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Monday, November 12, 2012

Do You Want to Play a Game?

from atlas games
or Keith Baker is a Genius and a Huge Fan of Edward Gorey
I totally fell in love with this while watching TableTop on the geekandsundry channel on Youtube. Of course I love everything Uncle Wil does. But this game really tickled me. First because the drawing reminded me so much of Ed Gorey whom I fell in love with via Mystery! on PBS. But the real fun of this is the game play and the engineering.
No one really thinks about the mechanics of how a game is supposed to work. We crack open a box or peel open a deck of cards and start playing. But do we really ever consider how it is made? When I saw the transparent cards I was enthralled. I have worked for a company who prints with this process to make lables for appliances. And in the scrapbooking/rubber stamp world I was frustrated with layering using transparencies and tranluscent vellums because the brain has to think differently about what it is building. This simple looking thing is truly a feat of engineering.  It's very nature plays into the feel of the game.
Take a look at the Old Dam character card to the right. Her colors are bright and the details in her portrait are clear. When you add layers of plastic over her to decrease her self worth (you are trying to kill your own family while cheering up your opponents) those layers make her fade away. As you pile on the modifiers she begins to fade until ultimately turning her under.
 At the point in the game play where the Death card was played over all her modifiers here to the left, she was only half as vibrant as she was at the start of play. I guess the stress of a pitiful life and pending doom will do that to you. How cool is that?
I guess it takes a bit of a morbid sense of humor to find a game like this so entertaining. And that is a bit of the malicious humor that some folks like to indulge in. Of course since it isn't happening to me in person it is much funnier. And to get involved with good story tellers as in this episode of TableTop just makes for one of the best game nights. The rules aren't complicated but the stories are.

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