Thursday, October 15, 2009

Almost: a cooperative-competitive game for 3+ players

Almost: a cooperative-competitive game for three or more players by Yehuda Berlinger.

Components: pencil and paper, ten bidding markers for each player

For N players, the game is played over N-1 rounds.

On each round, each player secretly selects a number to bid, by placing some number of bidding markers in his or her fist. Reveal all bids simultaneously. The player who bid the lowest unique value wins a number of points equal to his or her bid.

For example: if two players bid 5, one bid 6, one bid 7, and two bid 10, then the player who bid 6 gains 6 points. It is possible that no player gains points for a given round.

All players who score 10 or more points win the game.

Players may discuss their bidding strategy before each round. It is recommended to place a time limit on these discussions. All players must bid every round, and the minimum bid is 1.


Poet said...

At first I was "So, why doesn't everyone win?" then I did the math ;)

I like it a lot, I'm going to try and drag a few friends to play it, and let you know how it went :)

Jason said...

Interesting design, Yehuda.

Do you find that your game plays best with 4 or 5 players?

It seems like if you played with 10 people it'd be hard for anyone to get to 10 points even with 9 rounds of playing.

On the other hand, playing 2 rounds with 3 people seems to make for a very short game.

I also thought it was an interesting choice to potentially have multiple winners at 10 or more points as opposed to a single winner with the most points.

Anonymous said...

Apart from the bidding payoff, it's a long-standing postal gaming zine game known as Banbury Merton Street.
Eahc player submits a positive integer as his entry. Lowest unduplicated entry wins.
You can play for 10 rounds and see who has won most rounds, or make it more interesting by scoring along the lines Yehuda suggests: score = winning entry itself (so highest score win, but to win a round, lowest entry is needed).
So sorry Yehuda, no patent possible!

Yehuda Berlinger said...

Thanks. I wasn't planning to patent it, but from looking at patents that are granted, I'm sure I could get one if I wanted to.

Anyway, as Jason wrote, one of the interesting parts is the win condition allowing multiple winners, which makes it possible to cooperate.