Saturday, February 16, 2008

Weekend Gaming

For lunch I invited Elijah and his family, as well as Nadine. They're all game players. After lunch, we played You've Been Sentenced!.

The basic play: Each card has five words (usually related by root, such as game, gamer, gaming, ...). Everyone picks ten cards. All look at them at once. First to play down a sentence with between two to ten of his cards starts the timer. Everyone else has until the timer runs out to place their own sentence.

Each player reads his or her sentence, which must be grammatically correct. If not, they score no points. You score the points corresponding to each of the words you used. 10 point bonus for using all 10 cards or for being the first to put down. Discard all cards and draw 10 new ones. Play to 200 points.

Or, at least, that's how play is supposed to go.

We did the first round more or less like that. Arranging the cards is lots of fun, and the sentences we came up with were all wonderfully wacky.

However, it soon became clear that there is a huge difference between a grammatically correct sentence and a sentence that actually makes sense. "Magoo climbed chilly pancakes nervously standing on the humming car" is grammatically correct; one can invent a story in which this sentence makes sense with a bit of stretching. But one can invent a story in which nearly any sentence makes sense with a bit of stretching.

We had fun putting the sentences together, but it soon became clear to us that the timer, the turns, the scores, the bonuses, and everything els just weren't that interesting. It makes for a fun activity, but I doubt that I will ever play it with adults. I might toss it at kids and let them have a go, but they're more likely to just ask for Apples to Apples.

As a side note, the Reader's Digest Word Power expansion deck was a great diversion for my daughter and her friend. Each of these cards holds five high-level vocabulary words. We passed an hour or so while I was preparing lunch learning some new words (I learned one or two, they learned a bunch).

After this, one group broke off to play Winner's Circle, while Nadine, Elijah, and I played Cosmic Encounter. Winner's Circle seemed to go over well; the 8 year old won, I believe. In Cosmic, I compromised both of their hands on my first two turns, ended up with junk I couldn't get rid of, and never recovered. I actually managed a slight comeback to where we all had three bases at one point, but that was it. Nadine went for the win soon after, Elijah found a way to thwart her, and then they shared a joint win against me.

I had a nifty combination: Seeker / Skeptic. The Seeker can ask "Do you plan to win?" and if receiving a negative answer, the Skeptic can assert "I don't think you're going to win".

Ozvortex mentioned my game on his blog; thanks Oz.

In other news, since I'm trying to get Purple Pawn going, I don't think I'll be going full-fledged Off The Grid this week after all. But if you don't hear from me often, it doesn't mean I don't love you!

And I'm out of work, again. So feel free to click an affiliate link, buy my game, or throw a little love my way (PayPal on the sidebar).

Off to Toronto tomorrow morning ...


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