Game Review: Geek Out!

GeekOutGeek Out!
Playroom, 2013

Want to find out how geeky you are? Think you are the geekiest of them all. Find out with Geek Out! This is a trivia party game for individuals or teams. Simply put, you roll the die to determine the category to be played. Categories are: Games, Comics, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Miscellaneous. There is a blank side on the die, if that is rolled, then the player/team chooses the category they wish to play. There no "correct" answers on the card. Each player/team must bid on how many correct answers they think they can come up with. The highest bidder must then give that many answers to get the card, which is worth one point. If they do not answer the question to the satisfaction of the group, then they receive a -2 penalty chip. The first player or team to 5 points wins.

That is the way the game is officially played. To be honest, every time we play it we start playing the game, but end up reading the question and then everyone answers and discusses until we decide to move on to the next question. We rarely, if ever play for points and don't usually declare a winner. Does that make our game play a cooperative variant?

The questions are great. This is a great game when you are sitting around and want to start conversations or get a group of people talking about things. It would be great for a convention panel. I'm thinking of reading the question, having attendees bid, and if they complete their quest giving out candy. Fun.

Example question: (This is on the back of the box, so I shouldn't get in trouble for this...) Four Video Game Companies. How many can you list?

This is a lot of fun, and a great "get-to-know-you" or "party" game. Recommended.

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July 2015 Minutes

Minutes for Mindbridge Meeting July 3 2015 Iowa City Public Library Room B 6pm, General 7 pm

  1. Called to order by Jon
  2. Minutes of previous meeting emailed and posted
  3. Treasurer's Report: everyone has normal balances for this time of year
  4. Convention Reports Read More »
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Game Review: Nevermore

Smirk & Dagger, 2015

Nevermore is a new card-drafting, set collection game from Smirk & Dagger. This game has a surprising amount of depth for its simplicity.

The Nevermore deck consists of 12 identical cards in 6 suits, Attack, Healing, Radiance, Victory and Ravens. This deck is shuffled and each player is dealt 5 cards. There are also decks of Light Magic and Shadow Magic. These are event cards that pop up during the game and add great interaction and strategic gameplay. Play begins with players drafting their hands by passing 3 cards, then 2 cards, then 1 card to the left. This alternates each round, so the second round, all cards will be passed right. After they have their "final" hands, play begins. Each player also begins with 5 Health cubes. The object of the game is to achieve 6 victory cubes, or be the last human player. This is one of the really great things about Nevermore. If you lose all your health, you become a raven, and continue playing in the game. You cannot deal damage, collect victory points, or recover health, but you can still draw cards, win tricks, and "peck" other players for 1 point of damage. You also still have a chance to change yourself back to human and win the game. Players are never eliminated in this game.

6 tokens are included in the game. The Conspiracy of Ravens, Attack, Healing, Radiance, Victory, and Skulking Ravens. These tiles determine the order in which each suit will be played. The Conspiracy of Ravens always goes first, and Skulking Ravens go last. Each round the rest of the tiles are randomized (after the first round) and placed face down on the table and revealed and resolved during play. Attack, Healing, Radiance, and Victory cards all played in sets. Each Raven card in your hand negates a card of your choice from the other suits in your hand. Any extra ravens will be dealt with during the Skulking Ravens phase. All 5 ravens in your hand is called the Conspiracy of Ravens. If any player holds 5 raven cards in their final hand, then you deal one point of damage to all other players, draw a Shadow Magic card , gain 1 victory point. The round immediately ends and a new round begins.

The first round, play order is set and resolved in the above listed order. Conspiracy of Ravens is checked for first and resolved. If there is no conspiracy of ravens, then the suits are resolved. All players play all their cards of the suit called. If they intend to use a raven to cancel a card in that suit it is played along with those cards. In each of the suits, the final value of the attack is determined by taking the highest number of cards played, and subtracting the second highest number played. So if player 1 plays three attack cards, and player 2 plays two attack cards, then they will do one point of damage. This mechanic applies to each suit.

Attack suit: The player who has the most attack cards deals damage to a player of their choice. A player who plays 4 or more attack cards may choose to do 4 damage to 1 player, or may do 1 damage to all players but themselves, and receive 2 victory points. Players who lose all their health points become ravens. They retain all their current victory points, because they have a chance to become human again and may still win the game.

Healing suit: The player who has the most healing cards heals any damage they have taken up to a maximum of 5 points. If they have 3 or more points of healing left after achieving their maximum, they may gain 1 victory point.

Radiance suit: The player who has the most radiance cards gains light magic cards. If a player plays 5 radiance cards they heal 2 points of damage and gain 1 victory point in addition to the light magic cards they would normally gain.

Victory suit: The player who has the most victory card gains victory points.

Ties: Players tied for highest each earn the power of the suit.

If, after the regular suits are played and the raven cards used to cancel other suits, a player still has a raven card(s) left, then "Skulking" Ravens are resolved. Each player will receive a shadow magic card for each raven they have left.

A person who has become a raven may become human by having a hand of 5 like cards, or if they have 1 of each suit (5 different cards). They play their hand like normal, but at the end of the round they become human.

Although this may sound a little complicated, the mechanic is very simple. Play is fairly fast, and the game can get quite intense. We have had a lot of fun with this game. It has a fair amount of strategy, and the random order of play can really change the round, so there is a slight element of luck. I really enjoy this game. I have found that if you gain victory too quickly, you can become a target, and may end up most of the game as a raven. However, you are still in the game and can play a great spoiler game from that position, as well as work to get yourself back into the game. My next strategy is to not try to get too many victory points at once. We'll see how it goes. It really isn't over until it's over. Nevermore is well-balanced and the theme and quality of the components are good. If you like trick taking games, or the "dirty-on-your-neighbor" type game, you'll have a lot of fun with Nevermore. Recommended.

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Game Review: Hogger Logger

PrintHogger Logger
Hogger Logger LLC, 2015

Hogger Logger is a simple higher (Hogger), lower (Logger) guessing card game about lumberjack pigs.  Each player has a hand of 3 cards from the "number" deck. 4 cards from the number deck are placed face down on the table, and 1 number card is placed below them. This is the "current" card. The first player must choose a card from the 4 face down cards and guess if it will be Hogger (higher) or Logger (lower) than the current card. Every player gets a chance to play as many cards as they wish onto the "current" card pile to make it easier or harder for the guesser. After cards have been played, the chosen card is revealed. If the guesser is correct, they get to go again. If not, play passes to the next player on the left. If the guesser is the person to correctly guess the 4th face down card, they win the round and get a victory point. Play continues until someone has reached the required number of victory cards, determined by the number of players (4-6 players = 2 victory points).

There is also a deck of action cards. Some of the numbered cards will have special actions when played. 8's allow you to draw an action card. Action cards are played whenever appropriate and give powers like making the current player guess only Hogger until the next face down card is revealed. You may also gain an action card if you play a card onto the "current" card that matches the current card. Played action cards must be completed before any other cards can be played.

I picked up this game because our convention, AnimeIowa, has a cute little pig mascot, buu-chan. The artwork on these games reminded me of buu-chan, and I thought that this would be a cute little game to add to our library. It plays fast, doesn't require a lot of thought, and is easy to learn. For serious strategy gamers, this game will have nothing for you. But if you are looking for a light time-killer. This is fast, fun and has nice art and good quality cards. It is one of those great games to throw in the backpack or suitcase when travelling.


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