To be fair, I’m not sure how well the cards were shuffled, because I barely got any movement cards the whole game while another player got several attempts in and eventually won- but it does seem like the game can drag on once everyone knows how the game is played. Preventing someone from winning is as easy as walking into a room. I think this is solved by simply limiting the amount of failure cards in the deck.

The game is in the middle of the road in terms of replay value. Sure, its a big mansion and there are lots of funny failure cards, but it seems like there are only so many ways to win. You can either camp out in a room with a corresponding weapon, roll the dice on random ambushes or just spam Dr. Lucky with strangling attempts until you rack up enough spite tokens to do the deed.

Luckily, Paizo adds a bit more variety by packaging the game with its expansion, “And His Little Dog Too.” This includes several rules variants, all centered on Lucky’s little mini Schnauzer, Shamrock. I know, totes adorbs.

This is family friendly enough to play with kids, but I think as kind of a pub game. You know, something to play with the guys. In any case, its a great casual game, especially for the price. I’d keep it for when you need a break from the games you’d play more regularly.

Go to the Dungeons & Dragons (4ed): Player's Handbook page
50 out of 56 gamers thought this was helpful

I started D&D when I was in middle school. That was when 3.0 was still kind of new. It was more accessible than AD&D/2nd, and 3.5 was a good improvement on what already existed. So how does 4th compare? It depends on how used to things you are.

Dungeons and Dragons is a role-playing game about adventuring heroes (or villains, depending on your tastes). Think Lord of the Rings type stuff. You pick a race, a class, assign skill points to whatever skills are available to you, pick “feats” (special things you can do) and join a group of adventurers for a quest.

I grew up with humans, elves, half-orcs and gnomes. All of those races were down to Earth. 4th introduces races that have incredible abilities straight from level one, with some characters starting the game able to breathe fire or even teleport. Classes have tiered combat abilities that seemed overpowered compared to 3.5. On top of that, the person that introduced me to 4th said that there were abilities you were only supposed to use for “boss” characters. This did not sound like D&D, and it felt too much like a video game on paper for me.

To be fair, Wizards of the Coast addressed the problems with 3.5’s overcomplicated combat rules. The combat is more streamlined, and does move a little more quickly. That being said, it is very reliant on picking techniques and moves. I felt like my characters were Pokemon.

It turns out several monsters have their own special moves, so I guess it sort of evens things out. Even still, it seems like adventures would become structured around when people would expect to use their one-shot abilities, and this struck me as something that would take the mystery and adventure out of roleplaying. You have to allow DMs and players to establish their own pace, and it seems the options are limited here.

4th edition was marketed as being different from what D&D had done before. It is so different that there was, to my knowledge, no conversion method for making 3rd ed. characters into 4th ed. characters. I question why they didn’t release 4th as a different title. It is too different to feel like a proper D&D edition- you could always convert before. It isn’t that its bad per se, its just…a different game.

Full disclosure, I only played 4th a few times, so I could be wrong. This is just my impression from what I saw.

The good news is that the set up, while alien to veteran D&D players, is user friendly for newcomers. If you are just starting out, and most of what you know from RPGs comes from video games, this well be a good game for you to try. The rules are easier to understand. The races and classes are definitely flashier and more interesting than the more mundane choices from earlier editions. You don’t necessarily overpower monsters too easily, but you do look like a superhero. Its a unique aspect of 4th edition.

My understanding is that Pathfinder is more like what established D&D gamers are looking for these days. Personally, I’ll stick with 3.5 for now, assuming I get back into regular roleplaying.

Go to the Munchkin Cthulhu  page
20 out of 20 gamers thought this was helpful

This is my first Munchkin offshoot, so I can’t really compare it to say Star Munchkin or Munchkin Fu. But I can say that this is a decent twist on the original game!

The basics of Munchkin still apply here. You level up by playing special cards or beating monsters. To beat monsters, your level plus the bonuses from your equipment must be greater than the monster’s level. If you can’t beat it, Bad Stuff happens. More on that later.

The biggest difference between this game and regular Munchkin is that there are no races (I think that’s normal for themed Munchkin games) so the classes become more important. You can play as an investigator, monster whacker, etc. However, the more important class in this game is the cultist. Usually you can change classes pretty easily, but it is harder to get rid of the cultist class because it represents you going insane. This is admittedly a bit goofy… I don’t think that was how it went down in the mythos. It threw me off a bit, but after a while I got used to thinking of cultists as madmen.

If you draw the cultist card face up, then you have to use it as your class. There are also several monsters that can force you to become a cultist as part of their Bad Stuff. At first, the cultist thing can be a bit annoying, as a cultist you get a bonus for the number of other people that are also cultists. The kicker is that the last person to avoid taking the class gets to gain a level- even if they are level 9. Usually only killing a monster counts for gaining the last level.

Its an interesting mechanic, and I am starting to like it more now. Once you get the cultist thing down, it runs pretty smoothly. It is faster and less complicated without the race cards. I thought it would feel like something was missing, but it doesn’t because you are always concerned about being made into a cultist.

The components are about the same as in other munchkin games. The cards hold up okay. This was actually my first colored Munchkin set, but I recognize that all of the sets have color cards now. The dice was kind of a let down. It seemed like it should’ve been green or something, but I guess that’s no big deal.

The cards themselves are funny and entertaining, but I’m not sure they are as fun as the original Munchkin’s.

If you are a fan of Lovecraft and of dungeoneering type games, this one is a great buy. Again, I think the “all insane people are cultists” thing is a bit goofy, but it is an interesting attempt to bring an insanity system to Munchkin.

Go to the Munchkin page


34 out of 40 gamers thought this was helpful

Why is Munchkin named Munchkin? The world may never know. But what we do know is that this game was pretty much made as a nostalgic parody of roleplaying games, particularly for power gamers. The goal of Munchkin is to be the first one to reach level 10…by any means necessary.

The rules are pretty easy to understand, especially if you’ve played RPG’s.

You begin play as standard human lv 1 adventurers. You can play cards to change your race and class. Obviously each one has its own advantages and drawbacks. You also get to play cards that function as equipment such as weapons and armor. To gain levels, you either play quickie level-up cards, or fight monsters. The only exception is when you are leveling from 9 to 10- in that case, you MUST level by defeating a monster.

To beat a monster, you add your level and all the bonuses you get from your equipment, and if the total is higher than the monster’s level, you win. Winning levels you up and you get however much treasure as the monster is worth. Lose…and Bad Stuff happens. What is the Bad Stuff? Depends on the monster.

If a monster is too powerful, you can always bargain with or bribe another player for help. But this is a game of perpetual backstabbing, so don’t assume you can count on help all the time.

In fact, people will try to sabotage one another all the time. I mean, that’s the point. This is quite a chaotic and dramatic game. When someone is about to reach that final level, get ready for the inevitable pile on. Many times it works, and people may not like that part of the game because they think it’ll drag things out. In my experience, this only happened once. In any case, there are suggestions in the rules for how to shorten games like that.

Sometimes there are long stretches where there are no monsters, and I don’t think it was just bad shuffling. What that means is that when you do have a final monster, everyone has ammo against you. I think the lulls are a bigger problem than the fact that everyone piles on whoever is in the lead. However, by the time this type of thing happens, you are usually already a decently high level, so its not so bad.

I think this game is best played with maybe four people, because then there are enough players to create decent competition without making it so hard for someone to come out as a winner.

The components are decent. I’ve had my cards for a good while and they’ve seen some use, but they are still in decent shape. That’s really all you’d have to worry about.

The really cool thing about the Munchkin games is that they are all designed so that they are compatible with one another. You can combine Munchkin, Star Munchkin, Munchkin Cthulhu, etc. into one massive wild game! They effectively become full games that double as expansions for each other. I haven’t seen too many game franchises do that so much, and I love that aspect of it.

This is a fun game, but it needs an audience that is familiar with at least the concept of RPG’s or fantasy adventures. You also need to have a bit of thick skin, because the game gets a bit cutthroat. Don’t try it with people with short fuses, they might get mad when you stick it to ’em. 🙂

Go to the Carcassonne page


74 out of 81 gamers thought this was helpful

This was my introduction to European games. That being said, its also the only one I’ve tried so far. I still think it is a decent game to start with if you are curious about the genre.

Carcassonne is a tile placement/worker placement game. Each turn, you pick up a tile with various elements of a landscape on it, and make it fit with the tiles already on the table in a way that makes sense. You are basically making a map with the other players. After you’ve laid the tile, you have option to put a meeple (one of your little wooden guys)on one of the features that appears on the tile you just put down. These include cities, roads, monasteries and fields. All of these features are scored different, and all of them are worth more points per tile if you can manage to complete the structure (a city must have walls on all sides, a road must be connected to structures or crossroads or even loop on itself). Added bonus- if you complete a feature, you get your meeple(s) back.

This might sound simple, but you only get like seven or so meeples to work with, so your have to think over your investment a bit. These is especially so for fields- once you put a “farmer” in a field, you never get it back. The pay off is that opponents tend to forget about them and they can actually get you big points in the end.

The biggest issue with Carcassonne is that scoring features can be a pain in the but at first. Everything has two values depending on whether they are complete or not. they include a score board, but I prefer not to use it. If you play until you run out of tiles (that’s what the rules say to do) you easily go around the board a couple times. I recommend just jotting scores on a piece of paper as you play.

Aside from that, I think the mechanics and general feel of the game is intuitive. Its like putting a puzzle together, and then colonizing it with tiny figurines. I often hear that these eurogames aren’t big on theme, but I didn’t get that sense playing Carcassonne.its based on a Medieval place, and that’s what the tiles look like. I guess that’s because geography is so central to both gameplay and theme.

The components are especially good, and meeples are always charming.

At first I thought it was silly that there were only enough meeples for five players, but if you played with more it would drag out the game a little bit. The biggest game I played was three people, and that was fine.

If you want to convince someone to get into eurogames, introduce this charming little number, give them a basic idea about what all the features are worth, and definitely volunteer to keep score. 🙂

Go to the Guillotine page


65 out of 72 gamers thought this was helpful

I was first introduced to this game ages ago while we were waiting for people to show up for a dnd session. I remembered liking it a lot, so when I was getting a game night group together, I knew this would be a great thing to open with.

As the name suggest, this game is about pleasing bloodthirsty crowds by offing obnoxious aristocrats. This is essentially a line management game. You’ve got ten or twelve head cards depicting various nobles and religious figures queuing to a guillotine, and you spend your turn manipulating the line with an action card to get the noble you want. You only get one action per turn and typically collect one head. Some of them are obviously worth more points than others (King Louis is more of a crowd pleaser than your average palace guard) and some are worth negative points (no one wants to see the martyrs or the hero of the people get beheaded).

When you run out of people in line, you start a new batch and a new “day” begins. When the third day is over, the game is over and everyone counts up their points. The one with the most points wins. Its a pretty simple game.

There isn’t any room for serious strategy, but its simple enough that you can explain the rules to newbies in about five minutes and get playing. I also find that it is enjoyable with any number of players.

I don’t care for the box. Its small, which I guess makes it okay for traveling, but getting the cards back into the box is a hassle. Its also too skinny for if you try to keep all the cards in each deck together. If i didn’t like the executioner standee thing as much as I do, I’d just get card boxes. Aside from that, its a cute game. It looks like a Milton Bradley game with a comically twisted theme!

I’m not sure if this is necessarily a game I’d introduce very young children to, but the bizarre executioners-in-the-French-Revolution theme is pretty well nerfed, so it should be good for a variety of groups of people. I recommend having this game on hand for intro games for new groups and for down time. Its got enough replay value for that, but it might get a bit old if you play it repeatedly in a single session.

Overall, its a handy game that has stood the test of time very well!

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