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Subject: The Forcing Tom To Play Review rss

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Jeremy Fox
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Seattle
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"Forcing Tom To Play" is a series of reviews intended for non-hardcore gamers to inform not necessarily whether a game is good or not but whether a game fits in a casual gamer's lifestyle. Written for my Step-Father Tom who refuses to play games longer than 15 minutes. Remember to read these reviews in a whiny, dodgy voice and go ahead and throw in a couple, "I don't know, I got a lot of things to do around the house."

Catagories


How Many People Am I Gonna Need?

How Long's This Gonna Be?

You Gonna Teach Me?

How Big's This Thing?

Is It Fun?



How Many People Am I Gonna Need? (the ideal being three or less, extra points for being able to play it by yourself- "Why don't you go ahead and get it started and I'll join in.")

Funny Friends is playable from 2-6 players. The nature of the bidding and friend-making involved means that you'll probably want more than three or the game is just not as interesting as it could be. I'd say four is just enough to create a challenge yet maintain a level of coherence that a 5 or 6 player game doesn't seem to manage.

Scale from 1-10: 4


How Long's This Gonna Be? (the ideal being 1 hour or less with 15 minutes being considered a score of 9. The only way to receive a 10 in this catagory is by being less than 5 minutes long which includes time for teaching how to play. Actually, the game receives an unprecedented score of 11 if it somehow manages to be taught and played in less than a minute.)

This game suffers a little in length not really from play time but from the amount of tutorial it takes to get someone up to speed. At first the game may seem very straight forward with the simple premise of "finish five life goals;" unfortunately, the simplicity stops there. The cards rarely have any writing on them to explain what they actually do so much of the time it is guess work to try to come to some sort of conclusion to the resolution of a life card after bidding for it. You can see for yourself that this game is riddled with forum questions on BGG about how making friends works and exactly how the particulars of life cards are supposed to pan out. This can get pretty hairy when trying to explain the game to someone impatient and ready to play. It would take probably a minimum of about 5 to 6 plays to get comfortable enough with most of the cards to not have to ask questions on what each card does. Teaching the game can take about an hour.

The play time of the actual game (when you know what you're doing) is, on average, about 45 minutes.

Scale from 1-10: 3



You Gonna Teach Me? (ideal is a game which can be taught with ease and not too many stupid questions asked. Example of stupid question: "So are we going to use the pieces?")


As mentioned before, this game is not simple to teach. The friends mechanism can be a real brain bender. Relationships are hard to understand (when they start, when they end) and the sex rules aren't intuitive on the first go round. Overall, not a good game to try to teach to someone who wants to learn in five minutes.

Scale from 1-10: 3



How Big's This Thing? (the ideal is a game that can be played on a coffee shop table or in the kitchen. Anything bigger will most likely produce such responses as: "Uh, whoa, that's too much," or "Let's just play Checkers.")


The game isn't very big, there isn't an actual game board, but there are more chits and pieces than your average game. The pieces are also generally small which can garner such a response as, "We're gonna lose these." Said response will be mentioned over and over.

For all those pieces and chits and cards, you're gonna need some room to spread out.


Scale from 1-10: 3



Is It Fun? (the ideal being, yes, it is fun)


You'll probably get a couple chuckles from the cards and the interactions between the cards (I was a drug-addicted, workaholic that started a cult) but due to the confusion the game can cause, only people who are really willing to put some time into the game with multiple plays and familiarity will really get the full effect of the fun the game can offer.


Scale from 1-10: 4



In Conclusion:

Don't force Tom to play this, he would hate it, and if your a casual gamer you'd probably hate it too.









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Evan Stegman
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With those criteria, the game I would suggest is 52 Pick Up (you know, where if someone says they will play, you spray a deck of cards and say "Pick 'em up!").


How Many People Am I Gonna Need? (the ideal being three or less, extra points for being able to play it by yourself- "Why don't you go ahead and get it started and I'll join in.")

From 1 to 52!

And you can play it by yourself!

Score: 10!


How Long's This Gonna Be? (the ideal being 1 hour or less with 15 minutes being considered a score of 9. The only way to receive a 10 in this catagory is by being less than 5 minutes long which includes time for teaching how to play. Actually, the game receives an unprecedented score of 11 if it somehow manages to be taught and played in less than a minute.)

Can teach AND play it in under a minute!

Score: 11!



You Gonna Teach Me? (ideal is a game which can be taught with ease and not too many stupid questions asked. Example of stupid question: "So are we going to use the pieces?")

Only takes one sentence to teach: "Pick 'em up!"

Score: 10!


How Big's This Thing? (the ideal is a game that can be played on a coffee shop table or in the kitchen. Anything bigger will most likely produce such responses as: "Uh, whoa, that's too much," or "Let's just play Checkers.")

Size of a standard deck of cards.

Score: 10!


Is It Fun? (the ideal being, yes, it is fun)

Well, it might be fun for you, not so much fun for Tom.

Score: -1


Average score = 8.0!!
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Mark Haberman
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I would recommend Liar!. Can be taught and played in 2 minutes with 9 cards from a standard playing deck.
 
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Jeremy Fox
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52 card pick-up! yes, the perfect Tom game has finally been found.
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T. B.
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Albuquerque
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This is a great review. The style is entertaining, but doesn't get in the way of the critique, something that often seems a difficult balance.

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Dennis Parsons
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foxxdye wrote:
... and the sex rules aren't intuitive on the first go round.


Sorry, I know this thread/review is old but ain't this the truth!
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