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Subject: Stipulations - Is X-Ray Vision Worth It If It Only Works On Your Parents? rss

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Agent Emme
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Review by mmazala
For this review and more, visit http://www.todayinboardgames.com/


Image Credit: Black Light Games



A Review of Stipulations
Published by Black Light Games
Designed by Dustin Bluhm, PhD

Plays with 4-8 players
Variable playing time (depends on what the players want)


The game is currently seeking funding via Kickstarter:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/814885430/stipulations-...

The Kickstarter campaign is scheduled to end on March 4, 2015.

"Your imagination and creativity are the only limits on how you can ruin players' announced superpowers, lifetime supplies, occupations, and fulfilled dreams. Your friend got a job as a motivational speaker? You can add "with an extreme stutter" or "who lives in a van down by the river." Another friend has retractable claws? Stipulate them with "you constantly use furniture as a scratching post" or "they only come out when wiping in the bathroom." Earn points for coming up with the best and funniest stipulations to win the game!"


Stipulations Overview

In Stipulations, players provide creative answers to disrupt the prompt, “I think it would be awesome to be/have/achieve X”, where X is a superpower, occupation, lifetime stock of goods, or dream.

One player selects a prompt from a card; the rest of the players answer the prompt.


Image Credit: Black Light Games


For example, in one of our games we played with the prompt “I think it would be awesome to be able to have an unlimited supply of ice-cream.” The winning disruption, or stipulation, was “But the ice-cream is stored in war-torn Iraq in a region that only has power for 4 hours each day.”

In another example, we played with the prompt “I think it would be awesome to be able to communicate with animals.” The winner was the stipulation “And now you are stunned to learn all mammals, reptiles, insects, and birds are constantly plotting to kill you.”

Prompts are provided in a deck of 80 cards, each with 4 options. For an additional $6 added to your pledge, you will receive an additional 27 cards with NSFW (Not Safe For Work, or adult-humor) prompts.


Image Credit: Black Light Games


The player providing the prompt picks the stipulation they liked the best and award the prompt card to the author as a point. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins.

The Black Light Games website offers several suggestions for varying the game. For example, in the scenario Closing Arguments, players get to read their stipulations out loud and defend them. Or, in the scenario Bonus Me, the prompt provider also reads a bonus opportunity card to the players before or after they submit their answers, like “Award this card to the player who wrote the most offensive stipulation” or “Award this card to the runner up”.


Image Credit: Black Light Games



Components

Deck of 80 Stipulations cards
Deck of 27 NSFW cards (for a $6 add-on to your pledge)
Deck of 24 Bonus opportunity cards
8 small dry-erase boards
8 dry-erase markers
90-second sand timer (only if the $16,000 stretch goal is reached)
Game rules


Image Credit: Black Light Games


The gaming components are very similar to those of Say Anything. The deck of cards I received was professionally printed, featuring bright colors and an easily readable font.

The cost of the components is $25 via the Kickstarter campaign (with free U.S. Shipping and variable international shipping). Additional copies are slightly less expensive.

For those simply interested in the cards, a partial print-and-play set is available on the Black Light Games website (http://www.blacklightgames.net/) and the full print-and-play is available for $6 via the Kickstarter campaign.


Did I Like This Game?

I always appreciate it when a game offers players the opportunity to be creative and create their own jokes. I think games like Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity offer a little room for creativity, but not enough since the answers are provided by the designers and available from a limited hand selection. Stipulations is more like Say Anything, the party game by North Star Games where players answer prompts, combined with the intelligent debating style of Larceny, the party game by Waning Gibbous Games where players have to find ways to use random items to overcome random obstacles in a heist. When you give people room to be creative, entertaining and surprising things usually happen.

I also like that Stipulations is really easy to explain. Since the rules are brief – in short, stipulations must be relevant to the prompt and stipulations can’t be reused – the game is supereasy to teach and learn.

Finally, the game seems to adapt pretty well to different groups, including children and adults. If you have an imagination, you can play Stipulations.

The obvious downside to the freeform answer format is that players who are not very creative will not enjoy this game, as they will struggle to find good answers. However, there is no correct/incorrect playlength, so the game could end at any point - once around the table, or first to 2 points, or whenever we get sick of playing are all reasonable ways to end the game quickly.

In short, I enjoyed Stipulations and my friends did as well. I would recommend Stipulations to any group of imaginative players looking for a fun and flexible party game.
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