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Subject: We didn't playtest this at all ~ Deranged Review. rss

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~Deranged Review~

Hello! Welcome to this Deranged Review.

I've spoken before about the astounding game collection residing with the resident evil of my local FLGS, and how his collection reflects both wealth and taste (#1). While he has both regular and evening fillers, serious and wacky games, and social deduction and take-that type of games, there is a general underlying trend to his collection.

This trend is that I seem to like very nearly all of them. And WDPTAA is no exception.

I'll be giving grades on several aspects of the game, such as discussed here.
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.

The Game Itself: Utter Chaos
Win! Lose! Banana!

-The cards are about as bland as possible. Looks almost like a playtest version. Very easily understood, though.

-If you speak English (#2), you can play. The game is easier than Fluxx.

-There's hardly any direction in the game. There are no meaningful choices - you get about three cards to choose from, and the effects are so weird and random that you'd either surely pick this one, or it doesn't much matter which you keep or play. I'm not sure I've rated any game this low in Flexibility since Fluxx (and the lack of stars I had to garnish that review with).

Please bear in mind that for me, personally, this is one of the more important aspects of a game - second only to:

-, which is an aspect this game just completely and utterly dominates. WDPTAA, which will henceforth (#3) be known as "Playtest", is a game of pure attack and defence, but with about as random as effects come.

"Ha! A black hole sucks in target player!"
"I use Science to disbelieve the Black Hole - it now eats THAT GUY"
"I pounce on Science with a bunch of Kittens! The Black hole stays with YOU!"

-There're cards. As far as I remember, they're pretty good.

Good kind of random.
Extremely short!
Fairly unbalanced, and therefor extremely well-balanced.
Pure tactics.

Not really suited for an all-nighter.
If you'd rather not play anything silly, stay away from this one.

End result:
This game fills just about the same space as Fluxx, but where that - mistakenly - tries to implement some sort of system, Playtest goes full throttle on the silliness. So the main difference? Playtest is actually funny.

Now, I haven't played all the iterations of Fluxx, so I'll keep to the basic version. My problems with Fluxx are that everything about it is random - including the playing time (1d10 minutes per player), the relative blandness and the complete lack of direction. As the ending is random, so is the game's duration. Milk & Cookies are just as mechanically important as TV, Brain, Love and Chocolate - hence, the blandness. Finally, the game just... goes... until, it stops.

After this summary of why I dislike Fluxx, Playtest has many comparisons with it. It is extremely random, to the point that the first card played could end the game. It has little or no substance, there's really no point in following any strategy, and the game is about as flexible as an iron bar (#4). The difference is Playtest takes Fluxx's few good points, removes the bad points, and substitutes in a few shipments of actual silliness.

The above example is one that could easily happen in real life. Well, perhaps not in real life, but certainly within the confines of the game. So if you'd like to let a bunch of kittens pounce on (and destroy!) science, then this is your game. And Playtest is short - you're not likely to get more than three turns. So you can go another round, and so on until you're done. I do advise against playing this with control freaks - unless you want to enjoy seeing them freak out. At worst, they'll dissappear after one round.

If you get the chance, try it sometime. And when somebody explains it as "Fluxx, but better!", know that they are right. Don't let negative emotions concerning that pile of rubbish taint your enjoyment of Playtest, because Playtest has Purple Pony Points.

And kittens.

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: Even if he does use My Little Pony sleeves for his Avalon cards.
#2: and have a sense of humor.
#3: Whoa, where did that word come from?
#4: Yes, it can go all over the place; no, that's not what I mean with Flexibility.

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