Wednesday, April 7, 2010

2.12: A convoluted and over the top closing.

Last week I proposed a fictitious but highly realistic scenario in which my house had caught fire, and I had only a short moment to grab three games and escape the house.  I had mentioned that Danny, my brother in law who had proposed this predicament, offered this question in two parts.  My 100% completely successful April Fool's joke took the place of the second post last week, so I'm going to cover the second half of Danny's question this week, starting where we left off.

I have a small armful of games, and now find myself trapped in the loft, a wall of flame separating me from the staircase.  I turn around, already certain that I'll find the same thing keeping me from the window.  Walled in, smoldering pieces of ceiling begin to fall around me--the roof won't hold much longer.  I know I have one chance:  I'll have to sacrifice a few games to distract the fire. 

Absurd you say?  Well, I tell you're probably right.  But that was the other half of this conversation--Danny asked what games I would toss into the fire to fan the flames as I escaped.  This was actually a much more difficult choice to make, but I'm awesome, so I'm sure that this will be a clever and well thought-out post.

Well, hopefully it will at least be on time.

Okay, truthfully, the first choice for what goes into the fire was easy.  There is a series of games that come in a distinctive box size with the Kosmos logo on them, all designed specifically for two players.  These are often conveniently called the "Kosmos two-player" line.  While I can name a number of games my wife and I enjoy in this line, we once played one called Dracula.  In this game you play as Van Helsing and Dracula, and are competing to find vampires/victims; it uses hand management and memory as its mechanics, both of which were unimpressive.  I'm pretty certain we played this correctly, and may be tempted to give it another shot--if I weren't already sacrificing it to the fire.

The second game I'd throw into the fire is Frog Juice by Gamewright.  This is a strange and moderately vindictive choice, and I have to admit that I do own it (I bought it to read the rules), but have never played it.  Now, what could I have against a children's game in which one makes magic potions?  Well, many a gamer makes house-rules or minor changes to games, and some even go so far as to design their own boardgames.  A number of years ago I designed a game where you ran an organic juice bar--a game I was calling "Frog Juice" (yes, it is about what you think it is, and blenders are involved) until I discovered there had been a game available with this name for several years.  Gamewright's Frog Juice actually seems interesting enough, being a kid's game and whatnot, but...into the fire with it.  Take that, Frog Juice!

And last of all, a game which I would love if I didn't hate it so much:  Safari Jack. This is a funny and interesting tile-laying game about murdering animals on safari produced by Cheapass Games.  For whatever reason, I was absolutely unable to beat my brother David at this game, despite him being a freshman in high school and I being in college.  We played this a dozen or more times during summer break, and after the first ten games he taunted me by stating that we should just rename the game "Safari Dave."  Even with this prodding I remained unable to beat him, and haven't won a game to this day.  So, Safari Jack, you should have been a little nicer.  My greatest triumph is that you are made entirely of cardstock, and will burn horribly well, without any hope of survival.  Land of adventure my ass.

Well, that was a pleasant trip down memory lane.  Hopefully everyone enjoyed this post; next week's post will be something a little different, so be sure to stop by.  Same Bat Time, same Bat Channel!  Or, you know, Monday/Tuesday of next week, providing I'm on time.


  1. I played Frog Juice with my mom and maybe my sister many a year ago and recall it being pretty fun. Not quite as fun as your version, though.

    I hope you know that you can only keep the fire sated for so long. It will always be there, always hungry, watching, waiting...

    P.S. Why haven't you joined my forum yet? It is a cool place for cool people!

  2. You Randy-ed "Safari Jack"? Good times.

  3. For your information, I think Safari Jack is hilarious--I just suck at it. It goes in the fire not because I don't like it, but because I'm angry at it.

    And Erin, I don't know about my game being more fun, but you do get to murder frogs. I haven't joined your forum because I didn't know about it. And now that I do...I'm still not joined. But I'll join later.