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Subject: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Reptilian Overlord. rss

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Mike Ricotta
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Okinawa
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How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Reptilian Overlord.

My wife and I play a lot of Mystery Rummy. It is my wife’s favorite. We own most of them and play several of them quite frequently. So when I saw this on the old Kickstarter I had to pledge for it even though I really try not to pledge for things on the old Kickstarter (curse you Up Front). Anyway am I glad I pledged? You’ll have to read on to find out!
Yes, I know it isn’t an official Mystery Rummy game, but whatever, close enough.
So Conspiracy! Is great. (I didn’t make you wait long) It follows the basic rummy rules, draw a card, melds are laid out in front of you (no numbers only suits), you must discard at the end of your turn. If you have played rummy you know the basics. But what makes Conspiracy different than normal rummy is that once you have a meld out depending what suit it is will give you a special power! Also there are some action cards that give you special actions, but you can only play one of those a turn. I don’t like reviews that are super rules heavy, so I won’t do that.
The theme here is really fun, each suit is a conspiracy ranging from the wacky (cloning Hitler) to the probable (reptilian overlords). Card art is good, card quality is good, it has a nice box (however who has ever read a review and changed their mind based on the box? Ohh that game has a great box? I must have it!). There is even a nice little player aid card that you won’t need after a game or two. Everything is pretty clear on the cards.
Conspiracy has some interesting strategy to it because of the powers you get when you make a meld. For example once anyone has a meld of the They Cloned Hitler cards then the Hitler cards become wilds! So you might intentionally hold onto that meld because it makes the hitler cards so valuable. Of course hold it too long and your opponent might go out and then you can’t score all those cards!
Some of the powers are really good and some are just OK. All of them have a use though. For example, cold fusion doesn’t really give you a power except that the cards are just worth more points, which is sort of a power on its own. Of course having a bunch of them is great, but if an opponent has the moon landing they can use the power to discard your cards so you’ll have to watch out!
One point I really like is how the discard pile effects scoring. Most games cards that match you melds that end up in the discard pile just make you sad that you couldn’t score them. Here they make you double sad as cards in the discard pile that match your melds ALSO count against your score! It adds a new twist in that has a lot of interesting strategies. First off, why not just play those cards to get points for yourself! Well another bit of scoring is that if any suit has 10 or more points out then they are worth double points, so making people discard cards could drive them below that threshold and cost them a lot of points!
You might say all this sounds great but I own some other Mystery Rummy games, why get this one? Actually I can make a strong case here. I like to call this Advanced Mystery Rummy. I would not use this as an intro to the series. With all the powers floating around it can get a little complicated. Not all that rough, but more than a normal Mystery Rummy game. Also one of my friends who played it said that he thought it was a lot meaner than other similar games, and not in a bad way. With the discards and the powers there is a lot more interaction between players than normal and the strategy gets a little more complex. So conspiracy is sort of a level 2 Rummy game and it is great
So should you buy Conspiracy!? Yes, I’ve played it with 2 and 4, both are great and present unique strategies. It has a lot of unique things going for it and adds a good layer to the Mystery Rummy idea. If you are new to Mystery Rummy go buy Jack the Ripper AND this at the same time. You won’t be sorry…

This review was not proof read because I am lazy.
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Diane Sauer
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Hamilton Square
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Mike,

The Reptilian Overlords are super pleased you took the time to write up your nice review. No doubt you have curried special favor with them. Thank you and I'm very please you are enjoying the game.

Diane

P.S. -If you get a chance, please rate the game here as this helps visibility. Again, thank you for backing us and for the review.
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