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High School Drama!» Forums » Reviews

Subject: HSD - A First Timers Review rss

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Ben Penner
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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I was fortunate enough to be able to play a game (pre-release) with the designer himself and three others. One of them had played before, but three of us were new to it.

COMPONENTS
There are several decks of cards: Students, Activities, and different Action Cards.
5 different colors of tokens
2 pawns (first player and semester marker)
Yearbook board
Rules Booklet

OBJECTIVE
Social climbing. Scandal. School Rivalry. And that's just Freshman year!

The ultimate goal is to gain as many signatures as you can into the yearbook.


GAME PLAY
You choose your "persona" from a group of students to represent you throughout your most influential years. This will be the basis for gathering others into your clique and joining clubs. Will you be a Jock or a Geek, Artsy or Popular? How Cool are you? How Cruel do you want to be? How much Heart to you have hiding inside of your image? Each of these determines how well your future can be.

The game is broken first into years, then each year into semesters, and each semester has card drawing and two rounds of playing cards. During your Freshman year you each take turns drawing up to 2 cards, from Hooking Up, Bonding, Break Up, or Random Events. Each year you get to draw one extra card, but you still can only play 2.

After the Drawing Phase, you take turns playing one of the cards you drew. A Hook Up allows you to either bring another student into your clique or to join a group, forming Relationships. A Bond will strengthen any existing relationship. A Break Up will weaken a relationship. The Random Events can be any of the previous three types with a twist, or can cause an event to happen which affects a particular location or relationship type. The random events are the best ways to get signatures.

At the end of a semester you must discard any of the first three types of cards that you may still have, but you can hold on to any of the Random Events cards.

At the end of the year you determine who has the best of each of the different types of relationships. For each best, or tie, you get one signature. You also have to discard any Events cards that you may still have.


WINNING
The game can actually end at the end of any year, depending on how long of a game you want. The winner is simply the one with the most signatures.


PERSONAL SUMMARY
While a full game will last beyond what a filler will last, it had the feel of filler. I greatly enjoyed my game and the time spent learning the subtleties of it. This is a game that I would recommend to anyone looking for a fun game with a little more meat than a filler.

7/10
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Clarence Chambers
United States
Florida
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This sounds like a hoot! I'll definitely have to look in to it.
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Abraham Meyer
United States
New York
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I also recently had the pleasure of playing this game in a four player group. We all had a great time, and even started roleplaying our characters. I was playing the Gay Guy, so I focused on hooking up with classmen like Man Meat and Sensitive Jock, while the two playing female characters did their best to take them away for themselves.

The game has a very nice production quality. The only complaint I have is that the rules need some clarifying. They were confusing enough it took us two tries to get the game started correctly, and continued to run into problems during play. Still, a very good game with a fairly high replayability that I too recommend.
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Matt Hydeman
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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You mean "Man Candy", of course.
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Nicholas Jaros
United States
Mill Valley
California
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I threw this at the local posse and all five of us enjoyed it. We're all guys age 35-45 and play hundreds of board games, so the voice of experience speaks well for this one.

The artwork is great, and the steriotypes were superb in a pathetic kind of way. We found it amusing to hook up the most unlikely pairs, like "Emotional Vortex" and "Meat Head". Oddly enough that proved to be a good strategy.

Afterwards, I duelled a mid-50s lady that "doesn't really like to play games", and she got a huge kick out of playing it. It seems we all find a common ground when we flash back to High School. Well done, guys!
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