Lunch Time Game Play Hits and Misses
As with any job, lunch time (or whenever you have a long break) can be a social time. Lately, we have been spending our lunch break playing a few games to lighten the mood. Naturally, there are some games that do well, and others that, well, don’t.
In my eyes, any game that we have played that has inspired other people to go out and buy the game is a major hit. This has happened twice with Fluxx.
For the record, I am including all the versions of Fluxx that we have played, though our little lunch time gaming group prefers Star Fluxx or Zombie Fluxx. It is a good game to pull people in because the rules are so simple. You draw a card, then play a card, and you win by having the keepers that match the goal. Granted, the goals, the ownership of the keepers, even the rules are all subject to change, but that chaos is part of the fun of Fluxx.
Games that have been requested again are also good games as well. This is the case with Guillotine.
Guillotine is very fun, even with its dark theme. Played in three rounds (or days), players go back and forth trying to get the best score possible. They do this by getting the first card in a line of twelve French nobles marching towards their execution. Players can better their chances of getting higher scores by playing actions which can rearrange the line to suit their favor, or at least deter their opponents. It can be a little sprawly because of the number of cards in play each round, but it is still one that has been requested by name to be brought back.
As with everything, there are hits and misses. For our little group, Smash Up was a miss.
The goal in Smash Up is to score points from various locations by playing cards from your deck. Each player’s deck is made of two groups shuffled together. The game itself seems like it would be fun, but in our lunch time group, it fell flat. A lot of the problem stemmed from the difficulty in keeping score on the locations. There was just too much thought needed for lunch time.
If Smash Up required too much thought, then Zombie Dice requires no thought at all, which is why it’s been popular at lunch time. The game is almost ridiculously simple: roll dice, score brains, and don’t get hit by shotguns. It plays fast, so you can get in several games in on a lunch break, and is so incredibly easy to teach.
Geek Out! is a party game that is part trivial pursuit, part Name That Tune. One player roll a die, and then read the appropriately colored question (example: Name 2 Batman weapons). The player then decides if he/she can answer the question or not. The Name That Tune part comes in when other players can try to outbid each other in an attempt to win the card.
To be fair with this, we do play with a modification to the rules. Games tend to be more free-for-all, and we do not issue penalties is the outbidding player cannot make his/her bid. The real fun of this comes up after the card is won (or passed on), when all the players start to compare their lists to see what they may have missed.
Fair warning on Geek Out! though, it is heavily geek. Topics range from comics to games to fantasy to science fiction. But, there is a new version of this game coming out which covers some more conventional topics.
Dungeon Roll, like Zombie Dice, has players rolling dice to see how well they do when they delve into a dungeon. Simple enough, but surprisingly not a game that went over well with the lunch time group. The problem with the game is that there was a lot of down time when playing. One player usually just watches as the other dungeon crawls through level after level until he/she decides to stop. At that point, the other player plays while the first watches. There is none of the quick back and forth that can come with a game of Fluxx, or the egging on that comes with Zombie Dice (“Come on, that’s only two shotguns, you can roll for more brains.”), it’s just waiting.
This is not to knock Dungeon Roll as a game. As a solo game, it is pretty decent. It is just not a good game with more than one person.