Sometimes Simple Just Works

Simple has worked for Vin Diesel - this is some of his best acting.
I've been introduced to some new games in the last little while that I've really enjoyed, and they have one thing in common - They are incredibly simple.  Rather than a lot of the Euro style games, that are already quite accessible with rules like "Do 1 of 4 things on each turn" these come down to "play a card, pick a card."  With such simple instructions, they are great for introducing new players to the world of gaming, yet they are detailed enough within each move to hold the interest of seasoned players.

The first game I'll mention is Guillotine.  12 "nobles" are lined up to be beheaded, and players try to collect the more valuable cards.  Using rules on the cards themselves, and on the cards in their hands, they play with the order of the line to aid their own score, or to try to prevent other players from getting a good score.  After 3 rounds, the points are totaled.  The cards have simple actions to them, like "move 2 forward" or "move any 1 noble back 1."  Concepts that are easy to grasp and play with, but that can also allow for planning more than one move ahead.

The second game is Poo, the Card Game.  It's a ridiculous premise that just adds to the fun.  You are all monkeys in the zoo, and you fling (imaginary!) poo at each other.  Players covered by 15 pieces of poo are eliminated.  Players always have 5 cards in their hands, and take turns either throwing poo at another player, cleaning poo
"Not in the face!"
off of themselves, or modifying the rules in a simple way.  As a 2 player game, it is an entertaining time-waster, but in a larger group is where the game really shines.  The unpredictable actions of the other players redirecting poo, choosing different targets for their poo, etc. make it a wild ride.  Players can come back from the brink of being eliminated, or a leading player can have a run of bad luck and be pooped out in one or two turns.  I admit that the mechanic isn't particularly clever, but the artwork and silliness of the subject matter keep it entertaining.

Finally is a game that has sky-rocketed in popularity over the last 18 months or so.  Cards Against Humanity.  For those who don't know, this is a game where players take turn asking questions off of the black coloured cards, ("Why am I sticky?") and the other players answer with their best, most appropriate, funniest, or most inappropriate white coloured card ("Surprise sex!").  The player that asked the question chooses the answer they deem best, and the player who supplied it gets a point.  There are multiple expansions, but in one of my groups, the best
answers are the ones that are home-made.This game is great at parties, and is enjoyed by people who aren't necessarily traditional gamers.  The only drawback is that the subject matter limits who you may be willing / should play with.  Friends? yes.  Children? No.  Coworkers? Parents? In-Laws?  Maybe...

I know a lot of hard-core gamers will scoff at this blog post, but I promise, sometimes the most fun is when you're not bogged down in strategy and instead can be social and fling poo at each other.


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