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Subject: Synopsis: High Society rss

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Jon Ben
British Columbia
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Of course I've been up all night! Not because of caffeine, it was insomnia. I couldn't stop thinking about coffee.
Designed by the great Reiner Knizia and published by Uberplay in N.A. High Society is a light card game for 3-5 players taking approximately 30 minutes to play (sometimes much less).

I like this game, it's quick and light and there are some cute situations that crop up. Everyone has a fixed set of money cards (something like 25, 20, 15, 12, 8, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) which are used in auctions for cards. The auctions are very simple, you either increase the current bid or pass, this continues around the table until everyone has passed except for one player (who wins the auction and pays their money to the bank). When you pass you take back all money used in your bid, however if increasing your bid you may not take money back into your hand, you may only add money to your bid (this matters since you have a fixed set of money cards). This leads to some especially painful decisions when you start running out of money.

The cards you bid on give you points (the 2, 5, and 7 in the above photo), and there are some special good cards (such as 2x which multiplies your points by 2), and some special bad cards (such as the thief in the above photo, which forces you to discard one of your point cards). Whoever passes first in an auction for a bad card takes their money back and all other players pay their bid amount. The game ends when all four cards with red boarders are turned up (the fourth one to show up is not auctioned), thus the game end is random and without undue warning. When scoring at the end of the game whoever has the least money looses, regardless of how many points they have from winning auctioned cards, out of the remaining players the one with the most points wins.

It plays fast and has some interesting decisions along the way while you try to position yourself for the win. The 30 minute playing time is a maximum, most games take 15 to 20 minutes. It's a great filler game with high player interaction but seldom any tension between players, since the game has enough randomness to eliminate any strong sense of competition. I highly recommend this game to casual players, or anyone looking for a fun end night filler.
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