Let's start with a 1-player "print-and-play" game. Wait, one player? Print and play?
Zombie in my Pocket was designed by Jeremiah Lee and released in 2007; to the gratitude of many, the game was originally released in a Print and Play format, meaning you can download the files (for free!), and you print and assemble the components. In this game, you are searching for weapons to fend off zombies, and ultimately hope to find the zombie totem; if you are able to bury it before midnight, you end the zombie curse and save the world. And, yes, you read correctly--this is a one player game, and as the title states, it conveniently fits into your pocket. (It's recently come to my attention that there is a retail version of this game, running less than $10, that comes in an attractive metal tin--go find your own picture, lazy).
Next, for all you Lovecraft fans out there, Unspeakable Words. Unspeakable words was published in 2007 by Playroom Entertainment; it is for 2-6 players, takes around 30 minutes to play, and runs $15-20. This is a word...making...game (the actual term eludes me, perhaps it is, itself, an unspeakable word)--think Scrabble or UpWords (no links provided--really, do you need them?). Score points for spelling words, but for each word you create you must make a sanity check; longer words score you more points, but put you at greater risk of going insane and being removed from the game. Kind of a unique self-balancing aspect for those smarty-pants word game aficionados--sure, they can spell a few big words in a row and be eliminated early, but another player's consistent small-word approach may keep them in long enough to outpace Smarty-Arty's score. Plus it comes with a bunch of small plastic Cthulhu figures to track your sanity!
Lastly...perhaps a game you should steer away from. The Haunting House has an interesting theme--you and your friends are in a haunted house and are attempting to traverse its maze-like hallways and be the first out. The problem? The hallways keep changing, and your friends aren't helping you out either. In this game you "program" your turn, selecting which cards you are going to play (move 1, move 2, turn the tile you are on 90 degrees, etc), but your opponents also add cards to this stack, messing with your plans. The game itself is okay, the components look great and the theme is interesting though shallow, but this game can take far too long--45 minutes (or more, as you fight with your opponent's "help"), in a game where you're trying to get across a 6x6 grid of floor tiles seems long, and after the first 20 minutes I felt it was already dragging. However, if you and your friends like maze-games and screwing with each other's plans, you may enjoy this one. I should mention, there are a couple expansions for this game...which make the game longer.
That's it for this one, I'll probably be covering an excellent co-op game in the next post. Happy Halloween everyone!
Lucio Rodriguez is a dashing, long-haired, karate-fist wielding lunatic flying above the world in his Glow-in-the-dark dirigible.
An amazing and humble husband, and father of two, he spends the negative spare time he has plotting new ways to ruin his daughters' lives and confound his wife.