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[GDS] OCTOBER 2015 "A game for everyone"

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richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009

We have a winner!

Congrats to AndrewUBaker for "Magic Trick".

As hardcore gamers we tend to take to complicated games far more easily than the masses. We look for themes in our games and demand a story in addition to engrossing game play. It's easy to forget that for the unwashed masses, gaming is primarily a social event where you just happen to be tossing cards around. Well done, designers, and thanks for contributing this month!

Let's head over to the critiques forum and talk about the games.

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

Entries are in!

Many people rose to the challenge of creating a whole game with an accessible theme and mechanic. Some went above and beyond, including links to Print and Play files! Of course, in the contest entry itself that's out - but after voting I encourage those designers (you know who you are) to post their links again in the critiques thread.

You all have a week from to read the entries and vote. The voting process is outline below, and you can do so with the VOTING FORM AT THIS LINK

Maybe you've heard the stories; One person talking to another, "Hey want to try this board game that just came out? " Other person, "Oh, it has dragons....yeah I'm not really in to fantasy stuff. How about we play Cards Against Humanity?"

A lot of the games in the hobby market have strong themes that appeal to crowds accepting of those themes. I'm talking about dragons, space ships, pirates, samurai, etc. However there are millions of people out there that prefer non "geeky" themes, but still appreciate a bit of humour. The financial success of games like Exploding Kittens, Cards Against Humanity, and Fluxx are some of the more common examples.

And yet these games are sometimes disparaged by other designers as being sellouts or bad-games or whatever. I'm sure there could be a whole thread with a debate about mass-market games.

The point is here that as professional designers you may need to design games that don't fit your niche. Personally I've had to catch my tongue on more than one occastion when commissioned for simple "everyman" games. Working in these confines is a skill worth developing.

And so here is your challenge, designers:

You must design a game with simple, approachable mechanics that also uses a light, approachable theme. The game should be fun for children AND adults. Sound like the most generic game ever?

To put some bounds on this, here is a list of themes you may NOT choose from, or the voters may penalise you:

  • Sci-fi/Fantasy settings (dragons, werewolves, vampires, fairy tales, gods, space ships, colonising worlds, etc)
  • Pirates/Ninjas/Robots/Cowboys (these are niche tropes)
  • Wars (oversaturated)
  • Running business simulators (Factories, Wineries, Shipping businesses, etc. Also oversaturated)

There is no specific limit on the mechanic you choose, but it should be dead-simple. In fact, this game should be so simple that you should describe the entire game in the 500 word limit. This is in contrast to the normal contests where you must write a pitch. In this case, you should be able to play the game using the rules you write, minusing any external text on cards. It should be that simple.

The details:

Theme: Anything NOT on the forbidden list. Family friendly, non-niche, mass audience theme.

Mechanic: Super simple.

Component restriction: None.

Word Limit: Standard 500 word limit. This is a whole game rules, this time. It should be a simple game!

Voting: Award a Gold, Silver, and Bronze (worth 3,2, and 1 points respectively) Medals to your three favorite entries. Any entrant that does not award all three Medals will receive a Pyrite Medal (that's "Fool's Gold") worth -3 votes!

When submitting your entry: PLEASE USE THE FORM LINKED HERE.

  • Submissions: Friday the 2nd through Friday the 9th

  • Voting: Through the 16th. Votes will be through a form (link posted after submission period is ended).

  • Voting Format: Each person has 3 Medals (Gold, Silver, and Bronze - with values 3, 2, and 1 vote respectively) to distribute any way they choose among the GDS entries with the following restrictions:

    • Entrants may not assign any Medals to their own entry!

    • Entrants must assign all 3 Medals.

    • An entrant who does not assign all 3 Medals will receive a Pyrite Medal (-3 votes) as a penalty.

  • Comments or Questions: Comments and questions about this Challenge are 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, visit the GDS Wiki Page.

Enjoy, and good luck!

-Rich and Mindspike

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 1 - The Mystery Guest

The Mystery Guest

A lite deduction game for 2-4 players.


You all have been invited to a big party and it has been announced that a special mystery guest is coming. But who is it?! The object of the game is to be the first player to correctly identify the mystery guest.


The game includes 36 guest cards consisting of 18 pairs of guests and 4 guest list reference cards.

Setup - Sending out Invites

In a two player game, remove 6 sets of guests from play. In a three player game, remove 3 sets of guests from play. Leave them face up so players can check which guests were uninvited.

Shuffle the deck of guest cards and deal 6 cards to each player. Deal the remaining cards face down in a row in the center. Flip over the first card in the row. The last card in the row is the mystery guest that remains hidden from all players until a player tries to guess who it is.

The person that most recently attended a party is the starting player. Play begins with them and proceeds clockwise.

How to Play – Socializing with the Guests

A player starts their turn by either taking a face up card in the row or revealing a face down card in the row for all players to see and then taking that card.

If the player has any pairs in hand, they may lay down as many pairs as they want. Whenever a pair is laid down, the player is granted two special actions!
1) Look at one card from another player’s hand.
2) Look at one face down card (except the mystery guest) in the row.

However, if more than one pair is laid down on the same turn, the player is not granted any special actions on that turn!

To end their turn, the player replaces the card taken from the row with a different card from their hand, placed face up.

Winning the Game – Identifying the Mystery Guest

When a player lays down their third pair of guests, they must make a guess about the identity of the mystery guest.

The guess must identify both the title and name of the mystery guest (i.e. “The mystery guest is Mrs. Van Pelt.” or “The mystery guest is Mr. Bigglesworth.”).

After announcing their guess, the player looks at the mystery guest card without showing it to the other players. If they guessed correctly, the mystery guest is revealed and that player wins the game! If they guessed incorrectly, the card is returned to the row face down and that player is kicked out of this game’s party.

If all players incorrectly guess the mystery guest, throw another party and play again!

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 2 - Primordial Solitary


AGE 8 years and above


DURATION 40-60 minutes

GAME MATERIAL All the Duelo Primigenio Deck except the fives .
Duelo Primigenio is a deck consisting of 90 cards with six colors , three suits that simulate the game " Rock, Paper , Scissors " and numbers from 1 to 5. The main feature is that the reverse shows the color of the front

GAME DESCRIPTION The goal of the game is place every card of the deck in the tapestry of the table


Set up
Level1 : Find a yellow 1 and 2 cards, and a green 3 and 4 cards , no matter the suit they are .
These cards are always placed ortoghonally in the table like this.

The deck is shuffled and are taken 8 cards from it, they are placed close to the main deck . These 8 cards represent the draw area. (Remenber the reverse is not the same for all the cards , there will be reverses of different colors in this area)

Draw Cards
The player will draw whichever card he wants from the draw area .
After the card has been discarded or placed in the table , the top card of the main deck is placed face down in the gap left of the drawn area.

The player can place a card or exchange it from another one from the table
The drawn card must be placed in the table following the contact rules , exchanged or it will be discarded
Contact Rules
The card placed in the table must comply with these rules :
- The 4 sides of each card can only be in contact with cards of the same color or with the colors that are adjacent in the rainbow.( red-orange-yellow-green-blue-purple )
- The difference between the number of the card and its adjacent ones has to be one ,except the 1 and the 4 that can be adjacent. Exception: The cards of the setup do not comply this rule among them .
- The card must be placed orthogonally to other one in the table

Exchange Card
It is possible to exchange the drawn card by a card that is already in the table, whenever it does not break the contact rules and the card of the hand wins the card of the table
Cards can be exchanged indefinitely.

Limitations of the game zone
The maximum cards placed ortoghonally as rows or columns is 10

Rock win Scissors , Scissors win Paper , Paper win Rock

Discard a card
If the player cannot place the card in the table , the card must be discarded

End of the Game
The Solitary ends when the main deck and the draw area is exhausted.

End the game with the less discard cards possible
To increase the difficulty , the set up must be changed:
Level_2: Find a yellow 1 and 4 cards, and a green 2 and 3 cards:
Level_3 : Find a green 1,2,3 and 4 card
Level_4 : Find a green 1 and 2 cards, and a blue 3 and 4 cards
Level_5 : Find a green 1 and 4 cards, and a blue 2 and 3 cards
Level_6: Find a blue 1,2,3 and 4 cards
Level_7 : Find a blue 1 and 2 cards, and a purple 3 and 4 cards
Level_8: Find a blue 1 and 4 cards, a purple 2 and 3 cards
Maximum_Level : Find a purple 1,2,3 and 4 cards

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 3 - Going Crazy!

Going Crazy! A game of crazy fun for 2-5 players! Navigate the little annoyances in life and prevent yourself from Going Crazy!


100 card deck

  • 12 “Crazy” cards
  • 3 cards of each number 1 – 9 marked with “!”
  • 4 cards of each number 1 - 9 not marked


Search the deck and give each player two (2) “Crazy” cards; these cards are placed face up in front of each player. Shuffle the remaining cards in the deck and deal out five (5) cards to each player. Place the remaining cards in the deck at the center of the table and flip the top card of the deck over to create a discard pile.


Be the first player to get rid of all your “Crazy!” cards.


During the turn, a player MUST discard a card from their hand to the discard pile of a value equal, one (1) higher or one (1) lower than the card at the top of the discard pile and resolve the discarded cards effect. (One higher than a value of 9 is 1. One less than a value of 1 is 9.) The turn is over. The next player on the left begins their turn.

EXAMPLE: The card at the top of the discard pile has a value of "7". The only cards that can be played are, "5", "7", "8" and "9".

NOTE: A card discarded that is of an equal value to the card at the top of the discard pile will not resolve the effect.

If a player CANNOT discard a card and the card at the top of the discard pile ISN’T marked with “!”, that player will draw a card from the deck and their turn is over. The next player on the left begins their turn.

If a player CANNOT discard a card and the card at the top of the discard pile IS marked with “!”, that player MUST add at least one (1) “Crazy” card in their hand to their face up “Crazy” cards. If the player doesn’t have any “Crazy” cards in their hand, the player will draw a card from the deck and their turn is over. The next player on the left begins their turn.

The Cards and the Crazy!

  • 1 – Crying Babies: Draw a card.
  • 2 – Traffic: Each player draws a card. You draw another card.
  • 3 – Polka: Give one player a card from your hand.
  • 4 – Hot Coffee: Discard a “Crazy” card from anywhere.
  • 5 – Gossip: Can be played regardless of top card of discard pile.
  • 6 – Loud Animals: Discard a card from your hand.
  • 7 – Delayed Flight: Add a card from the deck any players hand.
  • 8 – Cold/Flu: Trade hands with another player.
  • 9 – Star Wars: The Phantom Menace: Skip one player’s next turn.

End of the Game

When one player discards their last “Crazy” card from face up in front of them, they are declared the winner.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 4 - HOLY CHOMPERS! The family dental game

You play a “sweet” loving family living in an RV, sharing only one toothbrush.

Every adult player take 28 of small beads or stones and kids still having deciduous/baby teeth take only 20 (not counting wisdom teeth). Everyone lay their “teeth” in two half circles symbolizing the mouth. The lower half is the lower jaw set of teeth.

Put a dentist price list in the middle.

Can you protect your teeth while scoring points on eating delicious stuff. The bacteria and food stuck in the mouth we will call Critters.

Take 6 dice. Two sides with an upper and lower critter symbol (1,2) and two with an upper and lower tooth symbol (5,6).

Put a stack of cards in the center.

There are three types of cards. 50 Different food cards with 1 to 5 point smileys and 1-3 critter icons. 10 Helpful tools like toothpick (remove one critter), steal toothbrush, floss etc. 5 Offensive cards like toothbreaker, sugar toothpaste.

Turn order - each phase played clockwise from the toothbrush token.

  1. Pass toothbrush to the left (Oldest player starts with it).

  2. All draw 3 cards but for every cavity you got draw one less card. (toothache)

  3. In turn optional play 1 card face down inside your own mouth or another mouth while saying “Taste this”. Each player gets to play a maximum of three cards.

  4. Look on your cards in order from the top and execute them. So for food you roll 1 dice for each critter icon. For each die showing a critter place a critter token in a clean diastema (can’t be placed where a tooth is missing). Put food cards in your point stack afterwards.

  5. Brush teeth or skip it and draw 3 cards. For brushing your teeth roll 3 dice. Add 2 dice if you have the toothbrush. For every rolled “tooth” remove a critter.

  6. Roll for each tooth next to a critter. If you roll a critter again put a hole token under the tooth. Roll for each Hole token and if it’s a critter declare the tooth dead.

  7. Only one can visit the dentist. Choose in turn. Pay for all desired treatments with smileys from you point stack. You can only pay with full cards.

Prices in smileys: Cavity fix: three Full Cleaning: three Pull tooth: one. Gold Tooth: four.

(so pull 3 teeth with one 3 point card)

  1. End turn. Discard down to 5 cards.

When all the food cards are gone - most smileys wins. Count the smiley’s on your eaten food. And deduct 1 point for every lost tooth and 3 points for every dead tooth. If a full upper or lower jaw is without lost or dead teeth you get + 4 points. (Gold teeth is ok).

Optional rule

Place a small bowl with real candy. Every time someone takes a piece of candy - they immediately roll an extra critter dice.

Ideas and comments are welcome.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 5 - Ruling Houses

The idea of Ruling Houses is to be to the first player to complete their House. This game is played with a full 52 deck of cards which is dealt equally amongst the players. Each House has 13 cards. In a three player game, if the Neutral house is completed first, all players loose. Players takes turns playing a single card to a House.

Cards must be played in ascending or descending order. During a turn a player must play a card if there is a place where they can play a card, even if it is not to their family. If there is no place to play a card, then a player must pass.

Example: If a Prince card has been played, any player may play either a Prince-Elector card or a Viceroy card to that House, if they have a House card that belongs to that House.

The player who has the Prince for the English House must play this card to start the game. They are the English House and must collect cards for this house. The Prince card for each house must be played before cards belonging to that house can be played. When a Prince card is played it must go in front of a player who currently does not have a house. When that card is in front of a player that is the house they are trying to collect.

When you play a House Card to your House, you must activate the special ability of that family member.


Starting with the player to your left they must play a card to your House if able. This passes to the next player until a House card has been played.


Choose a player. If they have a Prince they must play it immediately.

Grand Duke

Use an ability from a card currently in your House


If your hand is smaller than every other player, they must each give you one card at random from their hand.


Each other player must reveal a card of your House. Any player unable to show a House card, must return either the highest or lowest card from their House to their hand.


Pass a House card to a player with that House.


This card has no special ability.


Each player must choose 2 cards and pass them to the player to your left.


Activate the ability of the highest ranked House card of the House with the most members.


For each Count card in a House, including this one, players must put that many cards to the centre of the table. Shuffle this pile and deal equally out to all players, starting with the player who played his Count.


Each player must randomly pass a card to the player on their left.


Swap your hand with the player to your right


You may immediately play another card.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 6 - Rockfall

In this game, two to five players control teams of miners looking for valuable ores before the mine caves in.
The game consists of a set of regular pentagonal (yes, pentagonal!) tiles in five colours: one green tile, five red tiles, five blue tiles, fourteen gold tiles and fifty grey tiles. Each player has three pawns (miners) of their own colour.

The green "start" tile is placed in the center of the table face-up.
Each player is given three grey tiles. The rest are shuffled face-down in a common pool.

The game has three phases: setup, tunneling, and escape.

Play begins by each player placing one of their grey tiles so that one edge of it touches an edge of at least one other tile already on the tableau, and placing a miner pawn on it. Tiles may never be placed so that they overlap other tiles.

When all pawns have been placed, the tunneling phase begins. Players may perform one action per miner in each of their turns: either do nothing, moving along an existing tunnel, or tunneling. A miner may move up to two connected tiles, but may not move onto or across a tile already occupied by another miner, or a rockfall(red) or collapsed (inverted) tile. A player tunnels by first indicating which face occupied by the miner is to be tunneled on, then drawing a tile and placing it against that edge. Once drawn, it must be placed where indicated. A grey tile represents a normal tunnel, and the miner who dug it may move onto it before ending his action. A blue tile is a discovered natural tunnel; the miner may thus tunnel again as before. A gold tile represents a tunnel through an ore-bearing seam. When a closed empty (untiled) space is formed with gold tiles on its edges, any players with miners on bordering gold tiles score one point per miner. A red tile represents a rockfall; the miner may not move onto it. No tiles may be placed so that they touch edges with a rockfall.

Once all five rockfall tiles have been played, the mine begins to collapse and the escape phase begins. Now players must move as many of their miners back to the start tile as possible. At the beginning of each round in this phase, any tile touching a red tile or an inverted tile is itself inverted, representing the collapse of the tunnel. Any miners on such a tile are killed and removed from play, and one point is deducted from the player's score (negative scores are possible). If a miner reaches the start tile, he has escaped and is again removed from the tableau, but without penalty to the player. While there are still tiles in the pool, miners may still tunnel and score points during the escape phase, provided that no tiles are placed touching collapsed tunnels. Play ends when all miners of all players are either free or killed.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 7 - Fall Fair

2-6 players <30 minutes

Components: Deck with roughly 120 cards, 5 standard dice

Setup: Shuffle the cards, deal eight to each player, place the dice somewhere handy, and choose a starting player.

Objective: Get the most excitement points at the fair. After all, who doesn't have fun at a fair?

Description of the Cards: The back of the cards would look like tickets. The front of the cards show different things you'd find at a fair. In order to enjoy what's on the front of a card, you have to use other cards from your hand as tickets. In other words to play a card you have to discard other cards from your hand. There are three types of cards.

Food Vendors: These cards are a low ratio exchange of tickets for points. Examples: Cotton Candy - 1 ticket for 1 point or Funnel Cake - 2 tickets for 2 points.

Rides: These are a much higher ratio of points for your tickets, but because they will cost a lot more tickets, it will be tough to get on a lot of rides. Examples: Roller Coaster 6 tickets for 10 points or Drop Scream - 8 tickets for 13 points.

Games (your typical try to win an oversized stuffed animal kind of thing): These use the dice. The card states how many dice to roll and how many times you're allowed to roll them. You're looking for a specific outcome. If you get the right roll you win the grand prize and lots of excitement points. You can always pay more tickets to try again. These games also let you win more tickets (ie cards) as consolation prizes. Examples: Crackshot - 2 tickets to play; roll three dice, they all need to be at least five; three rolls; grand prize 15 points, consolation prize 4 tickets for having at least two dice five or higher. Ring Toss - 3 tickets to play; roll five dice, you need a run of four consecutive numbers; two rolls; grand prize 18 points, consolation prize 5 tickets for having a run of three.

Gameplay: Now that we can picture what we're talking about (in this case a picture would have been worth 280 words), let's talk about a turn. On a turn you either play a card or draw cards. To play a vendor or ride card, place it face up in front of you and discard the appropriate number of other cards as tickets. To play a game card, discard your tickets and follow the rolling instructions. If you win the grand prize, place it face up in front of you. Otherwise, discard it (of course you can keep paying more tickets to try again). To draw cards, roll two dice and pick up as many cards as the larger number rolled.

Once the draw deck has been exhausted once with 2 or 3 players or twice with 4-6 players, everybody gets one more turn and the fair closes for the night. Add up your excitement points to determine a winner including 5 bonus points for each set of card types.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 8 - Magic Trick

Overview: A light, trick taking microgame for 2 players.
Based on: Pina Pirata, Nyet, Norwegian Whist


- 13 Cards

- 4 Rabbits (*, 2, 3, 4)
- 4 Hats (*, 2, 3, 4)
- 4 Wands (*, 2, 3, 4)
- 1 Illusionist (Trump)


- Dealer shuffles all 13 cards.
- Dealer burns 1 face down.
- Dealer deals 6 cards to both players.
- Dealer selects 1 card from his hand and plays it face down next to the burn.
- Pone selects 1 card from his hand and plays it face down next to the burn.
- Dealer takes all three cards and shuffles them up. He then fans them face down to the pone.
- Pone selects 2 cards from the fan and places them face up.
- Dealer puts the remaining card face down. It is now out of the game.
- The default trump is Wands.
- The rules on the 2 face up cards determine how this hand will play.

Card Rules:

- Trump: "The Illusionist": First losing trick card's effect replaces this one.
- Star of Hats: "Grand Finale": Only last trick counts. +4 points.
- Star of Rabbits: "Heart Break": -2 points per trick won.
- Star of Wands: "Moon Shot": Lose all tricks to win +10 points.
- 2 of Hats: "Topsy Turvy": High is Low (makes Illusionist lowest card).
- 2 of Wands: "The Stars Are Right": Stars are High (default Low).
- 2 of Rabbits: "Oh, Dickens!": Exact Bid Required to Score.
- 3 of Hats: "Night Club": Only non-trump cards are worth points.
- 3 of Wands: "The Contract": Achieve your bid to get +3 points. -2 points for every trick over or under.
- 3 of Rabbits: "Poison": Each 4 won is -2 points. Each 2 won is +1 point.
- 4 of Wands: "Rope Trick": Players take turns either playing higher in the suit or matching the rank. If a player cannot follow, his opponent takes the trick and leads the next. The first to run out of cards gets +2 points and ends the hand.
- 4 of Hats: "Top Hat": Hats are Trump. Cancels "Rabbits Are Trump" leaving no trump suits.
- 4 of Rabbits: "Top Rabbit": Rabbits are Trump. Cancels "Hats Are Trump" leaving no trump suits.

The Play

- Pone leads with any of his remaining cards.
- Dealer must follow to the suit lead, if he can. Otherwise, he can follow trump or any other card.
- The winner of each trick leads to the next trick until no cards are left in hand.
- When all tricks have been played, each player scores 1 point per 2 cards they have taken in tricks, rounded up, plus the scoring effects of either of the two face up "Rule" cards.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 9 - Divide by Pie

A game for 4-6 financially astute players

The bankers at Perplexing Investment Enterprises are having a pie party, a party with delicious pie! However, none of the bankers trust each other to divide the pie fairly…


  • Player cards: one of each color, used to show which color a player is.
  • "Cut/Choose" cards: one for each color, top labeled cut, bottom labeled choose.
  • Pie Share Cards: five of each color, with a sixth Pie Crust Promise, the six cards have identical, colored backs.
  • Pile of Pie Tokens x60
  • Managerial Intervention Cards: 15 "trade spots", 6 "move to end", 4 "cross holdings", 1 "pie is poison"


If fewer than 6 players, remove cards with unused colors. Each player takes a player card and the six pie promise cards of a color, looks, and then lays them face down on the table. The Cut/Choose cards are shuffled and laid in line, with the cut/choose on the same side, respectively. Between each Cut/Choose, place 2 facedown Managerial Intervention cards, one on the cut side, one on the choose side, for a total of 10 in 6 player games. Each player then gets to peek at two MI cards of their choice.


From the head of the cut/choose line, move down the line on the cut side, then double back on the choose side. Before every cut or choose, players can bargain and trade freely.

Bargain->Cut->MI->Bargain->Cut->MI->...->Bargain->Cut->Choose->MI->...Bargain->Choose->MI->Bargain->Choose->Calculate Pie

Cutting the pie:

The player with the color of the current Cut phase divides one of the piles of pie tokens into two piles. The player can cut any pile with more than 1 token, and they can split a pile arbitrarily, as long as each pile ends up with more than 1 token. After the last cut, there should be one more pile than players.

Choosing pie:

The player with the color of the current Choose phase gets to claim one of the pie piles. The pile is now associated with the color, not the player. If due to Managerial Intervention, the player choosing already has a pile of pie on his color, the player can choose another pile and assign it to any color that does not have a pile of pie. The last player to choose should have two piles to choose from.


Players can give/trade anything, even their player cards (choosing/cutting rights), or pie tokens that they don’t yet have. Anything goes, as long as Pie Share Cards never leave the table and are never looked at.

Pie Shares:

Once each color has a pile of pie, players can claim pie from each color, with each pie share worth 20% of that color’s pie. Pie Crust promises are worth nothing. Finally, any deals promising pie tokens are resolved.

At the end of the game, the player with most pie wins! If “pie is poison” appears, then the player with least pie wins.

Notes: You can choose the biggest piece of pie and still lose the game.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 10 - Don't Count Your Chickens!


1 Opening Bid Token 60 Bidding Cards (6 sets of 10) 70 Egg Cards 24 Basket Cards

Card Types

Bidding Cards - Include a Bid Value and an Action.

Egg Cards - Won from Baskets, turn into Chickens. Collect sets of Chickens to earn points.

Basket Cards - Denote how many Eggs are included, how many are revealed, and any special rules for the round.


The player who most recently ate chicken receives the Opening Bid Token and will act first. Play continues in clockwise order. Players will bid on Baskets equal to the number of players times 3. For example, a game with 4 players will include 12 Baskets.

Each player takes a set of 10 Bidding Cards.

Shuffle the Egg Cards and the Basket Cards into separate decks. Flip over the first Basket, add the proper number of Eggs, and observe any special rules.


Each round is comprised of an Action Phase and a Bid Phase.

Action Phase - Players may choose to perform 1 Action from their hand. Starting with the first player, players take turns choosing an Action, revealing it to the table, and then carrying out the action. Each player has 1 turn this Phase.

After the Action Phase, any Bidding Cards played are discarded.

Bid Phase - Starting with the first player, players will take turns playing one or more Bid Cards in front of them. The total Bid Value of all Bid Cards played must be higher than the current bid. Players may choose to pass their turn, but they are no longer allowed to bid this round. The player with the highest bid at the end of the Bid Phase wins the Basket. The winning player turns over the Egg cards and adds the Chickens to their play area.

After the Bid Phase, any Bidding Cards played are discarded.

Once a player has no Bidding Cards left they shuffle their 10 cards and draw 9. Each time they run out they draw 1 less card.

Basket Cards are kept on the table to track the number of rounds played.

The Opening Bid Token is passed clockwise.

Game End

After the last Basket is won, or one player cannot draw any more Bidding Cards, the game is over. Players total up the points from their sets of Chickens. The player with the most points wins!


  • Easter Egger - Worth 1 point each
  • Ameraucana - Worth 1 point for 1, 2 points for 2, 4 points for 3, 7 points for 4, or 11 points for 5
  • Maran - Worth 5 points for 3 or more, or 12 points for 6 or more
  • Leghorn - Worth 10 points total only if you have most
  • Malay - Worth -3 points each
  • Rooster - Worth 10 points for 1, 6 points for 2, 3 points for 3, and 0 points for 4 or more

Players also receive points equal to the Bid Value of Bidding Cards left in their hand. Discarded cards are not counted.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 11 - Storm Chasers

Storm Chasers

There is a storm brewing on the horizon. You see some of it coming. Your partner can see part of it too. It’s huge. So huge it overwhelms your sensors and systems. Now what?

Storm Chasers is a game for 4-6 players playing in teams of 2. It takes about 15 minutes to play.

☁☁ Objective ☁☁

Working in pairs, your team must capture data about the most impressive storm. You score points by totaling up the value of the storm in front of you and your partner. You earn bonus points for achieving objectives.

☁☁ Components ☁☁

☀ 36 Storm Cards. On one side is weather. On the other side is an “action.” ☀ 18 Objective Cards. The objectives provide points for achieving the listed goal. ☀ 24 card stands.

☁☁ Setup ☁☁

Sit around a table so teammates are across from each other.

Give each player 4 card stands.

Shuffle the Storm Cards. Deal each player four Storm Cards with the weather side down. Players then place the cards in their card stands weather side toward the center of the table. Players should not look at the weather on their cards, but can see everyone else's. Place the rest face down as a draw pile.

Shuffle the Objective Cards. Turn over two Objective Cards in the middle of the table. These are the common objectives available to any team. Deal two Objective Cards face down to each player. These are the player’s private objectives and only that player can see that objective. A team can achieve the private even if their teammate is the one to do it.

☂☂ Storm Cards ☂☂

The front of each Storm Card has a weather condition and a point value from 0 to 5. The weather condition is some real-life weather phenomenon. The point values increase with their rarity and potential destructive nature of that condition.

On the back of the Storm Card is an action. The action tells the player what they must do on one of their turns. A Storm Card may tell the player to: “swap this card with one from another team,” “tell your partner the weather on one of their cards,” “replace this Storm Card with another from the deck” and so on.

☂ ☂ How to Play ☂ ☂

Play occurs in 4 rounds, one for each Storm Card in front of the players. Starting with the youngest player and then alternating teams, each player performs the “action” on the back of their storm card. Players perform actions from player’s left to player’s right, in order.

☁☁ End of the Game ☁☁

At the end of the game, each teams adds up their score: Storm Card values plus points from any achieved objectives.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 12 - Student Council

Student Council is a humorous, voting party game—for 4-8 players—about middle-school politics, with hidden-roll, deduction, and “take-that” elements.

Each player receives a stack of 10 envelopes with the name of their Candidate face down on each. Players look at their own envelopes but keep their identity secret from other players. Each player also has a card with a set of re-usable candidate name stickers and several popularity tokens. One player gets the Spirit Stick, indicating that they will start play and reveal the candidate campaign cards that round. The Spirit Stick moves one player to the right each round.

Players are dealt a hand of 7 cards from a large deck. Most cards are Promise Cards which have an “outlandishness” rating from 1-7. Promotion cards have negative numbers and represent things that boost your candidate’s image. Rumor and Partnership cards have no number value but can be used to spread rumors about a candidate or to form a two-player team, respectively.

At the beginning of each round, the player with the Spirit Stick gives one card from her hand to any another player. That player then gives a card from his hand (including the one just received) another player who hasn’t received a card. This continues until all players have given and received once.

Players select any number of cards from their hands, so long as the total values on those cards does not exceed 6, and place them inside an envelope. The Spirit Stick player then shuffles the envelopes and reveals their contents, placing them separately on the table. Each player then chooses the two set of cards they like best and places one popularity token on each. Next, envelopes are flipped to reveal which character played which cards. Cards are then placed in discard piles with character name envelopes on top. Popularity tokens earned by each character are lined up above their pile. Players draw their hands back up to 7 cards.

Rumor Cards are passed around during the start of a round with a name on them placed by the player starting the rumor. Any player who is passed that rumor during the round must, once the character names are revealed, move any tokens they gave to the rumor victim to another character.

To use a Partnership card, a player places his own name sticker on either the President or Vice President space on the card and places the name of another character on the other. He may then pass that card to a player at the start of the round. If that person’s character is correctly named on the Partnership card, she may accept the offer by placing it in her envelope that round. From that point, any popularity earned by either candidate are added to the president candidate’s score and the pair can share a joint win. A partnership can only be formed if neither candidate is leading in popularity at that time.

After 10 rounds, the candidate(s) with the most popularity wins!

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 13 - Vacation

In Vacation, each player is a wealthy family on vacation and the goal is to outspend the other families.


A set of cards depicting 20 “places to go” in 5 categories (Dining, shopping, sightseeing, culture and active recreation). Each card has a value ($50-500)
A board with spaces for cards with numbers 1-12 marked just above the space and 10 spaces indicating the game turn number.
A set of 36 bonus cards
2 six sided dice
A game turn marker (1-10)
12 “concede” tokens

Each player gets
The same set of cards mentioned above
Cards with numbers 1-12.
A “concede” card and an “A fight for the check” card.
4 cards depicting “Grandma”, “Pa”, “Big brother”, and “Little sister”
A shield to hide their selections
20 grand in money

Game play. The game takes 10 turns.
First the common deck is shuffled and 12 cards (4 players) 9 cards (3 players) or 6 cards (2 players) are placed on the board starting at space #1. The remaining cards are set aside.
Each player then secretly choses which family members go to which sites. They put their family member card under their number card that matches the number of the site. Each site can hold only one person.

When all cards are revealed, the sites are evaluated from site 1 to site 12 as follows:
If no player chooses a site, that site is ignored.
If one player chooses a site, that player pays the site cost.
If more than one player chooses a site, each player secretly chooses a “concede” card or a “Fight for the check” card.
If only one player chooses the “fight for the check” card then they pay the check (site value) for every player including themselves.
If more than one player chooses the “fight for the check” card, then they roll the 2 die to determine who wins. However Grandma adds 2, Pa adds 1, big brother adds zero, and little sister subtracts 1 from the roll. Ties are re-rolled among the tied players. The winner pays the check for all players.

A player who concedes (but not one who loses a fight) gets a concede token. When they have 3 concede tokens, they get to draw a bonus card from the deck. Bonus cards will have bonuses such as “Double the value of the next shopping site you pay the check for” or “Uncle Charlie will help you out for 1 turn. Your rich uncle adds 3 to his die roll”.
No player can get more than one bonus card per turn.
Bonus cards are not given out on the last turn and unused concede tokens have no value.
When the all of the sites have been evaluated, the 12 site cards are shuffled together with the unused site cards and 12 new cards are placed on the board. The game turn marker advances by one.

After 10 turns, whomever has the least money left wins!

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