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[GDS] April 2012 "Fools Rush In"

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sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008

April 2012 Game Design Showdown - "Fools Rush In"

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

We have a winner! I have tallied the votes, quite a few of them this month! Thanks for participating everyone! And without further ado, the winner is....

1st place, with 14 votes: Catch That Bunny! by Starflier

2nd place, with 9 votes: The Great Zvengali by TeaisforTim

3rd place, with 7 votes: Heavy Treasure hunt by AndyGB

and tied for 4th, with 5 votes:
Fools Rush In by BMinNY
While the Fairy is Away: The Revenge of Bunny Foo Foo by photeth
Lhasa by GreenO
Hart of the Forest by Matthew Rogers

All entries got at least 1 vote! Thanks again for participating. Congrats to the winners, I'll open up the Critiques thread now!

April is characterized by a few things - Spring, Easter, Passover, and a silly "holiday" called April Fool's Day.

I thought it might be fun to use one of these holidays as inspiration for April's Showdown, but not a theme restriction in itself... So be creative, and let's see some games about hoaxes, tricks, maybe even fish! If that doesn't float your boat, you could instead enter a game with some kind of (egg) hunt mechanism, or maybe a game about a series of plagues, or escape from bondage!

From Wikipedia about April Fool's Day:
April Fools' Day is celebrated in different countries on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools' Day, April 1 is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when many people play all kinds of jokes and foolishness. The day is marked by the commission of good-humoured or otherwise funny jokes, hoaxes, and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, teachers, neighbors, work associates, etc.

In France and Italy children (and adults, when appropriate) traditionally tack paper fish on each other's back as a trick and shout "april fish!" in their local language ("poisson d'avril!" and "pesce d'aprile!" in French and Italian respectively).

The earliest recorded association between April 1 and foolishness can be found in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1392).

From Wikipedia about Easter:
Easter marks the end of Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. The last week of the Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus... Easter customs vary across the Christian world, but decorating Easter eggs is a common motif. In the Western world, customs such as egg hunting and the Easter Bunny extend from the domain of church, and often have a secular character.

From Wikipedia about Passover:
Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. It is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays.

In the narrative of the Exodus, the Bible tells that God helped the Children of Israel escape slavery in Egypt by inflicting ten plagues upon the Egyptians before Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves; the tenth and worst of the plagues was the slaughter of the first-born. The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord passed over these homes.

Together with Shavuot and Sukkot, Passover is one of the three pilgrimage festivals during which the entire Jewish populace historically made a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.

The challenge will be open for entries for a week, but I do not expect anybody to spend a week working on their entry. Rather the 1 week entry window should give everyone a chance to see the challenge and send an entry at their convenience.

Main Design Requirements:

  • Mechanical Restriction: Hoax, Hunt, or Chase.
    A central mechanism in this month's games must be one of the following:

    • Hoax: A trick or bluff of some kind.
    • Hunt: Some kind of search or race to find a hidden object or objects.
    • Chase: One player, team, or faction in pursuit of another in some way.
  • Component Restriction: Game board with Geography.
    For this challenge your game must use a central game board in a non-trivial way. The board must have geography that is significant to the game - it cannot simply be a place to organize cards, tiles, or information.

  • Word Limit: 300 words.

  • Submissions: The 1st of the month through the 8th.
  • Voting: Through the 15th. PM your votes to sedjtroll.
  • Voting Format: Each person has 6 votes to distribute any way they choose among the GDS entries with the following restrictions:
    • You may not assign any votes to your own entry!
    • You may not assign more than 3 votes to any single entry.
    • You need not assign all 6 votes.
  • Comments or Questions: Comments and questions about this Challenge were handled on the Comments Thread.

  • CRITIQUES: After voting has closed the entries will be posted for comments and critiques. Post constructive critiques and commentary about the entries to this Challenge in the Critiques Thread
  • GDS Details: For more details on how these Game Design Showdown Challenges work, especially the details around the word count and graphics limits, visit the GDS Wiki Page.

Enjoy, and good luck!

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #1 - Fools Rush In

Theme: It's 1932, Your crew has just pulled off the heist of a lifetime. You scored it all - money, jewels, artwork, etc. You're free for now, but who knows for how long. The authorities are closing in quickly. You need to stash your loot quickly - but beware your crew mates as they are criminals after all and they will steal from you too!

Object: To be the criminal that has stashed the most loot when the cops finally close in and arrest you and your team.

Setup: Each player receives (10) $2,000 Loot cards, and 1 Bluff card The "Arrest" card Police Deck is placed approximately 1/4 of the way from the bottom of the Police Deck.
Each safe house is numbered, and the corresponding stack of Safe House Receipt Cards is placed on the safe houses. Gameplay Phases:

  1. Roll die & move
  2. Stash, Bluff, Search
  3. Draw Police card

Core Mechanic: When a player lands on a safe house, they will have the option to stash loot, bluff stashing loot, or search the house for loot stashed by other players. To stash loot, the player takes a loot card from their hand, place it on the top of the pile of cards and shuffles the cards. The player than takes a receipt card into their hand. To bluff, follow the same procedure, except the player takes back the bluff card. To search the safe house, the player looks through the cards at that safe house and takes all the loot cards present into their hand, and all players with receipts from that safe house put them back into that stack.

End Game: When the "Arrest" card comes out, the game is over immediately, and the player with the most receipts is the winner.

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #2 - Fool Me Once

Fool Me Once

A two player strategy game.


  • 1 board (described below)
  • 1 player marker
  • 6 "FAILED" tokens and 12 "FOUND" tokens (with identical backs)
  • a lot of "SHAME" tokens

The board is two concentric pentagons, with each node (corner) linked to the adjacent corners of the same pentagon and the matching corner of the other. Player 1 puts his marker on his chosen "start" node and Player 2 distributes 3 "FOUND" and 6 "FAILED" tokens, face down, amongst the others. Each turn, Player 1 points to a face-down token on a node adjacent to his and asks "Will I find it here?" to which Player 2 answers "yes" or "no". Player 1 either believes Player 2 and moves his token there, or disbelieves and moves to another adjacent node with a face-down token, either way revealing the token he pointed to.

If Player 1 believed and revealed a "FOUND" token, he claims it for himself. If he was wrong (believed and revealed "FAILED" or disbelieved and revealed "FOUND"), he has been FOOLED. The first time this happens, he gives Player 2 a "SHAME" token, but every other time he takes a "SHAME" token himself for each time he's been fooled so far.

Player 1 then takes another turn, and play continues until he either has no valid moves or has revealed all three "FOUND" tokens. Roles are reversed for the 2nd half of the first round, and play continues for a total of 2 rounds before scores are tallied - "SHAME" tokens are worth -1 point, "FOUND" tokens are worth 3 points. The player with the highest score wins, while his opponent may claim the title of "Grand Fool".

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #3 - Leprechaun Rumble

Leprechaun Rumble

The Leprechauns are angry. The Easter Bunny has moved in on their turf, spreading those disgusting eggs. Again. It happens every year around this time and the leprechauns won’t take it anymore.


  • A leprechaun,
  • 20 shamrocks and 2 pot-o-gold token(s) in each player color.
  • A rabbit,
  • 10 eggs
  • 39 blank token(s).
    All tokens’ backs are identical


First player reveal their collection with no shamrocks and all eggs have been found.


Undirected graph over the map of Ireland with 50 nodes known as towns (like Pandemic board)


Each player’s collection is made up of leprechaun, 20 shamrocks and 2 pot-o-gold token(s) in their color, all face-down.
Take the rabbit, egg and blank tokens. Shuffle them face down and place them randomly on each town. Starting with randomly chosen first player, each player places their leprechaun on any town.


Each players turn, their leprechaun can move 5 towns but cannot back track. A leprechaun cannot enter a town that contains another leprechaun. At each town, the player takes the token that was there and replaces it with a facedown token from his collection. Different tokens have different effects when found:

Blank: These are simply placed face down into the player’s collection

Shamrock: The shamrock is returned to its original player face down.

Egg: These are placed face up on the edge of the board.

Rabbit: The players turn ends after this move as the leprechaun has to stop to capture the rabbit. This is placed face down into the player’s collection. The player that has the rabbit cannot win until he gets rid of the rabbit.

Pot-o-gold: The players turn ends after this move as the leprechaun has to stop to count the gold. The pot-o-gold is placed face down in that player’s collection.

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #4 - Catch that Bunny

Catch that Bunny!

A Stealth Hunting Game for two to four players


The game board is made up of a 7X7 grid. Some squares are marked with briars, some with gardens. River squares run down the middle of the board.

  • 42 Tokens, blank on both sides, are placed on the board, one on each square
  • 49 Pawprint tokens, (One side blank ) are put in a pile next to the board One Carrot Token is placed on each garden
  • 1 Bunny token (One side blank) is placed face down, anywhere except a garden
  • 1-3 wolf tokens are placed anywhere, at least three squares away from the bunny


On the Bunny's turn, the wolf players close their eyes. The bunny player moves her token 1-4 squares, replacing each blank token she moves over with a face-down pawprint token, and removes the blank token from the square she stops in.
If the bunny crosses the river, she says “Splash”. She doesn't leave pawprints for the rest of the turn.
If the bunny lands on a garden, she takes the carrot token. If the bunny collects three carrots, she wins.
The bunny can enter the same square as a wolf, but cannot end her turn there.
Each wolf gets a chance to move his token 1-5 squares, turning over the token in each square they enter.
Entering a briar square counts as two moves for a wolf.
If a wolf flips over the bunny token, then he wins.


Players each take a turn as the bunny.
The bunny gets one point for each carrot eaten, plus three extra if she wins.
If a wolf wins, he gets two points. All other wolves get one.

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #5 - While the Fairy is away: The Revenge of Bunny Foo-Foo

While the Fairy is away: The Revenge of Bunny Foo-Foo

After an epic quest to shed the form of a goon, Bunny Foo-Foo returns to his forest bopping grounds. Thankfully, the “good” fairy has gone on vacation and cannot protect the field mice. Time for some bopping!

Players: 2-4 Ages 5+

Game time: 5-15 minutes

Game Components:

1 Game board with twelve forest locales on it. Each locale has one path of each of the following colours leaving it: Red, Yellow and Blue.

  • 1 Bunny Foo-Foo marker
  • 3-4 Field Mouse markers
  • 1 Mouse deck with 9 red path cards, 9 yellow path cards and 9 blue path cards
  • 1 Bunny deck with 7 red path cards, 7 yellow path cards, 7 blue path cards and 6 waiting cards


Bunny Foo-Foo sets up in the middle of the board. The field mice set up on specially marked mouse hole locales. First player controls Bunny Foo-Foo
2 Players: Player 2 controls 3 mice
3 Players: Players 2 and 3 control 2 mice
4 Players: Players 2, 3 and 4 control 1 mouse

Game Play:

Each player draws 5 cards from their respective decks and selects 3 in the order they'd like to move down. These are placed face down in front of them. Once everyone has decided, players simultaneously flip over their cards and move their markers along the same coloured paths. Should Bunny Foo-Foo and a mouse occupy the same locale, the field mouse gets bopped on the head and removed from the game. Once all three selected cards are revealed and markers moved, a new turn begins and players add three cards to their hands. The game ends when Bunny Foo-Foo catches the last mouse or the mice finally escape after 10 turns.

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #6 - Heavy Treasure Hunt

Heavy Treasure Hunt

There’s treasure about, and each player’s two-man team wants to be the first to get it, in this strategic game of positioning, planning, and luck.

Board & Setup

The board is a grid, laid out with face down tiles, 5 x 5, randomly placed at the start of play. Some conceal treasure, some are empty. The board itself has static bonuses, with increasing rows having higher bonuses. (First row: +0, 5th row: +4, maybe +5 in the far corners). Pawns start out off the grid at the +0 end.


Take turns moving your pawns, together or separately. Moves come from a fixed hand of action cards that you hold all game, with actions like “2 squares north” or “3 east.” Of those 12 actions though, you start out only being able to play 4 per turn.


When your pawns are in position around an empty target tile, on opposite sides, taking the Dig action will let you turn up the tile between them. Treasures give points, plus the static bonus of the square they were on. But treasures also block your action slots, so the more treasures, the fewer actions you can take. Empty tiles give zero points (not even the static value) but they give you an extra action slot.


Maneuvering, blocking, and strategy are important: You can’t move through or land on enemy pawns. And look out, if a two man team gets into the ‘dig’ position around you and Digs, they get the treasure that you just dug up. Treasures are not safe until both of the owner’s pawns have visited the starting area again.

The game ends when one player has returned 3 treasures to the home area, and the player with the most point wins. Heaaavy.

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #7 - Lhasa


The 19th century is drawing to a close and imperialism is at its height. The world’s greatest empires are uncertain of the unknown and unexplored Tibetan plateau that separates them. There are no maps of the terrain, the borders are closed and no one knows what lies within or the exact location of the mysterious city of Lhasa.

Two to four players are approaching Tibet to locate Lhasa braving extreme weather, bandits, avalanches and monks that will escort foreigners to the nearest border rather than risk betraying their country. On top of this are persistent rumours of wild manlike creatures that roam the Himalayas. Players are trying to map the Tibetian plateau whilst avoiding discovery and starvation. Starting from the border they turn over map hexes that reveal villages, monasteries and other terrain features that will score points at the end of the game, assuming they get back to the border alive. Points are scored for each terrain object a player turns over as they progress over the plateau. The exact location of Lhasa is not known but is within a subset of hexes within the middle of the board. Players place cubes on hexes that have been discovered and move faster over known terrain than unknown, however snowfall will obliterate their tracks periodically making the previously known a little less certain.

Seeing a Yeti will make for a good report and score a few points, and they will scare away bandits, but your guides wont go near them and Yeti know better than to approach civilization.

The game plays on a hex board with card-driven events drafted from the side. The game ends after a known amount of turns when a British invasion reaches the capital by force.

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #8 - Search for the Golden Child

Search for the Golden Child

The "Golden Child" – the one who will overthrow the Emperor – lives in a nearby village. The Emperor has dispatched his soldiers to seek out all children that match the description.

Players are each secretly assigned a role to assist the soldiers or protect the Golden Child, and act as the village elders, directing the hiding locations of the children.

The game consists of a central board, a deck of Children Cards, a deck of Soldier Cards, and Soldier Markers. The central board is a map of several villages, each having areas to store Children Cards with paths between them that soldiers will use to search for the Golden Child, as directed by the Soldier Cards.

The Children Cards each describe a child using 3 characteristics: Gender (boy or girl), Age Group (baby, toddler or child), and Birth Mark (dragon, bird, fish or star). The description of the Golden Child is randomly determined from these three characteristics at the start of the game.

All Children Cards are dealt out to the players and a certain number are placed facedown in the village hiding spots. The rest are kept as a hand of cards for each player and played during rounds of trick taking. The trick taking rounds serve to trade cards between players, remove cards from the game and determine which player controls the Soldiers Cards. Before each trick tacking round, players can shift a number of Children Cards between hiding spots in their village and/or their hand. After each trick taking round, the player winning control of the soldiers uses Soldier Cards to have them move and search.

The game ends when all children cards matching the Golden Child are found or after a certain number of trick-taking rounds have been completed.

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #9 - Let My People Go: The Plaguemaker’s Challenge

Let My People Go: The Plaguemaker’s Challenge

The Israelites suffer at Pharaoh's hands and your job is to put the fear of God into Pharaoh, forcing him to let your people go. By manipulating plagues of food, health, and nature you may scare your way to freedom.

Game contents

  1. (1) Israelites token
  2. (1) Pharaoh Chariot token
  3. (1) Egyptian “recovery” die (d6)
  4. (1) Map of Egypt (40 spaces between Egypt and the Red Sea) with plague value markers
  5. (40) Plague Cards

Game Setup

  • Deal 3 plague cards to the player
  • Set Food, Health, and Nature plague tracks to 6 -Place Israelites on the starting tile and Pharaoh in Egypt
  • Have fun

Game Phases

Egypt Recovers, roll the recovery die and move the plague level up the amount it says on the die. Play a plague card and move the appropriate plague level discard unused plague cards and draw three new plague cards


  • If the plague counter gets too high the Egyptians move
  • 2 spaces if the plague counter is an 8
  • 4 spaces for a 9
  • 6 spaces for a 10

When the plague counter lowers, the Israelites may move - 1 space for 3 - 2 spaces for 2 - 3 spaces for 1


You win the game if the Israelites cross the Red Sea marker you lose the game if the Egyptians ever move far enough to catch the Israelites, or if the Plague counter reaches 0 for any category.

Plague Cards:

(4) Locusts: -1 All
(4) Gnats: -2 Nature
(4) Darkness: -1 Food
(4) Blood: -1 Nature
(4) Frogs: -3 Nature
(4) Lice: -2 Health
(4) Boils: -2 Health
(4) Pestilence: -3 Food
(4) Hail: -2 Food
(4) Death for the firstborn: -3 Health

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #10 - Hart of the Forest

Hart of the Forest

a game for 2 Players


  • 10 Hart tokens with hidden points: three 3’s, three 2’s, four 0’s
  • 15 Hunter cubes
  • 1 Board (see picture)


Choose one player to play the Harts (deer). The Hart player selects four tokens and places them on the column furthest away from the Heart of the Forest.


The Hart player scores points by reaching the Heart of the Forest space. The Hunter player scores points by capturing deer. The player with the most points wins.

Turn Order:

At the beginning of a turn, the Hunter player make make three Actions. The Hart player then makes three Actions. Then a new turn begins.


  • Deploy: Harts may only deploy on the column furthest away from the Heart of the Forest. Hunters may only deploy in the yellow middle forest spaces. A deploy action places one marker of the appropriate type down.
  • Move: Move one marker to an adjacent space. Harts may only move towards the Heart of the Forest (scoring if they reach the space). Hunters may move in either direction. If Hunters are on top of a moving Hart piece, all but one Hunter move with the piece.
  • Pass: Only Hunters may pass.


To capture a Hart, there a total of five Hunters adjacent or on the Hart token, and at least one Hunter must be on the Hart. This number is reduced by one for every adjacent Hart (deer close together are easier to catch). A capture doesn’t count as an action and may occur at any time. Remove the Hart and all Hunters that were on the token, one Hunter leaves the game and is placed on top of the scored token. The other Hunters may be redeployed as a future action.

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #11 - The Great Zvengali!

The Great Zvengali!

2-5 Players

The players are rival magicians. There is only one true master magician: The Great Zvengali! You are trying to steal his grand trick before the other players do.


  • Board: 5 Theaters in a circle, 2 different magic shops attached to each one.
  • 225 Resource Cards: 5 Types (Smoke&Mirrors, Animals, Assistants, Pyrotechnics, Panache) divided into 11 different decks of 25 (Zvengali's! deck, 1 for each shop).


  1. Lay 2 cards face up from each shop deck next to each shop.
  2. Deal 3 cards to each player from Zvengali's! deck.
  3. Lay 5 cards arrayed face down in the middle of the board from Zvengali's! deck (“The Trick”).
  4. Everyone starts at The Grand Ballroom.
  5. Starting player is the one who most recently saw a magic trick.

Player Turn:

  • If Zvengali! is on your venue all players there must discard a card from your hand to pay the entrance fee (discard is face up). All players there watch him perform his trick and peek at any one of the cards in “The Trick” in turn order. Move Zvengali! Clockwise if any players peeked.
  • Move to any venue.
  • If Zvengali! is not at that venue you may take the 2 cards in either of the shops at that venue.
  • Turn passes clockwise.

Game End:

On a player's turn, they move to Zvengali! (discarding as normal) and reveal 5 cards from their hand. Reveal Zvengali's! cards 1 by 1 from left to right. If all cards match, that player wins. If a card is revealed that does not match, that player must discard down to 3 cards. The cards in “The Trick” are turned face down and their order is randomized. That player's turn ends, play continues.

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #12 - Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Egg Hunt

Players: 2-4


Collect the most valuable eggs in 10 turns.


  • 1 board, resembling a park split into 50 areas.
  • 1 dice sack
  • 4 large and 4 small pawns in different colors.
  • 80 dice, 8 different colors, types are d4, d6, d8, D10, d12


Pull out dice from the bag, put a die on each of 40 egg spots on the board.

Each player puts their pawns on ‘start’. The last player to have been on a real egg hunt goes first.

You have 3 action points per turn. Use action points to:

  • Move a pawn to an adjacent area
  • Take a die from an area your pawn occupies and put it in your pile.
  • Swap one of your dice with a random die from the bag
  • Give an egg to an opponent if you’re in the same area
  • Roll one of your dice, then discard die into the bag.
      • White: Pull that many dice from bag, set in area
      • Green: Move that many extra spaces in the park this turn.
      • Black: Take dice from an opponent in the same area as you. Opponent rolls dice until their total beats the black die roll. All the opponent’s dice rolled go to the player.
      • Yellow: If you have 12+ eggs in a basket, and that pawn receives a yellow die, that pawn immediately rolls the yellow die and drops that many eggs from their basket into the area.
      • Purple: May discard to negate another dice’s effect, no roll required.


At the end of the 10th round, each player rolls all of their dice, and adds them up.
Highest total wins. D4’s are multipliers, used to multiply the results with one other die of the same color.

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #13 - War of the Worlds

War of the Worlds

2-5 players

Embodiment of penance for arrogance, a plague of invaders, and exodus of man.


Players race to evacuate people from populated areas before eradication. Players also play as Martians, eradicating the People.

Players score based on the number and combinations of people that they rescue, as well as how many of each type of people they Eradicate as Martians.


Board is divided into spaces, some are populated townships at the outset of the game. Each township also has a hidden tile representing an event - Move Martian; Ferry to Safety, Expose Martians.

The size of each space depends on its terrain. Plains and roads are large and long spaces respectively. Forests and hills are smaller spaces but also reduce space for Martians.

Game play

Players alternate their turn for the People and Martians. After a turn as the People, a player's next turn will be for the Martians, and vice versa. First round the starting player is People, 2nd player Martian, 3rd People, etc.

  • On "People" turn a player moves all the people in one space to an adjacent space. If moving on to a township, reveal and resolve the event tile there.

  • As a "Martian", a player takes actions equal to the number of People moved on the last player's turn.

  • Actions include: Move Martian, Eradicate people, Advance Martian Landing (3 spaces in "space" representing journey from Mars)

Game Ends when third "Expose Martians" event is revealed.

GDS Comments:

Hunt: Event tile "Ferry to safety" lets player remove and score X number of People on that space. Players race to find these.

Chase: As Martians, players eradicate X number of People in a space. These are scored (differently) at the end of the game as well.

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