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Subject: Fool! / Wat 'n Familie! ~ Deranged Review. rss

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~Deranged Review~

Hello! Welcome to this Deranged Review.

"Hey," I said to myself, "after all that hard work you did for the review contest, surely it's time to do something fun?" "Excuse me?" myself replied; "Did you think those two were not for fun? You are mistaken, sir!" "True," I responded, "very true. But still, perhaps we could do something a tad lighter this time?" "Yes, we very well could," myself agreed.

So we started picking out options. What had I played recently? Well I'd seen a game of Mansions of Madness: Second Edition which looked wonderful, but I was not actually in that game. So what then? Avalon? Did it. Gave up my seat for someone new anyway . Crazy Circus? Did it. Shark? Guess. Hmm. Well how about that game I found in the second-hand-store, that I hadn't seen in ages? Did i-.. wait a second...

Fool!, or the Nosey Neighbour Cardgame, or Wat 'n Familie! here on the set of Amsterdamned, is a game I had when I was little. I recently found one at a thriftshop for 1,25E - and managed to get it for less as it was frankly horribly abused by said thriftshop. It's on my shelf now, getting plenty of excercise, attention and well-earned rest.

For ART, I look at the big picture, and how that picture looks. EASE covers ease of play and learning curve, FLEXIBILITY covers the amount of free will you have and is therefore linked to replayability. FUN might be deceptive, as it's a gut thang, but I'll try and specify in the text, and COMPONENTS should be self-explanatory. I'll not say a lot about rules and specifics - you can find those out for yourself.

Quick rules insert wrote:
There are four cards of each family member. Starting with Gramps, every player puts down any amount of cards (official rules say one or two, which makes the game much longer and considerably less fun) on the board face down, announcing how many of which card he's playing. For example, the first player plays three Grandpas. The second player, then, plays two Grannies. After the general laughter and lewd comments have died down, the third player (who has no Father) places one Baby and an Aunt Cate card in the Daddy-spot. The fourth player, being blessed with no less than three Daddies, accuses the third player of lying, and is proven correct. The third player, ashamed, picks up his cards and any cards to the right of that stack. So there's little to be lost in the first round, true.

Play continues until someone has an empty hand, winning the game.

The Game Itself: Getting rid of Aunty Cate
Play cards! First to empty his/her hand wins!

-The game's illustrations are extremely early-nineties (#2) to me, but that's hardly a problem. The board is pretty well-designed, with the fingers pointing in the direction of play and large card areas. The cards have funny little edges to personalize each member of the family (and Aunt Cate), and are easy to tell apart.

The illustrations are, however, not extremely well done. They do fit the general sense of the game, I'd just not use any of'm as a poster .

-The official rules are written on what's almost a crib sheet. There's a passage or two you might need to read twice, but other than that the game is fairly simple. As with Liar's Dice, the rules are only a framework to allow for bluffing .

-Bluffing games come with their very own built-in form of flexibility. You could play two Moms, in the right space, and say "I have two Brothers" "by accident", so another player might think you've made a slip-up - which is one of the MANY examples of things bluffing allows you to do. I've said a fair amount of words on bluffing before, and in any case I'm not gonna share all of my tricks with you guys .

Bluffing adds tension, and as such makes every choice meaningful.

-Besides opening the door on many family-related puns and jokes, the game is secretly actually pretty good. Besides those of us who feel that bluffing equals lying, everybody I know who has played this game had a good time. It has moments where you can be clever, it has the intrinsic tension of bluffing, and it lasts for all of fifteen minutes.

Additionally, this is one of those games where you can have loads of fun around the game, which is a valuable quality in games in general, and filler games especially.

-The components, while not stellar, are durable enough. As a bluffing game, the card backs would need to be unmarked, or at least not too damaged.

The box suffers slightly from the 80's's opinion on boxed air (#3), but the components can easily be put into another game's box if you'd want to make it more portable. The bright blue box does add a nice dash of colour to my game collection, by the way.

Excellent Family-jokes-generator.

Quite rare nowadays. I don't often see one at any rate.

End result:
I have no idea why this game is ranked so low, at 5.7. It's basically Liar's Cards, but it removes the normal curve and chance from the equation and adds in more skill, some memory, and a bit of deduction. From that perspective - and it's the one I'm taking - the game is AWESOME.

It's a bit bulky for what it offers, as all you'd really need is a deck of cards, but it's still a rather small box, so it's easily brought along as a filler. It's a bit less elegant than Liar's Dice, and more difficult to play in a bus stop (#1), true, but it also has only virtual player elimination, cards with semi-funny pictures and an actual need to bluff if you ever want to get those Aunty Cate's out of your hands.

The game does really well as a filler, and it's a welcome change from games like Family Business, MagĀ·Blast (Third Edition) or Love Letter, which are by the way games I enjoy very much. If you'd be lucky enough to come across this at a thriftshop, don't hesitate. Adopt one if you get the chance! It holds up fine, few people seem to've even heard of it so you can be fairly sure it's a new addition to any gamepool you bring it to (#4), and finally it rather brightens up your shelf. It's well worth the one or two euro you'd pay for it.

As usual, please give your opinion in the comments .

Oh, by the way, I am Deranged. I like to have fun with (and around) boardgames, and have played many of them over the years. I've been furniture in my FLGS for years ^^. I tend to like old games; well, I tend to like good games, most of which have been around for bit ^^. I've written 78 reviews as of yet, which you can access here, and a handful of random topics discussed here. If you want me to write a review for you or recommend me a game, there's this neat little envelop near my avatar!


#1: I could do a Green Eggs and Ham on where I've played Liar's Dice.
#2: Which is quite the accomplishment for a game that's apparently from 1982...
#3: "Can't have enough of it! Small boxes are for wimps!"
#4: It's the anti-Citadels.
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