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Subject: RAID your FLGS and pick up Cockroach Poker! rss

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Jeff
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There's no simple explanation for anything important any of us do, and yeah the human tragedy consists of the necessity of living with the consequences, under pressure, under pressure. -Courage (For Hugh Maclennan): The Tragically Hip
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Cockroach Poker is a small bluffing game consisting of 64 cards. That's it. There's eight cards each of bat, fly, cockroach, toad, rat, scorpion, spider, and stink bug. Per the box, the game is for 2-6 players, ages 8-99, and plays in 20-30 minutes. Though I personally don't think I've ever seen a game go 20 minutes, never-mind 30.

The game is very simple. All cards are dealt out. Players secretly look at their cards, and the first player starts. On a their turn players choose a card from their hand, slide it face down to someone else and declare what animal, or "critter", is on the card. Of course, they could be bluffing! The person receiving the card has a few options. They could a) believe the person giving them the card and agree that it is the animal that was stated, by saying "true", b) disbelieve the person by saying, "false", or c) take the card, look at it, send it on to someone who hasn't yet seen it, and make their own declaration about what is on the card.

When a player receives a card from someone, and they guess correctly about whether the offering player was bluffing or not, that card goes back to sit face up in front of the offering player. If they guess incorrectly, then they put the card face up in front of them-self. This goes on, round and around, until one of two things happen, and someone is declared the loser! Yes, the loser, as there is no winner, per se, but one loser.

Someone loses as soon as they either have four of one type of critter in front of them, or when they have no cards left in their hand, and they need to play one.

In a two player game 10 cards are randomly, and secretly, removed from play. Also, the pass the card option isn't available. Finally, a player loses when they have 5 cards of the same type in front of them, or they need one to play, and don't have any left.

Cockroach Poker is a really fun, quick playing, game. Trying to read people is great when they are passing the card to you, and trying to out-think them when you're passing them the card is equally enjoyable. And watching people's reaction is super fun too! Also when your cards start to run out, or you get three of the same critter in front of you the pressure begins to mount. You can quickly become a target of the other players, and only by outwitting them can you stave off elimination. Great fun!

Other things I like are the small box that the game comes in. This makes storage and transport very easy. I like the bright orange and yellow cover of the box which makes it stand out. I also, really enjoy the artwork on the cards. All the animals are drawn in a cartoon style, but the really cool thing is that every card is drawn differently. Meaning, for example, that no two frog cards look exactly the same. The designers of the game went the extra mile in this regard, and it's appreciated. A small drawback to this that I've found is that new players can find the artwork confusing. There are matching symbols in the upper corners of the cards that are all the same to help identify which animal they are looking at.

I have only one minor quibble with this game. It's the backs of the cards. They are dark grey and features each of the animal symbols I was just referring to. It's awfully boring to look at. Especially when you contrast that to the bright orange cover with yellow font of the box, and the interesting artwork of the faces of the cards. However, this is a bit nit-picky on my part.

Overall, as I said at the beginning, Cockroach Poker is a fast, fun, bluffing game. At up to 6, the game handles a nice amount of players too. I'd also suggest that the more people involved the more fun it is. Everyone I've played this game with enjoys it. I highly recommend giving it a try!
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Peter Strait
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Sacramento
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As a note, the Royale version features a vibrant blue-and-yellow card back, shown on one of the images in the BGG collection.
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TOSHIRO MIFUNE
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This has been on my radar. Sounds like it would be a riot with my kids.
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Ian Allen
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Nice review!

If you like Cockroach Poker (and I LOVE Cockroach Poker), you should also check out Barnyard Roundup. It has a similar bluffing mechanic, but adds a few more elements to the game and has very bright artwork as well.



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Stephanie Prince
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Maximuss wrote:
I have only one minor quibble with this game. It's the backs of the cards. They are dark grey and features each of the animal symbols I was just referring to. It's awfully boring to look at. Especially when you contrast that to the bright orange cover with yellow font of the box, and the interesting artwork of the faces of the cards. However, this is a bit nit-picky on my part.


I find that the backs of the cards are handy to refer to when players are going to bluff and can't remember all of the different types of critters.
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M M
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Of all the games I own, it's this (royal) that I've had the most luck in getting anybody to play. Anybody. And always a hit.
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Jeff
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There's no simple explanation for anything important any of us do, and yeah the human tragedy consists of the necessity of living with the consequences, under pressure, under pressure. -Courage (For Hugh Maclennan): The Tragically Hip
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glookose wrote:
Nice review!


Thanks! I've done a few others that were pretty short. I tried to be more thorough with this one.
 
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Jeff
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There's no simple explanation for anything important any of us do, and yeah the human tragedy consists of the necessity of living with the consequences, under pressure, under pressure. -Courage (For Hugh Maclennan): The Tragically Hip
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We're forced to bed, but we're free to dream. -Gift Shop: The Tragically Hip
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slprince wrote:
Maximuss wrote:
I have only one minor quibble with this game. It's the backs of the cards. They are dark grey and features each of the animal symbols I was just referring to. It's awfully boring to look at. Especially when you contrast that to the bright orange cover with yellow font of the box, and the interesting artwork of the faces of the cards. However, this is a bit nit-picky on my part.


I find that the backs of the cards are handy to refer to when players are going to bluff and can't remember all of the different types of critters.


Good point! I just find the dark grey to be out of place more than anything.
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Patrick McNamara
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Great review! We do a variant where you also lose the game if you have at least 1 of the 8 different critter cards in front of you. There is something very satisfying about getting a good "read" on someone and know that they are lying when they slide you a card.
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Jeff
Canada
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There's no simple explanation for anything important any of us do, and yeah the human tragedy consists of the necessity of living with the consequences, under pressure, under pressure. -Courage (For Hugh Maclennan): The Tragically Hip
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We're forced to bed, but we're free to dream. -Gift Shop: The Tragically Hip
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bigmac33070 wrote:
Great review! We do a variant where you also lose the game if you have at least 1 of the 8 different critter cards in front of you.


That's so weird. The last time I played I thought about suggesting that very idea!
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Nick West
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Colinton
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I adopted that "rule" from the off over the weekend with a visiting family (kids are 10 and 12) and found that eight x one card losses are almost as common as four card set losses. It was also a hit.

Mind Taluva was a bigger hit with the 12 year old, which it was too much for his little sister however.

Ticket to Ride: Europe will have to await their next visit. Mind as a result of their last they now own a Dutch edition of Catan, so their parents may start cursing me!

But you have to induct the next generation, I feel.
 
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